December 3, 2023

Honorable Vessel

Pastor: Walt Beiser Series: Guest Speaker Topic: Guest Speakers Passage: 2 Timothy 1:1

Honorable Vessel

Walt Bieser

2 Timothy 2:19-21 19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this

seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names

the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but

also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for

dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is

dishonorable,[d] he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy,

useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

What is God using you for-is he using you, can he use you- are you his for

him to use?

Were you his for him to use but….what’s the but-

You sinned, you failed you messed up, you quit, you couldn’t do

it-it was to hard, some one said-you failed or you messed up, are too much

of a sinner God can’t use you. Are you really his?

Let’s talk about a few people God couldn’t use…or so it would seem

We are going to start out with Peter

Let’s read Luke 5:1-11

Luke 5:1-11 5 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him

to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and

he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and

were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was

Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down

and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking,

he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a

catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and tooknothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had

done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were

breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and

help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to

sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees,

saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who

were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had

taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were

partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now

on you will be catching men.”[a] 11 And when they had brought their boats to

land, they left everything and followed him.

Matthew 4 says “they left immediately and followed him”

See Peter acknowledges Christ right from the start……

in verse 8 he fell down at Jesus’s knees, and said Depart from me, for I am

a sinful man, O Lord. He knows he is a sinful man but what does he do…

without hesitation he follows Jesus.

Peter follows Jesus and is taught by him and witnesses miracles and all

that Jesus does. And remember in Matthew 14 Peter walks on water

Matthew 14:28-29 28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command

me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the

boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.

Peter is a firm follower of Christ. But what happens in

Matthew 16:21-23 let’s read

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to

Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and

scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took

him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord!

[e] This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Getbehind me, Satan! You are a hindrance[f] to me. For you are not setting

your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Now Peter wasn’t satan…he wasn’t possessed but what he was doing was

trying to hinder God’s plan…Jesus had to walk through this so God’s plan of

redemption could be fulfilled. But Peter didn’t understand he was thinking


He was thinking the thoughts of an ordinary man not of the divine-

incarnate Jesus. Peter was threatening to obstruct the divine will of God.

Jesus had to rebuke him/wake him up, get him thinking correctly. Peter

needed a wake up call to get his priorities straight…we don’t ever need a

wake up call-do we??

We can also be an adversary to the will of God can’t we?

How many times have we acted against the word of God-How many times

have we cheated-stretched the truth-gossiped-wanted something

someone else had- lusted and so on

Peter had gotten off track-but God put him back on track with Jesus’s


Peter wasn’t cast aside because of his failure because in

Matthew 17:1-7 17 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and

James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by

themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone

like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there

appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to

Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents

here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 He was still

speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice

from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son,[a] with whom I am well

pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on theirfaces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them,

saying, “Rise, and have no fear.”

See 6 days later after being called satan…. Peter was with Jesus and

witnessed the transfiguration…and when they were terrified Jesus

comforted them…he was showing Peter and the others love and

compassion just 6 days after rebuking him for trying to be a hindrance to

the divine plan.

Then in Matthew 26:69-75 we read about how Peter denies knowing

Jesus 3 times as Jesus said he would. (if need more read matt 26:69-75)

3 times Peter says “I do not know him-I don’t this man-I am not with HIM”

So we have Peter a disciple who walked with Jesus, who prayed with

Jesus, who broke bread with Jesus, who witnessed many miracles…he left

everything behind for Jesus…

He had many conversations with Jesus-----they didn’t just jump in

backseat, put on earbuds and ride, they walked miles and talked

He was a follower of Jesus…Remember In Matthew 16 Peter answers

Jesus’s question by responding in verse 16 Simon Peter replied, “You

are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Peter is a true believer in who Jesus is

continuing in

Matthew 16 chapters 18-19 8 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this

rock[b] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[c] shall not prevail

against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,

and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you

loose on earth shall be loosed[d] in heaven.Jesus is telling him Peter…I will build my church on you and Jesus is giving

him the keys to the Kingdom…wow think about that…we have all seen in

movies or on the news about some”great” person getting the “keys” to a

city but Peter he is told by Jesus I am giving you the keys to the

kingdom….Here is Peter being told this…the rock…-then he is called “satan”

and told get out of my way…then he said 3 times he didn’t know Jesus…So

that’s the end of Peter right…you can’t come back from that?—But it is not

the end…No not even close…Peter is forgiven for all that and what does he

do- he is used by God…he does exactly what Jesus said he would do…he

becomes the builder…He preaches on the day of Pentecost and 3000 were

added to the kingdom…

Peter was used mightily by God to advance the gospel and to proclaim

Christ even after his Failures


2 Timothy 2:21 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is

dishonorable,[d] he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy,

useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

When we think about a dishonorable vessel how could we not think about

Saul- - Saul was a Roman soldier who was given the task of persecuting

Christians …wiping out this sect, this movement. He was killing and

imprisoning followers of Christ…not a very honorable vessel,right?

