Monday, May 3, 2010
1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : 2 "Go down to
the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." 3 So I went
down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But
the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the
potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6 "O house of Israel, can I
not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in
the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.
We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
Giving up control may be difficult for us. When we get ready for God
to remove our shortcomings, we still may want to control how he does
it. We're so used to calling the shots that we'll ask for God's help
as long as he does it on our terms. We may demand that the changes
happen on our timetable, or in the order we feel ready to give them
up, or at a speed convenient to us.
God doesn't work that way. That is why humility is such an important
part of this step. God told Jeremiah to go to the house of the potter
to learn a lesson. Jeremiah said, "I did as he told me and found the
potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn
out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and
started over. Then the Lord gave me this message: . . . Can I not do
to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the
potter's hand, so are you in my hand" (Jeremiah 18:3-6). God told
Isaiah, "What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a
clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who
shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you're doing it wrong!' Does the pot
exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?'?" (Isaiah 45:9).
When we put our lives in God's hands he will reshape them as he sees
fit. It is our attitude of humility that allows us to accept the fact
that he is the Creator. Our new life may be similar to the one we left
behind, or entirely different. God is the master craftsman. Whatever
he does, we can trust that he will recreate our lives beautifully once
we get out of his way!
When we ask him to, God reshapes our lives into something wonderful.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of
the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very
beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said,
"Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the
Hittite?" Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and
he slept with her... —2 Samuel 11:2-4a
Perhaps you enjoy getting out on the water and fishing: The sun
welcoming a new day towards the east, crisp air on your cheeks, the
reflection on the water, and the enjoyment and relaxation of spending
time outdoors. It's you versus nature out there, a chance to catch
your dinner…or at least boast to your friends that you could have
eaten your catch for dinner! Have you ever considered the fish?
Now, the fish is experiencing a different kind of day. Swimming along
in his wet wonderland, minding his own business, the fish suddenly
ascends upon a snack! A nice, juicy-looking morsel floats along
inviting the fish - tempting him - to take a bite. So it does. Next
thing he knows he's fighting for life, gasping for water, but being
pulled closer and closer to death. For on the other side of his snack
is a hook cleverly hidden by his favorite treat.
Perhaps that is what happened to David when he saw Bathsheba bathing
on the roof. It may have seemed innocent at first, just inquiring
about whom the woman was. But then, the little nibble wasn't enough.
He wanted more. He nibbles more and then he is hooked. He sends for
her, and sleeps with another man's wife. Hardly what you expect from a
king who the Bible says is a man after God's own heart.
The truth is that we all are sinners. We lower our standards and
values just for a little taste. The next thing we know, we have fallen
into the trap of sin and don't know how we got there. It starts with a
small lie or a casual glance. One bad choice leads to a whole slew of
other bad choices and we are trapped. Temptation and sin often come in
enticing packages. The problem is that once you have taken a bite, it
gets easier and easier to fall into sin and harder and harder to stop
pleasing yourself. My advice to you and the fish: Don't nibble. Swim
What are the hooks in your life? Recognizing them can help you avoid
bites of temptation.
What can you do to make sure you think about choices and their effects
beyond just their immediate gratification?
1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Corinthians 10:13
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:31-32 NLT
When a problem behavior or relationship is developing in our lives, we don't want to face the truth about our actions because of the painful feelings honesty would bring. Instead, we try using defenses to cover the truth or excuse ourselves. Defenses can be used appropriately, but when we use them to avoid facing the truth about ourselves, they make delusion even darker.
Each person has a favorite set of defenses. A few of the commonly used ones are blaming, denying, explaining, joking, justifying, minimizing and rationalizing.
What defenses have you used? And are you using any right now to cover up a problem in your life?
Are you hiding from the truth in some area of your life? Take a giant step: Be honest with yourself. Be honest with Jesus. Be honest with others. Jesus is the Truth … and the truth will set you free!
Father, thank you for your promise that the truth will set me free. Please set me free from delusions in my life. Set me free to become all that you want me to be. In Jesus' name …
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
A scoffer seeks Wisdom in vain [for his very attitude blinds and deafens him to it], but knowledge is easy to him who [being teachable] understands. Proverbs 14:6 AMP
Thoughts for Today
Are you "protecting" yourself by denying a problem in your life?
Denial is the refusal to believe the truth about our actions. Most people with life-controlling problems at some point begin to deny having a problem. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they refuse to admit the truth. Instead, they tend to rationalize their behavior. "It's not that bad." "I'm not hurting anyone." "I don't really have a problem."
Continued denial leads to a state of delusion, a condition where people no longer recognize the truth about their actions. They sincerely believe their own excuses and become blind to the truth. In the end, denial of the truth will lead to destruction.
Consider this …
Are you hiding from a problem in your life? Are you like the "scoffer" in today's Psalm—asking God (or friends) for guidance but being blinded and deafened by your attitude … by your denial of the truth?
Do you love the struggling person in your life enough to let go … and lean on God?
I confess, I have been denying a personal struggle. My old life is surfacing and for some time I have been justifying my actions. Don't get me wrong, I still have guilty convictions and the Lord never failed to remind me and provide a way out for me. But I didn't listen to Him. Now I want to admit that, Yes! This is a big problem.
Lord I want to say sorry and I ask your healing mercy be upon my life today. Help me deny, reject, refuse, and run away from the everyday temptation that the enemy shoots at me. I admit I cannot do this alone, I need You! As a response Lord I commit myself to strongly fight this temptation using your word everyday. I will faithfully read my Bible, pray, and write my journal everyday. Help me Lord. I know I am already victorious and I thank You Lord for a new start that you have blessed me with. I commit all this to You, in Jesus name. AMEN!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world
This temptation is at the heart of the New Age Movement: the temptation to direct our own destiny, to rule our own world, to be our own god. Satan teased Eve concerning the forbidden fruit: "The day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5). Satan's offer was an exaggerated call to our God-instilled inclination to rule. "Don't be satisfied ruling under God," he seemed to say, "when you have the potential to be like God." When Eve was convinced that "the tree was desirable to make one wise" (verse 6), she and Adam ate.
Satan's promise that the couple would become like God was nothing more than a lie. When Adam and Eve yielded to his temptation, they didn't become the gods of this world as he claimed they would. Instead, they fell from their position of rulership with God, and Satan became the god of this world by default--exactly as he had planned.
Satan tried the same trick with Jesus: "All [the kingdoms of the world and their glory] will I give You, if You fall down and worship me" (Matthew 4:9). When you think about it, Satan's offer was pretty ridiculous. Why would Jesus be tempted to worship Satan in exchange for the world when He already owned the universe? So He replied, "Begone, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and serve Him only'" (verse 10).
The temptation of the pride of life is intended to steer us away from the worship of God and destroy our obedience to God by urging us to become our own god. Whenever you feel that you don't need God's help or direction, that you can handle your life without consulting Him, that you don't need to bow the knee to anyone, beware: That's the pride of life. Whenever you stop worshipping and serving God, you are in reality worshipping and serving Satan--which is what he wants more than anything else. Instead, your life should be characterized by worshipful humility and obedience to God (1 Peter 5:5-11; John 15:8-10).