Hello My Friend,
The Christian life may not always be the easy life, but it is a life of victory. No matter what we go through, Jesus is right there. No matter how many times we want to give up, Jesus is right there, no matter how much we try to do things without Him, Jesus is right there, no matter how many times we mess up, Jesus is right there. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” – I John 5:4-5,13.
“that ye may know that ye have eternal life,” It is one thing to get saved, many do that, and since salvation is not based on our works we need nothing more than that, but it is another to make Him LORD of our lives. When we choose to allow Christ to live in and through us, God finds great joy in shaping and molding us into an image reflecting His Son. Through Jeremiah, God uses the illustration of a potter and clay to explain this, we can think of God as the Potter and we are the clay, He is molding and shaping us on a pottery wheel, it is not always easy allowing Him to mold us, sometimes we are going to even mar His design, but as long as we stay on the wheel He will continue to reshape us until He gets us just the way He wants us.
“And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.” – Jeremiah 18:4-10.
“as seemed good to the potter to make it.” Sometimes God waits until we are just the right shape before He reveals certain things to us. God is a visual God, He wants us to see the picture, while some things He only wants us to see by faith others are by sight. We need to understand that when we allow Christ to live in and through our lives that we are His vessel, we are the clay, He is the potter, we are in His hands, and what mighty and good hands they are. What better hands to be in? We must understand that God’s judgment was not the result of one or two people rebelling against Him, this was a multitude, priests, workers, kings, princes, and laymen, they were even turning to false gods, and had no remorse whatsoever for the lives they were living. Again, using the illustration of the potters clay, this time it has already been formed into a vessel, God tells them that He is going to break Israel and it will no longer be made whole again.
“Thus saith the LORD, Go and get a potter’s earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests; And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle. Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents; They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind: Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee, And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter’s vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury. Thus will I do unto this place, saith the LORD, and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet:” – Jeremiah 19:,3-5,10-12.
“neither came it into my mind:” The things that these people were doing were so evil that God would never allow them, they were giving their own children as sacrifices. People love to put false doctrine in God’s mouth, and the sad thing is so many believe their lies over the truth. I believe that the one thing that infuriates God the most is not the unbeliever, but the believer that creates Him in their own image, the one who proclaims His name, and yet is the complete opposite of everything He stands for. Every soul is precious to God, He would not have created any of us if He did not believe that, we are so precious to Him that the only option to save us from our sin is redemption, and since He values every life He chose to give Himself as a sacrifice, through His Son. “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” – John 10:28-30.
After years of quandaries from God similar to what Jeremiah was expressing I have come to the conclusion that if you give your life to Christ you literally become an enemy to the world, and you will face many hardships. However, great blessings come in spite of those who try to bring us down. Jeremiah, after illustrating the broken vessel to the elders, got arrested and then released, while grieving he ponders the affliction he was facing.
“O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten. But, O LORD of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause. Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.” – Jeremiah 20:7-9,11-13.
“But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones,” When God has something for us to say, He will not stop nudging at us until we do. There are times in my life when I just want to do what I want and do not want to hear what God has to say on the matter, but He always has a way of reminding me that I cannot live the way I want to live because Christ lives in me. Let me tell you, persecution is often one of the elements God uses to mold and shape us, He does not do it to punish us, but to refine us. While our body might be tempted and tried, our soul cannot be touched, so while we may suffer in this life, those who reject Christ face much more suffering, their body and soul. God assures them that while they will be judged, if they do as He says they will live, but if they do not they will die.
“And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey. For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.” – Jeremiah 21:8-10.
“I set before you the way of life,” We have two choices, follow Christ and live or follow the world and die. We may not understand God’s ways, we may not understand why we struggle trying to live a decent and moral life, we may not understand why we are hated and made to suffer for others sins, but we can understand that God always has a reason for what He allows and His way always leads to life. In our lifetime on earth, God molds, shapes, flattens, and makes us into the image of His Son, it is the trials that we go through that form us. We need not fear anything man can do to us because no matter what happens we will be with Christ. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” – Romans 8:28-30.
Jesus Christ Magnified: “But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.” – Jeremiah 20:11.
Today’s Prayer: God, I realize that every thing I go through is not always punishment, but simply You molding and shaping me into the image of Your Son. I know that there is no way I will ever be perfect, but I have Your perfect Son in me to help mold me into a vessel of honor. Lord, give me Your power, mercy, and grace to endure the struggles I face, Your strength to stand with You through them all, mold me and shape me so I can be used of You for whatever purpose You need me, and keep me faithful as I allow Him to work in and through me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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