Thus says the Lord:
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight,” says the Lord.
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:20-1)
My sweetie got home yesterday after a trip to Findlay (Alan thought his daddy was in Finland.) He had a good trip, made two presentations, one of which was very well-received, and that gave him an understandable boost. Who doesn’t like to be recognized for hard work, and a job well done? The trick is not allowing that to degenerate into prideful egotism. So how do we let go of that desire for encouragement, affirmation and attention (and I admit, mine is pretty strong) in favor of humble submission to God?
1. Revere God. The verses in Jeremiah outline what we should get excited about- our great God who demonstrates His lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness in the earth. I know the Lord, and He reveals Himself to me, wants to be known.
2. Examine my motives. Why am I doing this? Is it to show off my wisdom, or talent? (I don’t have much might.) Is it to get rich? (I’m laughing. I may be naïve, but I do know enough about the publishing industry, to know this is not the ticket to vast wealth.) My heart’s desire is to show how practical, how vast in scope God’s word is.
3. Cleanse myself. Technically, I can’t cleanse myself, but I can be diligent about asking for forgiveness and cleansing from God. His Word is key to becoming conformed to the image of Christ.
Another time we’ll look at sanctified, useful and prepared…