II Timothy 2:19-21.
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his. And let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a large 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.
Did you notice who decides if you are to be a vessel of honor or not?
According to this scripture if we want to be a vessel of honor unto the Lord, we can be, but we must purge ourselves.
Now, I know you are thinking, "The blood of Jesus cleansed me from all unrighteousness."
Yes, it did. He paid your sin debt. He paid for man's treason.
But, there is also a cleansing of the heart that is up to us. A continual daily cleansing.
It is our responsibility to confess our sins and walk in holiness everyday.
II Corinthians 7:1 says, Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved. Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
The 6th chapter of II Corinthians tells us that we are the temple where God chooses to dwell.
I Corinthians 3:16 says, Know ye not that ye are the temple of God.
I Corinthians 6:19 says, Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.
These scriptures tell us that we are the temple that God chooses to dwell in and that he wants it to be clean.
The Lord cleansed this temple when I came to him, but now has placed the daily responsibility of keeping it clean in my hand.
He supplies all the cleaning material I need, but I must apply it.
Maybe I can express this in another manner.
JUNK BUILDS UP!
Have you ever built a new room or a new garage? It was clean and new, but things began to accumulate there. Finally in a 2 car garage there is no room for a car.
Like a teenager's room; it was clean and spacious when you moved them in, but now they can barely get in.
We really know it is time to clean the temple. Amen?
Sort out the junk.
Let's look at another scripture.
II Chronicles 29:1-5. Hezekiah commanded them to take out the trash.
Where is the temple?
Hezekiah began by opening the doors of the temple.
Where are the doors to your temple?
A lot of Christians have closed up the doors to the temple where the truth is concerned; their hearts.
Their hearts have become dark and cold; a storage place for the junk of the world.
Our opening text said: If a man purge himself.
In Luke chapter 15 we find a woman who had 10 coins. One was lost, but it was lost in the house.
You see what she lost was in the house, but she couldn't find it.
You may still be going to church, still hanging on, but you have discovered that you have lost something. Something is missing. Maybe your joy, your praise, or your prayer life is missing.
Don't get satisfied with 9 if God gave you 10!
The lady in the parable (1) lighted a candle, (2) sweep the house, (3) sought diligently, and she recovered that which was lost.
I believe it is time to open our hearts. Let the SON in and have a spiritual house cleaning.
Many times when we think of cleansing the temple we think of some awful sin.
But, I want to tell you today that often we have just allowed a lot of junk to accumulate. Junk like fear, worry, doubt, loneliness, depression, and bitterness.
These are all items we can do without.
I believe if we throw out the junk we will find our peace, our joy, and our praise again. And we can be a vessel unto honor.
What does it mean to be a vessel unto honor?
One way God honors us is by giving us authority.
For Jesus to share his authority and power with us is a very great honor.
The Lord honors us by giving us peace, joy, and by answering when we pray. He honors us by his fellowship; by allowing us to come boldly before his throne and with thanksgiving make our requests known.
But to receive honor we must walk in honor, not only before God, but also with each other.
One definition of the word honor is a manifested respect, a combination of kinship and respect at the same time.
God loves you. He respects your will. You can go to hell if you want to.
I am to love you and respect you, even if I disagree with you.
It is cleaning time. Is there some junk you need to unload today?
Would you like to make more room for Jesus?
Do you want to be a vessel of honor?
The choice is yours today.
Don't have a Bethlehem (overcrowded) heart.