By Pastor Lee Hemen
September 10, 2008
If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (2 Timothy 2:21)
Yesterday I spoke about noble and ignoble purposes and how whether we were noble or ignoble in what we did in God’s church we were part of His household. However, God desires that we become noble for Him. Nobility for the Lord means living in His will, being holy for Him. Too many of us settle for being wood or clay rather than being silver or gold for the Lord.
I have to laugh because there are still commercials that declare certain wonder products that if we the consumer would just buy them then we would learn that we just cannot live without them. And, “BAM!” if we buy this cleaner, we will instantly have a sparkling house with brighter floors, clean counters, and shining appliances! There is just one small problem: We have to use it. The cleaner really is no better than any other cleaner. The real secret is that it may make you, the user, want to clean more often and use a little more of what my mama said was “elbow grease” in doing so. This is kind of where Paul was with Timothy. If Timothy wanted to be used for more noble purposes rather than just remaining ignoble, he had to do some personal cleaning as well. He had to be “made holy” by confessing his sins and living a holy life. Then he could be “useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” The same was true for those who were spreading ungodly teaching like gangrene in the church!
Far too many in today’s church are not prepared to do the work of the Lord. Not only are they not prepared, they do not care. They have become satisfied with being ignoble in God’s holy house. They are more than willing to allow others to be holy, while they sit back and come along for the spiritual ride others freely offer. Many churches are based on a manufactured nobility and a sense of the holy, rather than on its people actually being holy. It is like Sebastian in the movie the “Little Mermaid” who told her that you have to create “the mood.” Worship leader’s today create the “mood,” a sense of holy nobility for a ignoble audience and wonder why more and more money, effort, time, and manufactured worship has to be “inspired” and worked at. They have become ringmasters. Bigger banners, more fireworks, more music, live animals, and of course a really big show must go on in order for the crowd to return next week. Like pep rally pimps they have to pump up the team to go out and “win one for the Gipper!” But is this truly what the house of the Lord is to be like?
In trying to teach a young pastor to have the leadership and confidence skills he needed in order to minister and lead a small congregation, Paul reminds him by writing, “If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” If Timothy wanted to be used for noble purposes, to be “useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work,” he had to take care of the ignobility in his life. The sin that kept him from being God’s man. The same is true for you today dear brother and sister in the Lord. Unholiness is never attractive to God. While God still loves you, He cannot use you for His noble purposes until you take care of that which is ungodly in your life. Trying to manufacture holiness will not cut it either. Remember, “the Lord knows those who are His.” Those who are noble. Are you? You can be. Go to Him now and confess your sin and cleanse yourself for noble purposes.
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