Party looking for a place to happen! RG Exhorters

Redemptive Gifts Part 4-Exhorter   (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.)

Wonderful, exciting, noisy, glitzy exhorter! You have twice as many words as the rest of us!! How we love you! And Oh! How we need the encouragement you bring to the body of Christ! RG exhorters are God’s world changers, able to move large numbers of people spiritually and physically. Moses moved a nation en mass. Paul helped turn the Gentile world upside down!

Yes, everybody loves exhorters. And exhorters love everybody!

When they are up, they are up! And when they are down, THEY ARE DOWN! Because the exhorter can bring hope and move masses of people, the enemy many times targets them with discouragement. Always wanting to be with others, exhorters usually are called to spend time ALONE with the Lord. Think: Moses-the backside of the desert; Paul-years in prison. Although exhorters love to extend friendships horizontally with people, it is in that ‘alone place’ that exhorters learn to go vertically deep with the Lord.

Flexible, delightful exhorters many times need proof to believe (seeing is believing) and find it difficult to go against public opinion. They will avoid confrontation and look for the easy way out. Unredeemed their motto is, ‘I can get it for you wholesale!”

These master communicators can cast vision, bring reconciliation, and are quick to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. (And most women exhorters love the bling and colors!)

Like the lights in the sky created on the fourth day, RG exhorters can take the deep research of the teacher, shed light on it, and impart this truth to the church revealing in new, extravagant ways the richness and magnificence of our God.

Yes, beloved exhorters, you have thousands? Millions? Maybe gazillions of words! And others are quickly drawn to you, readily opening their heart to you and your message. But the most important question is this: “What do you implant into these hungry hearts?”

You, exhorter, have been gifted to use your abundant words and open hearts to release revelation of the highest quality to the masses that you so easily gather. You have the extraordinary ability to illustrate, depict and portray our God in His dazzling, radiant magnificence.

But have you set aside the time, away from the adoring crowds, to know him intimately in all of his dazzling, radiant magnificence? Have you listened to His deep, enduring, steadfast wisdom? Have you come away with Him to plumb the depths of His peace and abiding love? Do you KNOW His character? You cannot give away what you do not own. You cannot impart revelation you have not seen. Until you have come away with Him to know Him intimately, your many words may be like a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. Words that carry no real value. How sad to miss this remarkable opportunity and settle for average, mundane conversation.

Oh Marvelous Exhorter, come away from the party, from the crowds and seek His face, experience his peace and know His joy. Then come out of that hidden place. Come and reveal his grandeur, his glory and his never changing character to our weary hearts. We are longing for supernatural hope and encouragement! And it is you, Redemptive Gift Exhorter, who can do this best!

FIRE??? AGAIN????

This piece is mine!

(Sixth 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

Now that the glaze is dry and the shelf time is finally over, it’s into the fire!

Again!

This last firing will be at the highest temperature, and perhaps the most difficult process to endure. This firing will produce irreversible changes in the clay. It actually becomes glass. A piece of finished pottery, a vessel of honor fit for use in the palace of the King. Well, actually, it’s becoming a small tray in the humble house of the Youngs.

This time the clay must go through the fire alone. The ‘maturing’ fire!

Not only is the higher temperature of the kiln very strategic, but also the atmosphere and duration of the firing is crucial. The atmosphere within a kiln can be adjusted at this point to produce complex effects in the glaze.  For example, some glazes containing iron will fire brown in one atmosphere, but will be green in another, depending on the amount of oxygen allowed in the kiln. And it is the Master Potter who sets the atmosphere, knows how high the temperature must be and how long this piece must stay in the fire to become mature. And the true colors of the glaze are only revealed in this ‘maturing’ fire. Yes, all is revealed in the final fire!

Bowl by Marty McLendon (Masster Potter) of Ahava Pottery           Dish by McCarty Pottery

Isn’t it wonderful to know that through every step of the way the Master Potter watches us, knows us and never leaves us, even in the hottest fires of life? Early in the bisque firing we had other pieces (or persons) touching constantly, reassuring us as we pass through that we are not alone in the fire. However, it is in the maturing fire that the structure is actually changed from clay to glass.

And we must go through ALONE!

But wait! Didn’t our Master Potter say that he would be with us always? Didn’t He say that even in the fire he would be there? A resounding YES!! He is there! Watching the temperature carefully, making sure that it is not ONE DEGREE above what we can stand. He is there to set the atmosphere, releasing just the right amount of oxygen to shift and change the ugly gray glaze to shiny green, red or blue. He is there to determine the length of time that is required for us to become all that we were intended to be. Yes, He is there in the fire with us! The one who loves us most is there watching over each minute detail, insuring that we become the vessel of honor he so desired the first day his hand touched this clay. He is there!

So, my friend, whether you are being slammed, stuck on the shelf or sitting in the hottest of fires, HE KNOWS! He loves you! And He is there!

For you see, the hand that formed you has also engraved you on the palm of his hand. He used a nail and a cross 2000 years ago.

Now move through this final fire knowing that He who designed you is revealing the true colors of His heart in you. See the smile and laughter in His eyes as he admires His handiwork! Know the joy and pleasure of his heart as he lifts you up for the world to behold.  Hear the gentile strength, love and emotion in His voice as he whispers quietly, “I fashioned you in my image. I love you! You are mine!”

Yes! ‘Arise and go down to the potter’s house with Jeremiah! Observe His creativity, watch His skillful hands at work, glean from His great wisdom. But above all come away with the knowledge and assurance that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, one of a kind, and deeply loved by the Master Potter himself! A worthy vessel fashioned by His own nail-scarred hand!

Communion Plate & Cup By Sheila McLendon of Ahava Pottery