If you keep yourself pure . . . your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work (v.21).
Have you ever been dining at a restaurant—sitting before a plate of appetizing, mouth-watering food, when suddenly you discovered (to your horror) that your utensils were encrusted with food from a previous patron? Yuck! That plate of food suddenly didn’t appear to be so delicious after all. Upset, perhaps even angry, you likely expected a set of clean utensils, the meal to be replaced, an apology, or even a full refund.Just as we won’t use dirty utensils, God won’t use us if we’re not “clean.” Timothy was told by Paul that usefulness is contingent upon cleanliness. “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” (2 Timothy 2:21). Our cleansing must precede our service for God (Numbers 8:21-22; Isaiah 6:5-8; Jeremiah 15:19). Purity precedes utility.We must do two things to become cleansed, sanctified, and useful utensils: First, we should “run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22). These are passions or desires that begin in youth, but don’t end when we move into adulthood. We don’t outgrow them. Instead, they may continue to plague us as adults—often with greater regularity and intensity. But we’re to resist more than sexual temptation. John wrote that we’re also to run from all wrong desires—the lure of pleasures, power, position, possessions, and pride (1 John 2:15-16).Second, we’re to run after “righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace” and “the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts” (2 Timothy 2:22).Cleansed and useful Christians are persistent runners, continually fleeing evil and pursuing a godly life (1 Timothy 6:11).
What “youthful lusts” are you battling even now? How will you resist them? What “good work” can you do for the Master this week?