Sing like Pottery that’s taken out of the Fire

a1 pottery in kilnThe anticipation of getting to see our finished clay pottery was overwhelming. It was almost like being a young child before we were able to open Christmas presents. We had gone to the Potter’s House and learned about the process from start to finish. Then as if with God’s divine grace the potter let each of us young students make our own piece of pottery. But due to the curing and drying time that it entailed before the firing we left them at the potter’s shop. Now a month later and once they were done being fired in the kiln, they were delivered to our art classroom. The buzz of the news went through the school like a wild fire in the dry prairie.

In 2 Tim 2:20-22 Paul writes young Timothy and uses the allegory of a house and furniture to our spiritual man saying, “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work”. Paul in his exhorting Timothy brings out the truth that there are things in our lives that will bring honor to God and His purposes and then there are also things that bring dishonor.

If we will embrace the cleansing and working of God, the Master potter, in our lives we will be purged from anything dishonoring and become vessels of honor. Paul let’s us know that we have a responsibility ourselves as we submit to the potters forming and shaping in our lives. When we yield to His workings then we become useful to the Master and are equipped for His work. To the Ephesians Paul shares this same thought in Eph 2:10, where we read, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”. Also to the Roman believers Paul says, “Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor”? (Rom 9:20-21)

As I am often taken back to the memory of that tour of the potter’s shop, where I remember the potter saying how the drying time of the clay pottery was so crucial and important. He said it might seem boring, as it should take between 1 to 2 weeks of just sitting and drying, but that you don’t want to hurry the process. When it is prematurely quickened most often it will bring cracks and damage to the clay pot, ending in returning to the soaking and reforming which adds much more time to the process. But when its done right the dry clay pottery goes into the kiln. The kiln is a oven that will perfectly fire the pottery from 1800 up to 2200 degrees. Then to bring beauty and brilliance it is glazed and fired again. When the piece of pottery comes out of the fiery kiln you can tap it with a utensil and it will bring forth a beautiful sound.

In our lives we can see God’s commitment to developing us into vessels of Honor in the same process as the natural potter does to His pottery. We will have times of sitting and drying and seasons of extreme heat being turned up in our lives. Peter says in 1 Peter 4:12-13, “do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice…”. When we embrace the fires in our life, keeping our eyes on Jesus we will be as the pot that sings. Glorifying the Lord!

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place?

images-7The multitudes of Israelites made their way through the wildness as they headed to worship their God. These former slaves who had never walked with their heads up, now for the first time walk as free, healthy and blessed people. In a matter of hours their world had been totally turned right side up as the God of their fathers delivered them through signs and wonders at the hands of Moses. Words can’t express the feelings of gratitude that these mothers, fathers and children were experiencing as they made their way through the wilderness to give glory and worship to their God.

But then, we see God instructs Moses in Ex.14:1-2, to turn the Israelites and have them “camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea”. In effect the children of Israel were asked to backtrack and go back in the same direction that


Being in a tight spot without Christ leads to failure, but if we have Christ, there will be deliverance and victory   (tweet)


they had just traveled. Their path would take them in a direction placing them with the Red Sea on one side, and the wilderness and mountains on the other sides. In other words they were going to be in a predicament. This new encampment would put them in a less than vulnerable place before the enemy who was now pursuing them. The children of God were now between a rock and a hard place. What was God up to anyway?

Before these once shackled ex-slaves could even begin to enjoy their freedom, the dust from Pharaohs six hundred chariots and horsemen gave signal of their change of mind and fast arrival to kill and destroy them.(Vs.7-9) In Ex.14:10 it says that God’s children became greatly afraid when they saw the coming Egyptian army.

Maybe the complaints and murmuring of the Israelites were true, that there wasn’t enough graves in Egypt, so Moses brought them to the wilderness to die (Vs.11-15) or was God up to something? It says in Ex 14:4 that God said, “I will gain honor over Pharaoh … that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.” We see that


At the Red Sea God would use the vessel of deliverance for his children to also destroy the Egyptian army.    (tweet)


God planned to show that He was God almighty not only to His covenant people but to their enemies also. God had set up this whole scenario for His purposes!

Moses encouraged the people in vs. 13-14 saying, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord”. He goes on to say that after God fights for them that they will never see this enemy again.

Even with the hopeless circumstances to the natural eye, God’s word was to “go forward”! But how could they? The impassable Red Sea was there, and this was way before the story of Peter walking on the water. God had it all planned out and would use the vessel of deliverance for his children to also destroy the Egyptian Continue reading