The Potter’s House “Just a lump of clay”

The Potters House Part 1 “Just a Lump of Clay”

(first in a six part series) 

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: ‘Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Jeremiah 18:1-2

Have you ever been soaked, cut, kneaded, slammed, stretched, molded, put out to dry, then gone through the fire, covered with slime and into the fire again???

I am honored to be friends with potters Marty and Sheila McLendon. They offered the opportunity to come to their new pottery shed and ‘make’ something. My thoughts at this invitation were that I would go over one afternoon, pick up a piece of clay and shape it into a lovely bowl. Then, a few days later I would run by and pick up the finished product, my exquisite masterpiece, and proclaim, “Look what I did!”

Not so fast!!!  Marty, the wonderful teacher that he is, allowed me the privilege to work with the clay from start to finish. And work I did! The Lord told Jeremiah to go to the Potter’s house and listen. The Hebrew word there is Shama’ which means to hear with the intent to obey, discern, perceive, understand and then to publish, make it known. He had much to teach Jeremiah and much to teach me as well.

Before ever touching the clay, Marty had me draw and design this piece, the finished product! Oh! You mean I needed to know what the finished product would look like when I finished? You mean this piece of lumpy, gray clay held within it a design that only I knew? You mean I must know the end from the beginning, to have a plan for this piece of dirt? Yes, Ruthie, go to the Potter’s house, I want you to understand more fully not only who I am but how intimately we are connected!

As I was preparing to work with this clay I realized that indeed it was I who would choose the clay, process it, design and shape it. Everything about this piece was MY CHOICE. The destiny of this lump of clay was in my heart and mind before it was in my hand. Isn’t that just like our Father. We were in his heart and mind before we ever came to be. Before we were born, we already had a purpose and destiny! We were already loved, cared for, and the way of salvation was already opened to us before we were shaped in our mother’s womb. (Psm 139)  So my friend, You are no accident! You are one of a kind! You have His fingerprint in the core of your very being! You were made by him and for him, designed by his hand and shaped for His purposes, your destiny! You were his choice! And Oh! How he loves you.

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First they appear, then they are gone!

 

Redemptive Gifts Part 2-Servant, Like the atmosphere, invisible but essential!

(In this series we will take a quick look at the characteristics of each individual redemptive gift. Please see ‘Redemptive Gift’ in the menu at the top of the page for an explanation of “Redemptive Gifts” teaching.)

First they appear, then they are gone!

Who was that masked man/woman doing the dishes, sweeping the floor, keeping the nursery, and setting up the communion table? They appear, then they are gone, and very few remember their name. But we all benefit from their ability to see what needs to be done, and then does it!

And so it is with the Servant Redemptive gift. They are usually in the background serving, busy, never saying no, but very essential in every sense of the word. They are the oil that is not seen but keeps everything running smoothly.

Esther. Joseph, the husband of Mary. Ananias who prayed for Paul. Each was quick to obey, step up to the plate when needed, and then disappeared from sight when the task was fulfilled. And most of the time they stood in a place to save others from death. You, redemptive gift servant, are available, quick to obey and most of the time in the background like the atmosphere, invisible yet essential!

These hard workers enjoy meeting the practical needs of others, especially leaders. Because they usually don’t feel worthy of honor and have great difficulty saying “No,” servants many times are abused, taken for granted, and go basically unrecognized or honored for the great worth they bring to the Body of Christ.

Being alert to the likes and dislikes of others, meeting practical needs and by putting ‘extra flourishes and finishing touches’ on their tasks, they bless others and create a safe, inviting atmosphere for worship or work. And talk about tenacious! Servants refuse to give up on ‘hard cases’ in the body of Christ.

Servants can be enablers, and are prone to yield to the ‘victim’ spirit themselves.  Many have prodigal children because for servants, boundaries are difficult to set. Intensely loyal they might be passive when personally offended, but can become tigers when someone hurts the one they love. Remembering birthdays, special occasions and the likes and dislikes of others are their specialties. And when playing games they are fun loving, have a good sense of humor and can be very competitive.

However, many times, the servant can move into a victim spirit and believe the lie that they are really not important and carry no authority. However, Jesus paid a high price for all of us, including servants! When the servant embraces the truth of who they are-a child of the most high- and who their father is-the King of Kings- they are unstoppable. Remember the little orphan girl, Hadassah? She was obedient to her Uncle Mordecai, won a beauty contest, then saved a nation! And Ananias? Even though there was a possibility that he might be walking into a trap, he still prayed for Saul, the persecutor, and released Paul, the worldwide evangelist!

Yes! You, Redemptive Gift Servant, are essential, full of life and are of great worth in the Body of Christ!

Phinehas! Rock Star in the Wilderness

Phinehas! Not one of the more ‘well known’ rock stars like David, Elijah or Noah, but a rock star none the less. And what a testimony to the faithfulness of our God. God’s promise to Phinehas was dramatic, awesome and generational!

Remember the story in the wilderness when the people began to sin with the neighboring Moabites? They were told NOT to fraternize with the locals or else they would suffer the consequences. The Message Bible tells it like this: “It started when the Moabite women invited the Israeli men to their sex-and-religion worship. They ate together and then worshiped their gods. Israel ended up joining in the worship of the Baal of Peor.” (Numbers 25:1-8)

And God saw their disobedience.

