2 Timothy: 20-21: In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets - some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing. (The Message)
Last October, while attending my church's Women's Retreat, I picked out from a tub of rolled up Scriptures 2 Timothy. It was an actual torn page out of a Bible so it was front and back which covered chapters 1-3. I knew instantly why I had chosen this one; why God designed for me only to read this Book. What I love about it is every time I re-read it, a different verse jumps out at me. Whatever I am going through, there are words in these few chapters that always seem to be exactly what I need to hear. And this morning was no exception.
I pulled out my Message Bible to compare the verses and somehow I just understood verses 20 and 21 better in The Message version. It's simple and to the point which totally describes me in a nut shell!
A lot of people struggle with knowing what God has called them to do. Is it a ministry? Do I lead a Bible Study in my church? Do I volunteer with a local ministry? Sometimes the thinking overwhelms us and then we just end up doing nothing because we don't want to get ahead of God. Excuses, excuses! I think this Scripture explains plainly what we ALL are supposed to be doing. And that is being a blessing to others. However that comes about, in our everyday lives, at work, with our family and friends, we are to be a blessing to others.
The more I read this, the more I kept asking, "How do I become the kind of container God can use?" First, I have to open my mind. I have to get out of my own way and realize that maybe this time, I don't need to be refined and proper to reach someone. Maybe the way to be a blessing to someone is get down and dirty. Maybe I have to go into the dark alleys where the trash is kept. Maybe I have to get out of my comfort zone and go where I usually don't. God is looking for containers He can use to present gifts to hurting people. But I bet most people expect it to come in a special golden box and not a cardboard box. It reminds me of the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. They finally find the Knight who guards the cup that Jesus drank out of at the Last Supper. All these beautiful and ornate goblets were displayed yet it was the small wooden cup that was the winner. God doesn't need the bright and fancy things of this world to bring people to Him. He Himself is bright and fancy...all that other stuff just gets in the way of His awesome Glory!
2 Timothy 3:17 I think goes great with the above referenced Scripture. It's a great ending to this message. I believe it gives us the perfect equation to accomplish becoming the container God wants us to become. "Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us." How do you know what God has for you to do? You get in His Word. He will put together and shape you. We are called to reach those who are hurting and lost. They may be in the dirty streets where light no longer shines. You may not speak as a refined and educated pastor but if you go and present yourself as something God has put together, it won't matter what you sound or look like, your container will be a blessing!
Who is God asking you to bless this week?