Are You A Mop or A Teapot? – Today’s Thoughts – 2 Timothy 2:20

Today’s Thoughts…
By Pastor Lee Hemen
September 9, 2008

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. (2 Timothy 2:20)

Let me ask you a question: “Are you a lowly mop or a fine china teapot?” We all know that whether we live in a house, apartment, or mobile home that there are items there that are set out for everyone to see and use and others that we keep behind closed doors, so-to-speak. I mean, few of us place the toilet in the living room! But some could well argue that the lowly mop that is kept in the cleaning cupboard is far more important in keeping the house clean than say the fine teapot that sit in a place of honor behind glass doors. Yet, both serve their purposes don’t they?

The teapot is brought out for special occasions so that those you serve can see how important the event is. While the mop may sit in the closet, still wet and perhaps a little dirty from its use just a few hours earlier to make sure that the floors shone just as fine as a clean teapot. A clean house reflects an attitude of the heart just as bringing out the fine china when we want to celebrate.

This is exactly what Paul was writing to Timothy about. Perhaps Timothy was feeling like he was just a “mop,” to be used to clean up the messes of life in his ministry. Perhaps he was having problems with those who wanted to be seen as the fine china of the church and wanted to be held in high regard because of the perceived position of honor they strived for. Perhaps you are experiencing the same thing today? Paul brings Timothy and us back to earth with his earthy reminder.

God’s house is large and there are many articles, people, not only of gold and silver, but also those earthy ones of wood and clay. God uses some for noble purposes and some for ignoble purposes, but all are used of God in His marvelous house the church. If we desire to be used for more “noble” purposes, then we have to realize whose house we belong to and live in. Now there is a thought! Few remember that the house of God is not built for them, no matter how the architect designed the physical building. The house of God is designed and used by and for Him alone. For His good pleasure is why we, His noble and ignoble, people serve.

Today dear child of God remember He knows your position in His house. God knows the purpose He has for you. Remember He told Jeremiah much the same thing: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11) Paul knew this as well and wanted Timothy to remember it. Do you?

NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Are You A Mop or A Teapot? – Today’s Thoughts – 2 Timothy 2:20

  1. Truly our service is at sometimes in the ignoble things which are required of us, but Paul writes about vessels to honour and vessels to dishonour. The vessels to dishonour are the ones that do not depart from iniquity (vs. 19). They are the ones that shun not profane and vane babblings (vs. 16). Hymenaeus and Philetus are given as specific examples, because they err from the truth (vs. 17). Paul tells us that if we purge ourselves from these (vs. 21, referring to the profane and vane babblings) we shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified or made clean. The word doesn’t instruct us on contentment with ignoble purpose, but that if we err not from the truth that we will be meet for the master’s use and prepared unto EVERY good work, both the noble and ignoble.

    Here is the text:

    2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    2Ti 2:16 But shun profane [and] vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
    2Ti 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
    2Ti 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
    2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
    2Ti 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
    2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, [and] prepared unto every good work.

  2. Yes, good insight, you correctly see that Paul is speaking about how we are to “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart,” in order to be of a more noble purpose. However the “ignoble” is not necessarily this entirely. Why? Paul wrote Timothy that “the Lord knows those who are His,” and that those who are His will “turn away from wickedness.” In God’s house there is room for both the noble and ignoble (v. 20). If we cleanse ourselves from “evil” we will no longer just be considered for ignoble purposes. In fact, we will be “made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work,” (v. 21) that God desires to use us for. Therefore, you have to take into context the entire letter and 1 Timothy as well, where both were written to a young man who continually had a problem with “timidity,” and seeing himself as the pastor he was meant to be. He struggled with being accepted as a leader and allowed others to dictate how he should respond instead of the gospel. Timothy may have been willing to compromise in order to sooth things over in Ephesus. I believe Paul wrote it to teach him to not only stay away from evil, “ignoble” things, but to also teach him to not just see himself as “ignoble” in the work of the Lord. To be holy and useful for the things of the Lord. Why would I say that? The way it is worded. Jesus often did this as well: Used several meanings for a phrase in order to teach several things at once. See John chapters 3, 15-17, and such. Plus, this is not meant to be a definitive commentary on 2 Timothy. It is my own thoughts and insights as God reveals Himself to me as I study His Word.

    Just my own thoughts…

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