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May 2006 Archives

May 2, 2006

Too Hard to Trim

So, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert." Hebrews 3:7

How are our hearts hardened? Do we suddenly wake up one morning and say, "Today, my heart is hardened!"

Of course not. A heart is hardened gradually.

Little by little, before we even realize it is happening, we become dry and hard. Like moist clay that isn't well covered, the living water in us merely evaporates.

Lord, I feel like I'm drying out - bit by bit. This morning, I discovered several pieces of pottery that weren't well covered. It might be too late. Sometimes, wrapping them tightly after spraying them can save them. Other times, it is best to start at the beginning.

Where am I? Am I worth salvaging? Or is it time to crush me and start again? Wrap me tightly, Father. Holy Spirit, douse me in Your Living Water, so I might become soft enough to trim. I've felt so disconnected - not alone, but disconnected and dry. Help me to come alive again.

(Postscript... the pieces were too dry to save. What does that mean, Lord?)

May 4, 2006

Priceless Faith

For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Hebrews 4:2

Hearing the truth - even knowing and believing the truth - is absolutely worthless unless it is combined with faith.

Faith is living out what is believed. Faith requires holding fast to the truth depite circumstance - believing when everyone else questions the outcome. Those who walk the truth, who seem to eat, sleep, and breathe it, are the true heroes in this world. Their willingness to live out what they believe has an amazing way of impacting those around them.

Lord, I have a friend who seems to live his faith in ways that bring great glory to You. His faith has touched me - held me at times, and I am a better man for it. Thank You for those in my life who have done more than hear the message. Help me to combine what I know with what I believe. Help me to see that I am a man of great value. Help me to be a man of priceless faith.

May 6, 2006

Get Real!

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Hebrews 6:12

Faith and patience...

How well do I display these? Would others imitate me? Or would they question the authenticity of my Christian walk?

The other day I had a friend tell me that I have much more impact when I am simply being myself. When I try to say all the right things or present myself as wiser than I might be, it doesn't help others as much as the times when I am simply real. My honesty about my shortcomings and my empathy for others can touch lives in ways that analyzing a situation will never do. One of my greatest fears, however, is the fear of rejection. How can I risk it?

What I am learning is that truly authentic living draws others to us. Rejection results from wearing the mask we think is necessary to be accepted.

Lord, help me to be a man of faith and patience. Make me one that others would imitate. Help me to be real.

May 7, 2006

Who would be the lesser?

And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater. Hebrews 7:7

There are some men in the Bible that I look forward to meeting. Melchizedek is one of those that I want to sit with for hours to discuss how God worked in his life. He was a great men - a priest by virtue of God's choice, not merely a bloodline. His actions blessed Abraham, the father of many nations.

Yet, I don't want to only be blessed by Melchizedek. I want to bless him. Each of us is called to greatness by the holy blood of Christ. So when that day comes, I will not only hear stories of God's love, I will share them.

Lord, thank You for Your amazing love and grace. Thank You for the growth in my life. Continue to make me a man of greatness. Show me how to bless those who are lesser. Make them great by the blood of Your Son.

May 8, 2006

Forgive and Forget

"For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8:12

Why do we so often live our lives based upon unremembered sins?

God's grace covers everything - from the simplest white lie uttered from the lips of a child to the conscious choice of an adult to stray into darkness. There is no sin so great that He cannot forgive it. There is no sin so great that He cannot forget it. All that matters to Him is His choice to forgive and forget.

Lord, for some reason I often feel like a man who is condemned to die for his sin - condemned by things You choose to forget. What could be more foolish than putting an innocent man on death row? Why do we try so hard to ensure guilt beyond a reasonable doubt for those who are sentenced to die?

I am guilty!

Yet, in Your eyes, I am innocent.

Death is not my future. Life is my sentence, eternal life to be lived in Your service - in Your presence. Help me to grasp the truth of my eternal calling. Help me to start living my sentence today. What a blessing it is to serve You! Help me to receive. Help me to forgive. Help me to forget.

May 20, 2006

He Remembers!

...so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time; not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Hebrews 9:28

Waiting for someone can sometimes be difficult. Will he remember me when he finds me?

