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August 2006 Archives

August 1, 2006

Confirming Signs

Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked withy them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. mark 16:20

"Lord, show me a sign..."

How many times have I asked that? The truth is when we step out in faith, He will always confirm Himself with signs. We simply don't know how to see them.

An instantaneous answer to prayer - like feeling lonely and receiving a phone call moments later - like feeling overwhelmed at work and having a co-worker ask how she can help - these are signs of His work in our lives. But sometimes these are overlooked. They are discounted as coincidence or merely misunderstood altogether.

Father, how many signs do I miss every day? Too often I feel like a lone ship on the ocean. Open my eyes to see through the fog. Open my ears to hears the sounds of those I cannot see. Open my heart to recognize Your confirming work. Reign in my life today.

August 16, 2006

Examined Lives

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the word of life. 1 John 1:1

The account of an eyewitness is generally considered to be the best evidence. But over two thousand years have passed since Jesus walked the earth - since He died and rose again. There are many eyewitness accounts to His life and ministry, yet it seems too many people today are quick to discount what they themselves cannot see, hear, and touch.

Documents can be fabricated. Evidence can be manipulated. And entire generations can be deceived.

That's why the church is so important. How else will people believe if they don't see it for themselves? Christians need to live examined lives - lives that can be seen and studied - lives that prove Christ still walks the earth in us.

Lord, help me to live an authentic life that is evidence to Your existence. Help me to walk in the truth today.

August 17, 2006

I Want to Be Finished

But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:5-6

How many times have I heard people say, "God will never be finished with us in this lifetime?" It is encouraging to hear a man in his eighties speak these words, for while we are in the body, we will always be imperfect. My imperfections and failures remind me that I am part of the human condition. I am not alone in my frailty.

But sometimes - I want it now.

I want to be past the point of no return - past the point where evil desires cross into righteousness.

Am I saying that I want to be done with this life? That I am ready for heaven?

Well... yes.

Am I saying that I want my life to be over?

No.

John tells us how we can be made complete, how we can be made perfect, how we can be finished: to obey God's word - to live in Christ.

Yet how do we know we live in Christ? Because we act like Him. We walk as He did. We conduct our lives as He did.

Does this mean we should start hanging around with a group of outcasts - fishermen, tax collectors, sinners? Well... maybe. It means we start living with real people - people who are unafraid to show their frailties. It means we start living a life that is so real that others are attracted to the light that shines within us.

It means that when others see us, they see Jesus.

What did Jesus say? If one had seen Him, meaning Himself, he had seen the Father. Jesus lived in the Father, just as John challenges us to live in Christ. And despite his deity, Jesus was a man. If He could do it, so can we.

Lord, I truly want to abide in You. Soon the world is going to encroach - it already is, and I need You in order to survive it. Help me today to obey the Word. Help me today to walk as You did. Tomorrow can worry about itself.

August 18, 2006

Even for Just a Moment

No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. 1 John 3:6

Without an understanding of God's grace, certain verses can sure cause a lot of doubt. John's words seem to suggest that if we sin, we are not in Him - that maybe we aren't really saved. Even as Christians, sin will continue to be a struggle. What are we to do?

In truth, when we sin, we are not in Him. We have chosen to step outside of Him - outside of His protection - even for just a moment.

Yet there is hope.

By His grace, He is ALWAYS in us. That's the key! That is how we know we are saved. He will never leave us or forsake us - even for just a moment.

Lord, thank You for choosing me. There are times that I don't choose You, but my choice can never change You. I am made clean and holy by Your action alone - not mine. Help me to see You in all things, for when I see You, sin isn't even a choice.

August 21, 2006

On the Side of the Cliff

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9

Living through Christ...

Oh, how I wish that choosing Christ made things simpler. When we finally say, "Okay. Use me however You choose," our lives are opened to new and exciting opportunities that seem to stretch us further than we ever dreamed. And once we have been stretched, we need Christ all the more!

Lord, I feel like I have been climbing up the face of a mighty cliff. I haven't yet reached the top, but I am closer than ever before. Yet now I am frightened. The biggest challenges are still before me - greater responsibility at work, graduate classes, continued commitments that drain my energy.

I really need to understand what it is to live through You. There is no responsibility so great that You don't know the answers. Give me insight, clarity, and courage. I am anxious about moving. Will I fall? Will I succeed? I can't stay here - on the side of the cliff. Will You climb with me today?

August 22, 2006

What if it's the ONE?!

There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying he should pray about that. 1 John 5:16b

There are some verses in the Bible that, if taken out of context, can really shake things up a bit! Out of the blue, John refers to a sin that leads to death. Essentially, he reveals there is one unforgiveable sin.

A Christian could easily get stuck right here. He may wonder, "Wait! What if my sin is the ONE sin that cannot be forgiven?"

Without the whole of the Bible, we wouldn't know that this sin is to reject the Spirit of God. If we reject Him fully, there is no turning back.

Lord, I must admit that there are times I wonder. Could I have misunderstood? Is my sin the ONE?! Help me to understand the depth and breadth of Your grace. In Your grace, we find freedom from sin. In Your grace we find hope.

There is nowhere else I would rather be than with You.

August 23, 2006

Guilt by Association

Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work. 2 John 11

Guilt by association... A get-away driver may not have actually robbed a bank, but he is just as guilty. An accomplice to a murder may not have actually pulled the trigger, but he is just as guilty.

There are some who claim to be Christian, but their words associate them with the enemy. In my eyes, they are guilty of sin and will stand before the Father some day to explain why they thought they were right.

Some speak words of acceptance - not of people, but of sinful lifestyles. Their words lead many away from the truth.

Some speak words of disunity. Members from a Kansas church were recently in town to protest at a soldier's funeral. To protest! To raise banners claiming "God hates fags!" What a witness these people are - witness for hatred.

I hope that others only associate me with the truth. I want no part in the enemy's work. He wins far too often, and I long for the day of his final demise.

Lord, help me to be a witness to what is right - to love one another - to love ourselves - to love You.

About August 2006

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

July 2006 is the previous archive.

September 2006 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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