Friday, November 30, 2012

Good Might

I love T9. My cousin who is a junior in college taught me how to use it. It made life simpler, or at least, it made texting easier. I still have a flip phone that’s a few years old, and to text I have to use T9 or Alpha. Alpha requires that I push the same button until the right letter appears—a time consumer. T9 guesses the right word as I type.

Sometimes it guesses wrong. Like the time when I told a friend that I was “shaking” someone up, instead of “picking” them up. However, my favorite time that it suggests the wrong word is when I text “good night” to my friends. The first word it suggests for “night” is “might.” So if I didn’t change the word, I would be saying “Good might!” to them. Not a bad idea.
In Joshua 1:9, God charged Joshua to “be strong and of good courage” (NKJV). Joshua would need some “good might” as he led God’s people from the wilderness into the Promised Land. What do we need “good might” to do today? Whatever we’re facing or whatever job God has given us, we can depend on the One whose might never runs out. God promised Joshua that He would never leave him (Joshua 1:5), and He promises us the same thing (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5). However large or small the task is ahead of us, God can enable us to do it with a strength that endures, a courage that prevails, a love that empowers, and a joy that sustains.

So tonight I want to leave you with a special message, and I pray that God enables you to walk courageously with Him and in His strength that never runs out:
Good Might!

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29 NKJV).

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Safe in the Potter's Hands


The wheel began to spin. The potter dipped his hands into water and pressed them into the center of the clay, creating a deep bowl. With a wooden tool called a “rib,” he gently raised the sides of the bowl to produce a vase. With slow, graceful movements, he created ridges and curves in the vase, fashioning a work of art. Because of his skill and experience, he did all this in less than a minute.  
I watched this process, in awe of how confidently the potter worked. I was uncertain how a lump of gray, formless clay could turn into something beautiful. But the potter knew. The picture he must have envisioned in his mind easily became reality as he applied his hands to the clay and molded it into something others would find lovely and useful.

Part of the process intrigued me more than the rest. As the potter made the clay bowl taller and gave it shape, he trimmed away the excess clay he didn’t need. But hardly any clay was wasted. He saved the excess in a bucket to use later.
God is a master potter. He takes empty, broken hearts and makes them new and whole. He shapes our hearts and character to be like His Son, beautiful and “useful for the Master” (2 Timothy 2:21 NKJV). He works with confidence, fashioning us into the image He has in mind—full of love, strength, goodness, and the ability to make a difference.

Nothing is wasted. However God trims away the “excess” from our hearts and minds, He uses all of our experiences for good (Romans 8:28). The trials and tests we go through trim away the attitudes and desires that will only damage our lives and mar the work of art God is making. Our trials may put pressure on us and squeeze us, but God won’t let the trials break us beyond repair. He is waiting for us to look to Him and respond in the right way. In the Potter’s hands, we are safe, because He loves us so much and He never lets us bear more than what we can handle. He uses both the hard times and the good times to mold our character, build our faith, and strengthen our resolve. In God’s hands, we become beautiful reflecting the love of Christ, and we become vessels that He can use to touch those around us.  
“But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8 NKJV).


If you ever have the chance to visit Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, visit the Old Mill Square and its pottery shop! Or check out their website at http://www.oldmillsquare.com/pottery.htm.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Prayer for a Nation

I wonder what the next four years will hold. On the eve of America's presidential election, I want to offer up a prayer for our country. Whatever happens, God reigns over the kingdoms of men, and His rule will last forever (Daniel 4:32b, 34b). He knows how things will turn out. May we pray for our country, have strong voices for what is right, and make a difference wherever we are.

Dear Father, I pray that Your hand would be over our elections, and that we would vote based on godly convictions and values. Help us to be strong individually and collectively, to be voices of truth in the world and ambassadors of Your love. In Jesus' name, Amen.

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority..." (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NKJV).