Have you ever been in a broken relationship? Chances are you have experienced the feeling of emotional drain a time or two in your life. When we are in the midst of a broken relationship it is hard to be our best. Often times the brokenness can consume us. Not only can the brokenness consume us but broken relationships can hinder our relationship with God.
If we have a problem or grievance with a friend or loved one we should resolve the problem as soon as possible. We are hypocrites if we claim to love God while we hate others. Our attitudes towards others reflect our relationship with God.
Matthew 5:23-24 - So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the alter in the temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the alter. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come offer your sacrifice to God.
Have you ever found your self traveling down a path that was harmful but made the decision to do it anyway? Perhaps, you had feelings of guilt and knew that what you were doing was wrong but the because you already made the decision to sin you continued on the path you were on.
A few years back in a time when I was working hard to make better decisions in my life and walk with the Lord I remember being invited to a cookout with some friends. I didn't see any harm in that so I made the decision to go. The problem began after I began to drink. I didn't have just one, before I knew it I found myself in a situation I didn't want to be in. I not only drank all night I continued my escapade clear into the next week. Yes, you heard right. What started as one innocent drink turned into 4 days of drinking and partying. By the time reality set in on my drive home, I felt an enormous amount of guilt and shame. I knew that what I had just done was wrong.
It was later the same day, while feeling complete shame and guilt. I decided to listen to a podcast to try to find some peace in my poor decision. I was reminded of the potter and the clay. Something I had heard several times in my life but never really understood. It was the first time that I actually realized how much our lives resemble a potter and the clay. We are the clay! Jesus is our potter! He is molding us and making us into a masterpiece.
When I think of clay and how it takes form it reminds me of the process it must go through before the final piece is made. During the forming process there are bumps and rough spots. Just as there are in our own lives. The potter does not stop his work when he comes across a bump. He keeps working through the rough spots. We can't give up when we come across a bump in the road. Just as the potter keeps working we must also work along side him and know he is with us, shaping and molding us.
There have been times in my life when I decided to get of the wheel for awhile and go my own way. Even in those moments the potter was waiting. Such as the time, I decided to go on my drinking escapade.
When clay is not being used it can dry up and get hard. However, when it becomes wet, it is once again able to be molded.
When I fell away from the Lord and made the decision to go my own way, my heart became hard and falling into sin was easy. But even during this time the potter "Jesus" was there waiting for me to get back on the wheel. He has a plan for each one of us.
Jeremiah 18:6 O Iseral, can I not do to you as this potter had done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand.
As the potter molded or shaped a clay pot on the potter's wheel, defects often appeared. The potter had the power over the clay, to permit the defects to remain or reshape the pit. Like-wise, God has power to reshape the nation to conform to his purposes. Our strategy should not be to become mindless and passive- one aspect of clay-but to be willing and receptive to God's impact on us. As we yield to God, he begins reshaping us into valuable vessels.
Have you ever struggled with something that you knew is wrong but you continued to do it anyway? I believe that this happens to all of us. There was a time in my life when I used to smoke. I knew it was bad for my health and harmful to my body but I did it anyway. I tried over and over to quit but every time I stopped it was only a short while until I picked the habit back up again only to find myself even more addicted than the last time. It was not until I fully surrendered this habit and asked God to give me the strength and to help me with this that I was able to quit completely. In my own strength I was not able to overcome anything. Live if full of battles and many times we try to fight them alone. God is waiting for us to call upon Him for help. Next time you find yourself in a battle, remember who is walking beside you waiting for you to call His name.
God makes it clear why we sin - it's a matter of the heart. Our heart is inclined toward sin from the time we are born. It is easy to fall into the routine of forgetting and forsaking God. But we can still choose weather or not to continue in sin. We can yield to a specific temptation, or we can ask God to help us resist temptation when it comes.
Jeremiah 17:9, 10 The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But, I the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.
"I can't believe it! They are suppose to be some big Christian! What do you think happened?"
Have you heard these lines before?
Did you know that becoming a CHRISTIAN does not make your life perfect! In fact, it often times brings even more struggle and hardship.
The very moment that Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, their eyes were opened and it brought sin into the world.
We live in a world were there are battels raging every single moment of every single day.
Just this week, I was reminded of how quick we are to judge others. We all struggle! It is easy to look at the life of someone else but the fact of the matter is that we need to spend less time focusing on the lives of others and work on the things we have going on in own life.
When I first made the decision to become a CHRISTIAN, my life was not all sunshine and roses. In fact, I really didn't feel much different at all. I just knew that I was tired of living the life I was living and chasing after happiness and always coming up empty! In the beginning I would go to church on Sunday and be all about me on Monday. It has taken me years to grow to the place where I am today and I still sin!
The further we grow in our walk with Christ the more he revels to us. We are all full of flaws. What we have to realize is that life is not about us judging one another. It is about Jesus. We get so caught up in ourselves that we forget the real purpose. Instead of casting judgment on one another next time we see our neighbor stumble, let's try to help them out instead.
We are not made to walk through this life alone.It is up to us to make a difference. Join me today in making a commitment to help not hurt!