And God sent a plague.

The plague was moving swiftly throughout the camp and folks were dying by the thousands, 24,000 to be exact. As the people were weeping and crying to the Lord, out of the shadows comes Phinehas, the hero of the day. This quiet priest comes tearing out of the tabernacle with javelin in hand! Running swiftly though the camp he comes to the tent of Zimri and drives a spear through the heart of both Zimri and Cozbi daughter a Midianite tribal chief.

And the plague stopped.

And the King of Creation took notice.

“Because Phinehas was zealous (a burning passionate jealousy on behalf of someone deeply loved) for my honor, tell him that I am making a Covenant-of-Peace with him. He and his descendants are joined in a covenant of eternal priesthood.” (Numbers 25:11-13)

This act of passion, zeal and honor moved Phinehas from a ‘behind the scenes’ priest to a ‘You can always count on me’ kind of guy.  Can we say ‘Rock Star!’

  • When Moses sent the army to war who carried the holy articles and the signal trumpets in his hand?
  • When the leaders of Israel had to figure out what was going on across the river with the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh, who went as mediator to decide to embrace them or kill them?
  • When Israel had major issues with the tribe of Benjamin who made the decision to go to war?
  • And who was trusted to be over all of the gatekeepers, because the Lord was with him?

You guessed it! Phinehas. Everyone recognized the wisdom and the ‘Hot Line’ Phinehas had with the Lord.  ‘Rock Star!’

We see the passion, character and wisdom Phinehas must have walked in. And it was this passion that released immense blessings to his generations. In looking down his family line we find names such as Zadok, David’s 24/7 worship priest; Azariah, Solomon’s priest in the first Temple; Ezra, exiled priest assigned to rebuild Jerusalem; Eleazar, who was trusted to weigh the silver and gold in the temple. In Arthur Burk’s book Generational Blessings, he states that today, 4000 years later, you can find descendents of Phinehas ministering before the Lord in the nation of Yemen. Now that is what I call generational blessings!

Father, Let our hearts so burn with passion, honor and love for you that our children, grandchildren and following generations run in pursuit of Your holiness, Your fire and Your extravagant mercy and grace! You are the covenant keeping God who shows mercy to a thousand generations!

Right or Wrong! Black or White!

“Well, that’s just the way I am!” “It’s either black or white, right or wrong! End of discussion!”

Have you ever tried to discuss an issue with someone who has made these statements? If so you are probably talking to someone who has the “Redemptive gift” of Prophet/Perceiver!

In this series we will take a quick look at the characteristics of each individual Redemptive gift, beginning with Prophet/perceiver.

(Please see ‘Redemptive Gift’ in the menu at the top of page for an explanation of “Redemptive Gifts” teaching.)

 Prophet/Perceiver Redemptive gift Part 1

Perceive is to discern, recognize, become aware of, distinguish, grasp, understand, comprehend, apprehend, discern, detect, observe; regard, view, consider, judge, adjudge.

These adjectives describe the gift of Prophet/Perceiver.

(Remember this is not to be confused with ‘prophet’ in Ephesians 5-Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers. This is about the characteristics of a personality type from Romans 12-prophet/perceiver.)

FOUNDATIONAL: To the degree that the prophet/perceiver embraces relationship, to that degree will be the basis of his ministry. This is first with God, then his peers.

The Prophet/Perceiver is:

  1. A Great communicator. Verbally expressive and process facts quickly. Shifts gears without warning! Change lanes without signaling!
  2. A Visionary. Always wants to know “Why?”
  3. Passionate for Excellence. Never satisfied by a job half done.
  4. Quick to recognize truth and speak it
  5. A model of integrity
  6. Quick to take initiative. Quick to war!
  7. Compulsive and generous giver.
  8. Terrible at maintaining. Will improve it, enlarge it, change it, or quit. They like to fix things, frame it then move on to something new.

He or She:

  1.  Cannot tolerate bondage. Either for themselves or others.
  2. Will hold more tightly to truth than to relationships. They must study the principles of relationship and learn to listen, then they can become bridge builders.
  3. Has a simple world view- it’s either right or wrong, in or out, black or white.
  4.  Accesses situations quickly
  5. Adjudicates constantly: They do not seem to be able to ‘cut off’ their tendency to judge everything.
  6. Knows no fear/ not easily intimidated
  7. Fiercely competitive
  8. Must make sense out of everything.
  9. Alert to dishonesty in others
  10. Is willing to suffer for truth

Unredeemed, Prophets/perceivers can be unforgiving; lack tactfulness in rebuke; expose without restoring; have a tendency to dwell on the negative; have a tendency to cut people off who fail.

Prophets/perceivers are able to see long in the Word of God where discover new principles, bring them out to the body of Christ and show others how to apply them in their lives. However, this is why maintenance is so hard for the prophet, they are constantly looking for the new. They need a new problem to solve, new principle to explore or a blank piece of paper.

Faith, however comes easiest for the prophet/perceiver because they see principles of truth and know that they work every time. They understand the non-optional principle of TRUTH and this gives them the boldness to stand for it. “TRUTH WORKS EVERYTIME!”