The Golden Cup and Disciplined Athlete

SCRIPTURE

2 Timothy 2:20-22

20 In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. 21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.

22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

 2 Timothy 2:24-25

24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth.

OBSERVATION / APPLICATION

Paul gives us two pictures a bowl and a baller. A utensil and a someone who is disciplined in running.

Both have the quality of being used for honorable tasks. A utensil made of gold has gone through extensive purification to become fine and fit for noble use. Likewise, a runner knows when to run, how to run, and where to run.

Keep Yourself Pure, Run from Lustful Stimulation (any kind of greed that might incline your heart), Pursue Righteous Living (pursue Jesus, His example, teaching, and the Holy Spirit), Pursue Faithfulness, Love and Peace (when we have a love and faith in Christ their is a reciprocating love and a peace that encompasses all anxiety, your confidence is in Him), Have Companionship with others who call on the Lord (breathing life into one another, building up and encouraging in the Lord, there is beauty in the community of the brethren [decided to get old school in my speech, but really, when a group of believers are together, its no longer about the Mariners or the wind — the topic is Christ and His devotion to us and others. His gentle pursuit of us, His thoughtful beckoning of our hearts that draws us to Him, His

Because of Him, we are then able to to Gently and Patiently lead and listen and guide others.

PRAYER

Father, help me to see how to pursue you and chase you more vehemently. Help me to lean on you and depend on you. And help me to see the opportunities I have in being more patient with others, kind and gentle, and how to hear your voice of correction in my life that I may live in your will not mine. Help me Father to be used by you like a golden cup for your noble purposes and like an athlete running to you, from his weaknesses, help me to pursue you with all that I am. Amen.

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Refreshing Sweetness

Philippians 1:11

May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

 Observation / Application

There is fruit in our salvation. I like that they call it fruit. Fruit is usually sweet and tasty. Its refreshing and often a treat. Unaltered, fruit is fantastic the way it is, I’m glad this is the word picture Paul used to express what God does in us as we truly walk as followers of Christ.

The Fruit of our Salvation is the ‘Righteous character’. What is that? This tasty, refreshing, sweet taste we leave in people’s mouths is a character produced as we walk out our lives with Jesus.

As we live this out, we bring much glory to God and because of it people will be attracted to Him. Refreshing Sweetness.

I love how Eugene Peterson puts it in his paraphrased, devotional interpretation of Scriptures:

“So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.” [MSG 1:9-11]

Prayer 

Jesus, help me to live this out. Help me to allow life’s pressures to create in me a character that is sweet and tasty to those that live around me; my wife and family and the people I entrusted to lead. Amen.