Exciting new beginnings – each of our lives are dotted with these amazing opportunities. This past weekend our family celebrated with Ellie Grace as she experienced a milestone. Ellie turned 13.
We gathered at Kurt’s familys’ “barn” at the farm in Illinois for a tea party with a purpose. Every young lady was given her own unique china cup with the reference 2 Timothy 2:20-22 inscribed on the bottom. We explored the differences between those who are called to live life like a piece of fine china and those who choose instead to embrace a paper-plate lifestyle.
Valuable and precious, china dishes are set aside for special purposes. We handle them with tremendous care and derive great enjoyment from their beauty, sparkle and one-of-a-kind design. Many times, these pieces become heirlooms passed down from one generation to the next.
In contrast, paper products are cheap, disposable and common. Some are noticeably plain while others have a short-lived attractiveness that once marred cannot be restored.
Ellie and her young friends were encouraged to see themselves through their Heavenly Father eyes; to understand and believe that they have each truly been designed as a beautiful, valuable and uniquely special treasure for the pleasure of the King. They were challenged to forsake the common practices so many young people are living for today and instead set themselves aside for the honorable purposes of their Master.
Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.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.Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:20-22)
Still, we have to remember that even china cups grow dusty and dirty in the real world. How can these young ladies possibly thrive as fragile china heirlooms in today’s harsh and hedonistic culture? Can it be done?
According to the book of Acts, it can. Acts begins with a milestone celebration of its own: the birthday of the church. The Father pours out His Holy Spirit just as Jesus promised and the church is born. China-cup believers, once fragile with fear, hiding out from angry authorities, are transformed into vessels set aside for the Master’s use, boldly empowered by the Holy Ghost!
Luke wrote Acts to be sure we understood that it’s what’s inside the cup that matters. The Holy Spirit came to indwell and empower each of God’s children. As we are filled up with Him, we can live lives of honor, bringing glory to our Lord.