For someone who seems to command such a great deal of attention, or so I have been told, I so easily feel forgotten. My whole life, I have lived in fear of being forgotten - of disappearing - of living a life no one would remember. At my very core, I am afraid of being inconsequential, of being unimportant, of having no impact on those around me.

Three years ago, I met a little boy who brightened my soul at a time I needed it most. I met him a month after the darkest valley of my life. He was only two, but he made me feel quite significant. He attached himself to me. He looked for me - asked where I was whenever we were apart.

I will never forget the power of his words upon finding me one afternoon. "There you are! I've found you!" Those simple words were a gift to a man who felt completely lost and forgotten.

Well, this weekend I had the opportunity to see this young boy once again. To expect a five-year old to remember you from three years ago is unreasonable, so I wasn't disappointed when he didn't proclaim, "Hey! I remember you."

But this morning, I recalled: he didn't know me by my name. His uncle and I share the same name, so I had a nickname. I ran into him as he went with his father and brother to breakfast. When I asked if he remembered Timbo, his eyes brightened a little; he turned to his brother and quietly said, "He's the guy who plays the flute."

He remembers me!

Lord, I am waiting for the day of Your return. I am waiting to hear Your voice proclaim, "There you are! I've found you!" Thank You for helping me see that I will never be forgotten - that I am not inconsequential. Help me to live a life of great impact. May others find You because of the Light that shines in me.

May 21, 2006

The Incredible Shrinking Man

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Hebrews 10:39

Do I have what it takes to make it through the challenges of life?

Will I be remembered as one who shrinks - as the incredible shrinking man? Or will I be thought of as one who persevered - who fulfilled God's plan in life?

Lord, my only hope is Your Holy Spirit. When I feel alone, I am vulnerable to the enemy. I am more prone to lean on sin to save me. But sin does not save. Sin destroys. How do we so easily believe the enemy's lies? How can we believe that the pleasures of this life - the escapes from this life - can save us from its turmoil?

Father, I'm weary. I feel alone - despite Your Amazing Spirit. Will You show Yourself to me?

I believe.

May 28, 2006

Look Ahead

If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:15-16

It is good to remember the past, but we cannot live in it. There is so much in store for the future, but we can never reach it if our eyes are forever looking back. Unless we seek the new life God has promised - unless our eyes are focused on what is ahead, we will continually be trapped in the old.

Lord, there are times that I miss my old life. Foolishly, I seem to mourn the loss of my secret sins. I long for the days when my private life was spent hidden away in dark places. I can barely conceive what it is to live constantly in the light, but the light is what You desire.

Father, help me to remember the places from whence I came, but help me to seek the new places of Your design. Help me to remember the pains of my old life and not only the pleasures. The consequence of my actions are too great to pay again. Help me to be holy as You are holy. Help me to look ahead.

May 30, 2006

Bitter Roots

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15

Bitter roots... How do we remove them without damaging the good roots? How do we encourage the growth of new roots once the bitter have been removed?

Lord, there are many bitter roots that were allowed to grow in my family. It's interesting that bitter roots were planted by my grandfather in the heart of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl - a time when nothing would grow. Yet, they grew and became a heritage for the next generation. These very roots were intertwined with the good in me, but by Your grace, they have been cut out.

Even so, I feel a little lost.

Help me, Father. I feel like an uprooted tree. If the good roots are not replanted, I fear I will wither away. You have been so real to me. I know You haven't moved, yet I lack the clarity to see You - to feel You - to know Your very heart. Help me to experience Your grace. Help me to share it, so none will miss it.

May 31, 2006

Strengthened by Grace

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of now value to those who eat them. Hebrews 13:9

The Christian life seems to be plagued with one thing over any other: weakness. We do the wrong thing. We say the wrong thing. We think the wrong thing.

Why?

Because we are weak. We do not live out the strength that dwells within us. We do not call upon the Spirit when we are in a bind.

So how can we overcome this weakness? Are there spiritual exercises that will make us strong? The truth is: there are many things that seem to help - prayer, meditation, fasting, time in the Word. But at our core, we are human. We will always be trapped in weakness.

Our only hope is grace. God's grace gives us the strength to carry the heaviest of burdens.

Lord, thank You for making the way for me. Nothing I do can make me stronger. You have already done it for me. Help me to be strengthened by Your grace.

About May 2006

This page contains all entries posted to The Potter's Hand in May 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2006 is the previous archive.

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