Theme: God Uses Clean Vessels
Vessels Fit for the Master's Use!
For a video presentation of this object lesson see https://youtu.be/ZGS9IQkIBFg
God Only Uses a Clean Vessel
Hello boys and girls!
Today our Bible lesson is on vessels.
What is a vessel?
Sometimes, ships are called vessels (such as a sailing vessel, etc.). Show picture of a Sailboat.
A vessel is a container, and a sailing vessel contains sailors!
But today we’re not talking about boats; we’re talking about other kinds of vessels.
The word vessel is used of a container, for example, a bowl or a glass, or a pitcher, and these vessels hold things like water or milk. Some vessels are huge like a barrel or a cask. (Show picture of barrel). I don’t know if you have ever been to Lyman’s Orchards (Middlefield, CT). They have a country store called “The Apple Barrel.” In the store they have a big barrel full of apple cider with a faucet on the bottom so you can get a drink of cider. A barrel is a large vessel.
In Bible times vessels would usually be made out of clay that could be baked. You had to be careful with those kind of clay or earthen vessels because they could break. Some vessels were made out of wood. Kings would have vessels that were made out of silver and gold. Today many of our vessels are made out of glass or porcelain or plastic.
I’d like to read two Bible verses about vessels. 2 Timothy chapter 2, verses 20-21:
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 honor and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
These verses are saying that we can be vessels for God; God wants to use us. Just as a glass can be filled with water, so God wants to fill our lives and He wants to work in and through us.
However, there is one major problem! God does not want to use a vessel that is unclean. God wants to use a clean vessel. And you know, we are the same way. When we get a bowl from the kitchen for our cereal or a glass for our milk, we want that bowl to be clean and we want the glass to be clean also. Who would want to eat out of filthy vessels?
Object lesson: Take a glass bowl and contaminate it with various things: 1) ink 2) oil 3) dirt
4) mustard 5) worm 6) stink bug 7) dog food 8) packet of Arby’s sauce; etc. You could think of other things to dirty up this glass.
I think you would agree with me that this vessel is very dirty and yucky and gross. What if you were in a restaurant and they served you ice water in a vessel like this? You would say, “Waitress, I would like a clean glass; this glass is a mess.” You see, we don’t want to use vessels that are dirty. It’s the same with God. God does not want to use a dirty vessel. God is holy and He wants to work through a clean vessel. Now some vessels might be just a little bit dirty. Here is a glass full of water and the glass is perfectly clean. There’s only one problem. [Put a dead fly or some other bug in the glass of water.] The glass has a dead fly in it. “Waitress, I need a clean glass; this one has a dead fly in it.” What if the waitress says, “That’s just a little tiny fly; that shouldn’t bother you. Everything else is clean.” “No, waitress, I don’t want even a little fly in my glass. I want you to bring me a clean glass of water, please.”
Once again this reminds us that we don’t like to use unclean vessels. It’s the same with God. He wants to fill us with Himself and work through us and use us, but we need to be clean.
So what does all this mean? First, it means that an unsaved person is not a clean vessel for God to use. An unsaved person is filthy because of his sins. Isaiah 64:6—“We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” This is what we all were like when we were unsaved: “UNCLEAN, UNCLEAN!”
But when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, God does a miracle: the filthy person becomes clean and we are washed in the blood of the Lamb. God forgives us of all our sins and He makes us clean, completely. We can then be a clean vessel that God can use.
But boys and girls, sometimes, even as Christians, we can still sin. We can get our eyes off the Lord and we can do things that are wrong. Even though we love the Lord and want to please Him, there are times when we fail to do what is right, and we can become unclean vessels once again. That doesn’t mean that the saved person who sins becomes unsaved. No, he is still a child of God, but he is no longer a vessel that God wants to use. He needs to be cleansed.
So what does he need to do? He doesn’t need to get saved all over again; he’s already saved and a child of God. But there is something he needs to do. The answer is found in 1 John 1:9–
“If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
What does it mean to confess our sins? It simply means that we must admit to God that what we have done is wrong. “Lord, I was not kind to my brother today and I said some things I should not have said. Thank You that You can cleanse me and make me a clean vessel that You can fill.”
And also, when we sin against another person, we can confess our sins to that person. To your brother you can say, “I wasn’t kind to you today and I said things I should not have said, and this was wrong. I want you to forgive me.” We need to get things right with God and we need to get things right with others who we have hurt or harmed.
And then you can be a clean vessel that is fit for the Master’s use!
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