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Old 09-15-2012, 06:32 PM
 
489 posts, read 730,796 times
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The Potter Works Only with Soft Clay!

When I was younger, I used to go down to a potters house, and took pottery as well later on. Anyways, I was always fascinated to watch him make clay vessels. During those visits, I never saw a potter take a hardened lump of clay and put it on his wheel to make something out of it. He, just like every other potter in the world, used soft and tender clay to work with. So does God!

Man measures the quality and usefulness of a person by his education, ability and expertise. Yet God determines his true value by the condition of his heart; “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”(1 Samuel 16:7).

What happens if the clay is hard?

If the clay is hard, the potter will spend days pouring water on it and pounding it thoroughly until it becomes soft. It took God 20 long years of “pouring and pounding” until Jacob’s heart became soft enough. Moses needed 40 years of desert life to become the meekest man on earth (Numbers 12:3) who could lead Israel out of Egypt.

The bible warns us not to harden our hearts; “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 3.15). It is possible for us as believers to have a tender heart for a season, but then God speaks to us about an issue, to choose not to humble ourselves but rather to harden our hearts. This is not good place for us to be, because the Gospel of truth declares; “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

The Lord God will not just let us go. He will allow circumstances to pound us so our hearts will once again become soft and pliable. The people of Israel are the perfect example of this. Just think of how many times God allowed them to face famines, hardships, oppressions, defeat and captivity in order to soften their hearts and help them return to Him!

What causes our hearts to become hard?

Being poisoned by negative talk. One person in a church (congregation) or ministry is dissatisfied, bitter, critical, and unwilling to change. He/she starts to talk negatively and poisons others. Soon the atmosphere of love among the brothers and sisters is replaced by disunity, anger and hardness of heart toward each other and the Lord.

An elevated view of ourselves. We feel important because we do something significant for God's Kingdom, and we do not recognize that our heart is filled with pride, arrogance an d an exalted view of ourselves. Often the symptoms do not show up until years later when our heart is no longer soft in the Potter's hand.

Rebellion. Any form of rebellion is like a tiny seed that, if not dealt with, will grow and eventually harden our heart and bring destruction. It begins with a tiny issue or a thought like this one: “Who does he think he is to tell me what to do? My life is none of his business!” –and it ultimately ends in death. "Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but DO NOT see and ears to hear but DO NOT hear, for they are a rebellious people" (Ezekiel 12:2).

What should we do to keep our hearts soft?

Do not take God’s grace granted. Grace is given to those who are humble, not those who are right or feel indispensable.

Watch over your heart (Proverbs 4:23). Do not keep company with those who spread negative talk, sow disunity or have a rebellious spirit. Love them and pray for them, but have no part with them. Believe me, you and I are not strong enough to withstand the poison they spread. It is in the atmosphere, and we breathe it in whether we intend to or not.

Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21). Do not fight for your rights. Be willing to give up something. Learn to let it go…”Be Still”.

Do not think of yourself more highly than you should (Romans 12:3). Remember that the Lord gives all gifts, talents, and ministry that you have. Nothing is of you. It is all God’s grace.

Be careful from whom you receive your counsel. That is especially important when you are disappointed because your expectations are not met. Do not go to a brother or sister who is not mature in the Lord and who sympathizes and agrees with your complaints and tears. Instead, go to someone who is mature and who can help you see the hand of God and His purpose behind the things you face.

Repent and run to the cross. If need be, do this a thousand times a day to maintain the tenderness of your heart. Whenever you seek the limelight, want to take credit, get hurt or when your expectations are not fulfilled and your plans do not work out, do no fight; go to the cross.

God always seeks to do one thing with us on the Potter’s wheel –not to make us more powerful and famous, but to make us more like His Son, the Lord Christ Jesus, our "Christ".
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:12 PM
 
Location: New England
34,583 posts, read 22,801,814 times
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I am the potter ( the spiritual mind) you are the clay ? The natural mind)
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:36 PM
 
489 posts, read 730,796 times
Reputation: 161
“O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it." (Jeremiah 18:6-10)
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:36 AM
 
Location: US
30,417 posts, read 16,731,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother Michael View Post
The Potter Works Only with Soft Clay!

When I was younger, I used to go down to a potters house, and took pottery as well later on. Anyways, I was always fascinated to watch him make clay vessels. During those visits, I never saw a potter take a hardened lump of clay and put it on his wheel to make something out of it. He, just like every other potter in the world, used soft and tender clay to work with. So does God!
So, what do you think Paul was attempting to convey with that allegory?...
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