by Rick Warren — December 15, 2021
From God’s Vision for the Rest of Your Life
“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 2:21 (ESV)
The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:21, “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” (ESV).
God uses all kinds of people. He uses shy people and outgoing people. He uses people of different races, ages, stages of life, and backgrounds. He uses men and women. God will use plain vessels, and he’ll use ornate vessels. He’ll use big vessels and small vessels.
But there is one thing that God will not use: He will not use a dirty vessel. You have to be clean on the inside. But here’s the good news: No matter who you are or what you’ve done, you can be made clean.
How do you do that? How do you become pure? You do it through a simple word: confession. Augustine, a Christian leader who lived a few hundred years after Jesus, said, “The confession of bad works is the beginning of good works.” The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing” (GNT).
The word “confess” in Greek is the word homologeo. Homo means “same,” and logeo means “to speak.” So homologeo literally means “to speak the same” as God does about my sin. It means you agree with him: “God, you’re right. It wasn’t a mistake. It was a sin. It was wrong.” It doesn’t mean you bargain with God (“I’ll never do it again”). It doesn’t mean you bribe God (“I promise to read my Bible every day if you’ll forgive me”).
You just admit your sin.
That may seem too simple to you. You may say, “All I’ve got to do is admit it, and God will forgive me?” Yes! It’s called grace.
Here’s what you can do if you really want to be used by God: Take time this week to sit down with a notebook or journal and ask God, “What’s wrong in my life? Show me. I’m going to write it down, and I’m going to admit it. I’m going to confess it to you.” Then, when God gives you an idea, write it down.
The first time I did this, I thought I was going to write a book! And I’ve done this many times since. Make a list, and then write 1 John 1:9 over the list and say, “God, I admit these sins to you. These are wrong. I don’t want them in my life.” Ask God to cleanse your life. God will forgive you!
This is the starting point to being used by God. You must purify your heart.