But what happens- In Acts 9:1-22 We are told how Saul … becomes a

vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy…How he becomes Paul…useful

and ready for every good work.

See Saul had asked for authority to go to Damascus to capture Christ’s

followers and bind them and bring them back to Jerusalem…but on his way

he was knocked to the ground…and loses his sight and hears a voicesaying Saul why are you persecuting me? And its revealed to him that it is

Jesus and He commands Saul to enter the city and wait….Ananias comes

and visits Saul and lays hands on him and prays for him. Saul regains his

sight and is filled with the Holy Spirit. Then he was baptized and started

proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues saying that Jesus is the Son of God.

So Paul’s story: he does evil things for a living then is saved by God’s

grace and mercy and is used in countless meaningful ways. I say

countless because we don’t know how many people have heard his story

and found a similar saving grace in Jesus.

I mean think of the missionary journey that Paul went on. We read about

Paul and Barnabas and their journey in Acts.

So when I spoke with Pastor Kevin about what I was going to share today I

told him I was going to share on John Mark…So why then so much about

Peter-Paul and now mentioning Barnabas…Because they all play major

roles in John Marks life and like us they all were not perfect.

So who was John Mark (side not John was most common Hebrew name,

Mark most common Roman name). Actually there is not a lot of details in

the bible on John Mark.

In Acts12:12 we are introduced to John Mark. 12 When he(Peter) realized

this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name

was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.

Remember this is when Peter was imprisoned, and the Lord helped him

escape. Peter went straight to Mary’s house-John Mark’s mother. We

know they had met there many times because when Peter went to the gate

the servant girl who answered when he knocked recognized his voice.Mary’s house was a safe house if you will. Peter went straight there

because he knew others would be there.

So with all this activity in his mother’s house John Mark is exposed to the

most influential Christian leaders right in his own home.

and Mary his mother is related to Barnabas as we are told in Colossians

4:10 “Mark the cousin of Barnabas”

Mark would have heard them praying and teaching and we are told in Acts

13:5 when Paul and Barnabas went on their missionary journey they “had

John to assist them”

John Mark traveled with them hearing them proclaim and teach the

gospel. Then they came to Perga in Pamphylia.

Acts 13:13-14 13 Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and

came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to

Jerusalem, 14 but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia.

For some reason John Mark left and returned to Jerusalem. Why? Well,

let’s asks the scholars….they don’t know…There are many possible

explanations of why…he was afraid for his life, everything was getting

difficult and he wasn’t use to “roughing it”. He just quit and went home to

his mom.

The bible does not give a reason…we don’t know, all we know for sure is

that he left…he quit, he gave up…and Paul and Barnabas continued to

preach and proclaim without him.

let’s go to Acts 15:36-40 let’s readActs 15:36-40 6 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return

and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the

Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with

them John called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them

one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with

them to the work. 39 And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they

separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to

Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended

by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.

So Paul and Barnabas have a sharp dispute about John Mark…let’s just

think about that for a moment.

Paul and Barnabas did some great things together proclaiming Christ and

remember when Paul was converted who was it that spent time with him,

mentoring him and defended his conversion? It was Barnabas…so they

had history together, they had been through a lot. And if anyone should

give someone a second chance it was Paul. But he didn’t. Barnabas did.

Some say it was because John Mark was his relative

but from what we learn in scripture about Barnabas’s character is that he

was an encourager, and he trusted his discernment of people. We aren’t

told the why, but Barnabas wanted to take John Mark.

But for Paul to take such a hard stance…What did John Mark do? Like I

said we don’t know for sure, there are many theories, but we just don’t


I would like to throw a theory out there while reading about the theories

many missionary studies use John Mark as an example to be sure you are

called because in Acts it says set apart Saul and Barnabas for the work towhich I have called them…then it says and they had John Mark to assist

them. Does this mean it was their calling and not his…We don’t know…

What ties all the people that I have discussed together? They

proclaimed Christ but fell short, sinned, failed, messed up. And we know

that they believed, because we are told

Peter we are told in

Matthew 16:15-1615 He said (that is Jesus said)to them, “But who do you

say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the

living God.”

And we talked about his failures…Peter does what he was cleaned up and

set aside to do. Remember right from the start Peter said “I am a dirty

unhonorable vessel-Did Jesus listen-nope he told him follow me even

though he didn’t have his life together…an unhonorable vessel that would

be made honorable by Christ.

And Paul who was unhonorable made honorable…Paul is saved and

proclaims then I would say failed again when he judged and didn’t forgive

John Mark and let it cause a strife between himself and Barnabas. But

God still used him…he was cleaned up and set aside for good works…

There are many others who failed and God still used them. Here are some

examples from an Unknown Author.Do you feel like God couldn’t possibly use you? Remember:

~ Noah was a drunk

~ Abraham was too old

~ Isaac was a daydreamer

~ Jacob was a liar

~ Joseph was abused

~ Moses had a stuttering problem

~ Gideon was afraid

~ Samson had long hair and was a womanizer

~ Rahab was a prostitute

~ Jeremiah and Timothy were too young

~ David was an adulterer and a murderer

~ Elijah was suicidal

~ Isaiah preached naked

~ Jonah ran from God

~ Naomi was a widow

~ Job went bankrupt

~ John the Baptist ate bugs

~ Peter denied Christ

~ The disciples fell asleep while praying

~ Martha worried about everything

~ The Samaritan woman was divorced (more than once)

~ Zacchaeus was too small

~ Paul was too religious

~ Timothy had an ulcer~ Lazarus was dead!

***Unknown Author***

Where do you fit in the list.

Expand…where would you be…are you running from God, are you too old-

too young-afraid…….wherever you are on the list…what does God have to

say about us…he tells us in Matthew 5:14-16 lets read

Matthew 5;14-16 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill

cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket,

but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let

your light shine before others, so that[b] they may see your good works

and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

These examples did not hide their light because they were not perfect, or

because they failed…they were cleansed and set apart as holy ready for

every good work. They let their light shine, we need to let our lights shine…

Now back to John Mark…there is another reason not on the list. And that’s

the reason some say is why John Mark went home.

We learned that John Mark came from an influential Christian home.

Hearing and seeing, being around many followers of Christ. Whether he

met Jesus face to face is unknown and debated.

Give other details about John Mark : explain when referring to

Mark………….he is given credit with writing the gospel of Mark from Peter’s

account, and in that gospel was he the young man that on the night Jesuswas taken into custody was grabbed by a guard but escaped by running

out of his garment (only mentioned in his gospel) possibly the last supper

was in his house, his mother owned or looked after the garden of


But we know He was raised, emersed in Christianity. His mother was surly

a follower, he knew the stories- the answers and what he was supposed to

do. BUT was it real to him? Did he truly believe? Did he make Jesus his

own? Going on the missionary journey with Barnabas and Paul was what

he should have done/would have been expected to do. But did he truly

believe at this point? Again, we don’t know for sure, we were told others

were believers but at this point we were not told that he was.

See we can be brought up learning all the scriptures, know all the answers

to all the questions even walk the walk and do what we should be doing.

But if we don’t make the decision for ourselves it is meaningless. So could

it have been that now that he was seeing peoples lives changed when they

excepted Christ that he realized he hadn’t truly done that for himself and

was embarrassed/ashamed/afraid of what others would say… How they

would judge him. Could it have been to much to face…so he went home?

Now this is speculation because scripture does not say why he left. But is

this your story is this the reason you don’t think your name is on the list of

people who will be used?

There are a lot of reasons on this list that one would think would count us

out…..How’s that saying go “too heavenly minded to be any earthly

good….or is it or should it be also… earthly minded to be any heavenly

good. Let’s turn to Ephesians 2:1-10

Ephesians 2:1-10 2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which

you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of

the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of

disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our

flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by

nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.[b] 4 But[c] God, being richin mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we

were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace

you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him

in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might

show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ

Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not

your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one

may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good

works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

If you haven’t excepted him as your Lord and savior, it is a free gift, God is

rich in mercy, he loves us even when we are a dirty dishonorable vessels.

By his grace we are saved through faith in him. It is the gift of God.

And once you do, once you accept his free gift he will use you.

See John Mark…we don’t know when he got saved but he definitely did, he

was definitely a follower of Christ. We know because Paul tells us in 2

Timothy 4:11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for

he is very useful to me for ministry.

And In 1 Peter 5:13 Peter sends greetings from those who are with him

including Mark my son. Meaning my son in the faith.

So John Mark failed, he quit, he went home…but he became useful to Paul

in his ministry he studied under Peter. He is credited with writing the

Gospel of Mark based on Peter’s account.

My original question? What is God using you for-is he using you, can he

use you- are you his for him to use?

Were you his for him to use but….what was the but-

Whatever the reason…whatever the but is you can be cleaned Remember2 Timothy 2:21 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is

dishonorable,[d] he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy,

useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

And how do we cleanse ourselves?

1 John 1:9 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our

sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We ask him for forgiveness and he will…he will clean us make us

honorable, useful for every good work. He is waiting , wanting and


No place does it say we have to have everything in order before he will

except us…look back at Peter…not me Lord I am a sinner….no it says while

we were sinners Christ died for us.

He is how we become a clean vessel, he is how we or cleansed…He is how

we become more like him…it is in relationship with Him that we confess

and he is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us…..

No matter what season we are in…haven’t made him yours yet-just ask-just

how you are-just ask

You are his but now you can’t get past one of those reasons, those buts-

just ask-just how you are-just ask for forgiveness-repent….He will make you a vessel for honorable use

He will set you apart as Holy

You will be useful and ready for every good work

He will cleanse us/forgive us if we just ask

He will forgive you

He wants to use you

He can use you

He will use you