The Potter and the Play Doh

Do you remember playing with Play-Doh as a child?  I remember that my brother and I had a selection of Play-Doh of various colors, plus a “presser” that allowed you to raise a handle, insert a ball of Play-Doh and press down on the handle to extrude a “rope” of Play-Doh in various shapes, depending upon the type of pattern you had selected.  We had great fun with it…until we forgot to close the Play-Doh container lids tightly!  The Play-Doh dried out and hardened into a lump of colored rock!  Hardened Play-Doh is no fun to a child who isn’t allowed to throw rocks!

 

I was reminded of my childhood experience with Play-Doh when I read from Isaiah, chapter 64 and verse 8, “We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” 

 

Isaiah says that God is the potter and we are clay.  The potter is able to shape the clay only if it is pliable.  My response to Isaiah’s words is to consider whether I am pliable clay or an unusable lump.  I suspect that the difference rests in my attitude toward God.  Am I willing to let God change me or do I resist His work in my life?  Am I willing to listen to what God is saying to me and am I willing to do what He tells me to do?  If so, then God is able to create something amazing in my life.  If not, I condemn myself to being an unusable lump. 

 

Being shaped by God is not always comfortable…often He stretches us out of our comfort zone!   But for us to resist God’s work in our live makes as much sense as clay complaining about the potter’s craftsmanship.  So decide today to entrust your life to the hands of the Master Potter!  You will be amazed at what He will create in you!

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The Quest – Day 23

This is the devotional for Wednesday, October 18, 2006 which is the 23rd day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 23 of Frank Moore’s insightful book, The Power To Be Free.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

 

Day 23 – Heart Cleansing for Purity

Purity requires God to cleanse our hearts.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 NIV)

Yesterday, our quest highlighted the purity illustrated in Isaiah’s life. But we must not assume that purity can be ours simply by deciding that we will pursue it. We need much more than focused willpower.

Take a moment to read Psalm 51:1-12 in preparation for today’s study. The first part of the passage reveals our need for God’s forgiveness. Then verse 5 calls attention to the fact that our hearts need cleansing too. From infancy we prefer our own interests, even if they go against God’s will for our lives. In verse 6 David says, “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” The problem of sin is solved only at its source where the desire to sin begins. David calls for a divine washing of his inner nature. He seeks a transformation to change him from the inside out.

Here lies the heart of the matter. God’s forgiveness of our sins is essential, but forgiveness is never enough. David prays for God to deal decisively with his sinful nature. This prayer for purity asks God for three things: (1) a clean heart, (2) a right spirit, (3) a sense of God’s Spirit living within him.

As in David’s time, people still come into this world with a desire to please themselves. They use free will to choose their own ways, and they wake up one day deeper in sin than they realized was possible. Yes, more than anything they need forgiveness for their acts of sinning. Once forgiven, they also need God to cleanse their hearts of the desire to sin or serve self.

The good news is: God can help us; He provides two cleansings!

 

The memory verse for this week is Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders podcast at www.buildyourfaith.net. For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org.

If you were unable to attend Sunday’s service, focusing on Discovery 3 of the Quest, or if you’d like to hear previous messages in The Quest series, please sign up for our Faith Nazarene Church podcast. You will find the link at www.buildyourfaith.net.

Build your faith today by asking God to cleanse your heart!

The Quest – Day 22

This is the devotional for Tuesday, October 17, 2006 which is the 22nd day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 22 of Frank Moore’s wonderful book, The Power To Be Free.

If you were unable to attend Sunday’s service, focusing on Discovery 3 of the Quest, or if you’d like to hear previous messages in The Quest series, please sign up for our Faith Nazarene Church podcast. You will find the link at www.buildyourfaith.net.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 22 – Burn It Up!

God’s fire brings purity.

“Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.’” (Isaiah 6:6-7 NIV)

Author Frank Moore recounts that during his first year in seminary he worked at a medical center sterilizing surgical instruments used in the operating rooms. He followed strict quality-control procedures; one mistake could endanger a patient’s life. He learned that high temperatures for an extended period of time kill all that contaminates. That’s why the Bible uses fire as a symbol for purity.

One passage that uses fire to symbolize purity is found in Isaiah 6:1-7. When Isaiah saw how holy and spotless God appeared, he immediately looked at himself. He did not like what he saw; he didn’t measure up. Notice in this passage God’s use of fire and its purifying properties. And notice how Isaiah’s close encounter with the presence of Holy God transformed him.

We discussed on Day 5 the fulfillment of Jesus’ Mount of Olives promise to His disciples. The Spirit came upon them in ways they could not doubt. Twenty years later in Jerusalem, Peter recounted again what the Spirit did in their hearts on the Day of Pentecost. Peter said the Spirit “purified their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:9). Remember the second symbol on the Day of Pentecost? Fire. So, we see again, God used His fire to bring purity.

Our hearts draw us toward purity. We ask ourselves, “Where can I experience the purity for the life I’ve longed for?” Today’s Bible lesson reminds us: God is the source of purity. Only His fire can truly purify our hearts. What might He want to purge from your heart? Let Isaiah and the disciples motivate you to open yourself to His purging fire today.

The memory verse for this week is Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders podcast at www.buildyourfaith.net. For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org.

Build your faith today by asking God to purify your heart. Then receive His purity by faith.