Honor & Duty
by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of May 25, 2014
"Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?” –Romans 9:21
One day, as I interviewed a well-known Christian businesswoman, she said that before she stepped out on a new venture, she prayed Romans 9:21, submitting herself fully to Almighty God, asking Him to use her for common or honorable use, according to His will.
She was brave!
She was willing to do anything for God, never mind her status in her profession. She was led by The Spirit. And I love that she distinguished between the two—common and honorable—as does God in His Romans 9:21 passage.
With a yielded heart like this, she couldn’t lose.
Years after our interview, I came across 2 Timothy 2:21:
"Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work."
So we see here that we and God’s Kingdom benefit from living holy and that there is a correlation between honor and duty unto The Lord. God meets us with His grace to sanctify us and to enable us to do His good works. God uses us for honorable things when we choose to step away from defilement and towards God.
But how to we cleanse or purify ourselves? 1 John 3:3 tells us that everyone who has their "...hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." The Greek word for “hope” in this verse transliterates into “elpis,” which is defined as expectation, trust and confidence.
The Greek transliteration for “cleanses” in 2 Timothy 2:21 is “ekkathairo,” which means to cleanse out thoroughly. (Other versions of the Bible use the words “purifies” and “purges.”) The Greek transliteration for “useful” in this scripture is “euchrestos,” which means serviceable and very profitable.
This Christian businesswoman was very focused on God and her venture. She was led by God. He had ordered her steps in her venture. And at one point, what appeared to be a disappointing dead end, suddenly proved to be one of God’s most profitable opportunities.
She had faith! She gave her whole self!
This is what God says about givers…
"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." -2 Corinthians 9:8
"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:19
This Christian businesswoman’s venture turned out to be one of her most profitable. And the benefits that God provided through His grace flowed over to scores of other people’s lives. She understood duty and endured her assignment to completion. She stayed focused on what God instructed her to do. And she did it His way, even when she had moments of not understanding along her path. In the end, God honored her publically. She gained wisdom and understanding. And she has now moved onto another good work as led by The Lord.
I love what 2 Timothy 2:3-5 tells us…
"Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules."
How have you seen honor and duty prove out in your life? What good work is God assigning to you?
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ. This devotional was adapted from Margaret's latest book, "Enduring Grace," to be released soon.
Originally published Sunday, 25 May 2014.