"Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work."
2 Timothy 2:20-21
My devotional reading this morning was full of counsel to get rid of the little compromises that render us useless for God’s best purposes. Another one was from Ecclesiastes: ”Dead flies make the perfumer's ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.”
Perfumes in ancient times were made by concentrating the essential oils of natural flowers, fruits, and plants. In the process, tiny little fruit-flies were attracted by the smell of the perfume. They would easily drown in the essential oils being extracted. But then their tiny, almost invisible, carcasses would add their own “essence” to the perfume and it would stink.
Foolish, sinful compromises in our hearts can ruin the pleasing aroma of service, even when we are otherwise being wise and honorable. We’ve all seen it happen. What’s hidden in the heart will make itself evident, one way or another.
I am forgiven by sheer grace. In Christ, God looks upon me as though I had never sinned.
Now I’ve been called to serve in His Kingdom. What kind of servant will I be? Much of my usefulness in the Kingdom will depend on getting rid of those little compromises. Like tiny little fruit-flies in the perfumer’s distilling process, hidden sins and foolish choices can limit my usefulness for God’s purpose.
Lord, who can discern his own errors? Clear me from hidden faults. Keep back your servant from presumptuous sins; don’t let them control me. As you have forgiven me for Jesus’ sake, cleanse me by the work of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles