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. 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 Ti 2:20–21).
Lesson 4: "Plan To Be Useful"
By Charles B. Knight
Now that we have identified our life purpose and our place in the Master’s kingdom, we must strive to become intentional with our spiritual lives. As Christians, our time with the Master is extremely important, yet too often it’s the first thing neglected when life gets busy. We must plan for this.
Do you want to go deeper in your relationship with the Lord? Do you want to walk a little closer with Jesus? Do you want to be more consistent with your prayer life? Then now is the time to plan for it! Some of us are big believers in setting goals and being intentional in our secular lives— it should be no different in our spiritual lives ! If we want to be successful, we must plan to be. “For the dream comes through much effort…” (Ecclesiastes 5:3).
The success of our spirituality and relationship with God takes effort on our part. Paul told the Christians in Philippi, “...work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Then Paul gives them the reason behind this, “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13).
The life of the Christian is to be productive and fruitful. How can you use your God-given purpose and abilities to become more intentional and useful to the Master?
Living My Spiritual Life Intentionally
Putting God first—living according to His word—serves the purpose of God and also the best interests of Christians, by giving them true purpose and wisdom for daily living.
1) Purpose—what I am called to accomplish in life (Romans 1:1). What is my purpose?
2) Passion—a sense of enthusiasm about my purpose and direction (Acts 20:24; 21:13) How can I become more passionate?
3) Goals—where I want to go (Phil 3:9-14). Where do I want to go in my spiritual life?
4) Plans—what I am going to do to get there (1 Cor 9:24-27).
5) Priorities—how I will arrange my plans to get there (James 4:13-17).
6) Schedule—when I will actually do it (Gal 1:11-24; 2:1-9).
7) Execution—just do it! (Acts 26:19-25).
8) Evaluation—assessment of what happened, and how I can improve the process. (1 Cor 4:3-4; 2 Cor 13:5)
“Plans are established by counsel…” Proverbs 20:18, (ESV)
1) Make a list of all the things that you find yourself doing--things that do not really make a significant difference. Don't give your life to the things on that list.
2) Make a second list of the things that are truly and eternally important. Give your time and energy to the things on this list.
3) Write down the most important things you have to do a day in advance. Number them in the order of their true importance. The first thing tomorrow morning, start working on item Number 1 and stay with it until it is completed. Then take item Number 2 the same way. Then Number 3 and so on. Don’t worry if you don’t complete everything on the schedule. At least you will have completed the most important things before getting to the less important ones.
How Can I Become More Intentional In My Spiritual Life? Consider the following Scriptures:
1) Matthew 16:23.
2) Ezra 7:1-10.
3) James 1:22-25.
4) Luke 6:12; 1 Thes 5:17.
Lesson 4 Questions
Answer the following questions below. Be sure to fully read each passage of Scripture.
1) How was Jesus like us? (Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:15).
2) In the midst of all Jesus dealt with in life, how was He able to live His life intentionally for the purpose the Father sent Him? (Hebrews 12:2-3).
3) What must I do to develop this type of focused mindset? (Luke 9:21-26).
4) What can God do if my plans are out of step with His plans? (Psa 33:10).
5) When will my plans in life be established (Proverbs 16:1-3).
6) Why is it so important that I live my life as God intended and to the fullest of my God given abilities? (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
7) What paths should I walk in and why? (Jeremiah 6:16)
Choose one or more of the following Challenges below. Share the results your challenge with others, and encourage them to challenge themselves.
1) Plan your schedule for a week, planning spiritual things first!
2) Begin working on a spiritual growth-goal.
3) Plan to conduct yourself in a more positive way towards someone you find it hard to get along with, regardless of how they behave.
4) Write out a three page prayer to the Lord about living more intentionally in His kingdom.