Good Evening to All!
Bible Challenge: Christ's Birth & Early Years Answers:
1. c) Judaea (Luke 2:4
2. Herod (Matthew 2:1)
3. a) Egypt (Matthew 2:13-14)
4. d) Simeon (Luke 2:25-26)
5. Anna (Luke 2:36-38
6. "God with us" (Matthew 1:23)
7. c) Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-50)
8. c) Increasing in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52)
9. d) the Holy Spirit (Matthew 4:1)
10. a) angels (Matthew 4:11)
The Potter's House-Molding of a Vessel
In case some of you may have noticed, I figured out that my posts were too long, especially on Sundays, when I did the Challenge and an inspirational piece or devotional also. I looked at my post tonight and realized that I had no comments, and I decided that is because people get tired of reading. For this reason, I moved the Inspirational piece from last night, (the bottom section) of the post to tonight's. I do have the answers to the challenge, but those won't take up too much time. Then we can get on with the "meat" of the matter. Yesterday morning before church, I check my e-mails as I always do. I had an e-mail from a friend who I have just come in contact with after a long period of time. She had read my blog and said she had a "thought pattern" and told me "Eventually Shaping a Life". I said I would think about it, and went to church. Then came the Sunday school Lesson. "The Potter's House- Molding of a Vessel. To me this was a confirmation that I was suppose to use this idea for my post. When I am "nudged" like that by two different sources that had nothing in common or had never met, to me that is important and I better take note. This is one reason I have changed up my format a little bit. Instead of using a devotional or inspirational book, I used the notes I made from our Sunday school lesson. I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know what you think.
I don't know if there are many if any of y'all out there that do pottery or even
Image by Old Shoe Woman via Flickrceramics, but we can liken ourselves to this process. This process takes patience and time. I used to do ceramics many years ago. Needless to say, I never got very good at it because I am definitely not a patient person. I cannot count the times I had to smash the clay down and start over before it was good enough to consider "firing painting and glazing". I don't remember what order those went in because I didn't do it very long. I gave up. Thank God, that He doesn't give up when we are too stubborn to do what He wants us to do.
God works on us daily to mold us into what He wants us to be, but if we resist, he just keeps nudging and adjusting us. He doesn't throw us away. He does however, reach in and scoop out the dirty unusable clay or things within us and cleans us up. That is what baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost is all about. Cleansing us of our sins, (bringing us out of the mire or clay pit), and molding us into vessels He can use.
An example of His patience and molding is when Judah would continually go against God's will. He had to keep tearing them down and rebuilding them, because they would not listen. They continued to rebel.
When God places us o the Potter's wheel, His will will be carried out as He begins to mold us, but it is up to us to keep within His will. He will not force us. Are we guilty of reaching out and slapping the hand of the potter? This is what we are doing when we go against what He wants us to do, when we go against how He wants us to act. Just like when the Israelites whined and complained about being in the desert when it was their own fault in the first place. They got tired of manna, so they whined, God then gave them quail, they got tired of it so they whined. They made what I would consider "stupid" comments, like "we should have stayed in Egypt, we could have had "good things to eat" (paraphrasing). That is slapping the hand of the Creator. I want to go to this party, and I know I won't feel like getting up to go to church, but that's ok. That's slapping the hand of God. Wearing see-through blouses or "micro-mini skirts when the Bible tells us to dress MODESTLY, that's slapping the hand our Father. Any time we knowingly do what the Bible says not to or even implies that it's not a good idea is just like slapping the hand of God, by us saying "I'm doing just fine. I don't want your help. I can do it by myself. My Sunday School teacher called it "slapping the hand of God because he was explaining the "molding process" and the potter analogy. I call it a slap in God's Face. If He didn't intend for us to do what He asked, He would not have inspired the writers of the Bible to include His commands, parables, or proverbs.
So, next time you or you children want to do certain things and you feel a tug at your conscience or spirit (whichever you call it), remember the "slap on the hand or the face of God. How do you feel when you children deliberately disobey you, or maybe you haven't really expressed an absolute definitive no, but you feel your children would know what you want them to do, and they ignore it? It's the same with God.
I hope you have enjoyed this different type of post. I don't know how often I will do this because I like the "professional devotionals and inspirational stories. I'm always afraid of saying something wrong or offending someone, but with a professional book behind me for some silly reason I feel more confident. Let me know what you think. Which do you like better?
The following scriptures were all from our Sunday School lesson, however I just touched on some of it. Our lesson went into detail about not only the molding of the clay, but the "heart of the vessel ( the inside of the pottery), the lip and mouth (the outer rim and opening) of the vessel. It was an awesome lesson and believe it or not he covered it in one hour. I gave you all of the scriptures in case you were interested in looking them up and mulling them over in your hearts.
The scripture references which my Sunday School teacher gave us were:
Psalm 40:1-2, 51:10, 63:3-5, 66:18, 71:23, 139:23-24
Jeremiah 17:9-12, 18:4
1 Samuel 2:21
I chose this specific picture of the Bible because as our Father molds us and shapes us into what He wants us to be, we begin to develop a personal intimate relationship with Him and we become His bride.
I wasn't sure if this would be considered Inspirational or Devotional, so I placed it under both. What would be your take on it?
Good Night to All and May God Bless!