In the last post, we looked at Jeremiah 18:1-10. Notice that God “reworked the clay into another vessel as it seemed good to the potter to do” (v.4).
· Why do we question the design God is working into our lives? It is our pride.
· Do we think we know better that God for our lives, marriages, family and church?
· Do we allow human ideas, methods, and programs dictate what we will “allow” God to do with us?
· We don’t like what He is doing to us.
But I am learning – God has a perfect plan and purpose, and His design that He is working into my life has one goal; that He can use me for His purpose – to bring Him eternal glory! His hands make a “vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master…, ready for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21).
God has put His hands on my life that has caused pain and I almost lost sight of why. Thankfully, He has applied the water of the Holy Spirit to soften my “clay” so He can shape my life to bring Him glory. Ask God to enlighten “the eyes of your heart that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you” (Ephesians 1:18) to bring Him glory!
In Jeremiah 18:1-10; Romans 9:19-24; 2 Corinthians 4:7-12, God uses the analogy of clay in the Potter’s hand to illustrate how He wants to mold and shape us according to His design and purpose. One of the most importance elements in keeping the clay flexible in the Potter’s hand is water (the Holy Spirit). Without continual application of the Holy Spirit to our lives, we will become brittle and resist God’s shaping hand on us.
A lump of clay that refuses to be softened by water (the Holy Spirit) will become useless and perhaps even rejected as a vessel "honorable...set apart as holy, useful for the master" (2 Timothy 2:21). Read also 1 Corinthians 9:27.
_By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
BARKIN LADI, NIGERIA (ANS) -- Compass Direct News (CDN) is reporting that Fulani Muslim herdsmen along with Muslim soldiers have killed at least 45 ethnic Berom Christians in Plateau state in the past week, Christians in this northern-central Nigerian town said. Shocking scene of Christians burned alive in Nigeria's central Plateau in a recent incident
(Photo: AllVoices) Smaller attacks beginning on Nov. 20, reportedly over allegations by Fulani Muslims of cattle theft, preceded an attack on a Barkin Ladi church on Wednesday (Nov. 23) that killed four Christians, and an assault the next day left 35 Christians dead in Barkin Ladi and nearby Kwok village, according to area Christian leaders. CDN went on to say that attendance at church services was decimated yesterday as thousands of Christians have left the area. In the attack on Thursday (Nov. 24), the Fulani Muslims were shouting "Allahu Akbar [God is greater]," said farmer Choji Pamjamo, 51. David Gyang, 51, an elder for the Church of Christ in Nigeria Barkin Ladi church, said Muslims set off a religious crisis by attacking Christians at the church site on Wednesday night (Nov. 23) and then launching the major offensive the next morning.. "Some of the Christian victims in this attack that I know include a Christian police officer, one Mr. Bulus, who is the station officer of the Barkin Ladi police station," Gyang said. "He was inside his house on that day, and these Muslims broke the walls of his room and went inside to kill him and his son." Sources told Compass that along with 26 Christians killed in Kwok village, nine were killed in the attack on Barkin Ladi. Compass found that the area attacks on Christians began Nov. 20 with the killing of three Christians outside Barkin Ladi, and then two Christians in the town were killed on Nov. 21. The next day, a Christian was beheaded behind a popular hotel in the town known as the White House, sources said. For more information, please go to: www.compassdirect.org
Comment by Tim, Go and Reconcile Ministries:
How can we continue to look on from the sidelines to the 100 million plus killed in Africa, mostly brothers and sisters in Christ? Six million dead in the Congo, six million Christians murdered, raped, and starved or take Sudan, two million Christians have been killed by Muslims, or how about having the highest mortality rates in the world and could go on and on, not to mention the suffering women which broke my heart when there.
Though billions in aid has been sent from the West, the aid itself is now seen as part of the systemic problem that keeps Africa and the church from moving forward. Africa is an object lesson and a case study of all the things you should not do both the global world powers and the Church. In our effort to fix the mess which we helped make, the global community and church has flooded the continent with foreign funds and resources, thereby destroying local markets and creating ongoing dependency and corruption. We must learn from our mistakes and seek or should I say, "desire" the most effective strategies for the establishment of self-supporting and self-propagating church planting movements. Unfortunately, there are still mission organizations and churches that continue to promote the same mission strategies that created dependency and corruption not only in the African Church but all over Asia, like India. Please read all about the situation in Africa at www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/current Your heart will break but you will also have renewed hope in what our Savior is doing today in and through those who are willing to change.
There is a glimmer of hope as we teach and see a few return to a biblical model of church planting and growth not dependent on money and the West which often, with sincerity and good motivates, teach how to do God's work without the Holy Spirit. We know, yes, we know enough now about what God uses to create and sustain these Church Planting Movements. (See David Garrisons book :Church Planting Movements) The question, do we really believe this or not?
Brothers and Sisters, the facts do not lie. I must admit that at times I get so frustrated when you cannot even get others to even talk about this as a problem in India or Africa let alone to start trying to discover a solution. It is a new day, Habakkuk 1:5 is being fulfilled before our very eyes. The earth is filling with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord 2:14. Let us join our Father who is at work all around us. Lord, give us a broken heart for particularly Africa. How can we continue any longer by the sidelines watching our brothers and sisters be destroyed simply because they do not have oil. Anyway, we press on entrusting ourselves to Him Who is faithful and Who WILL build His Church. In Our Savior's Love, Tim
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