Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

God Shaped

“…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.” (Isa. 64:8)

According to the experts, clay has to be in the exact center of the potter’s wheel. If not, then the clay will eventually tear apart and become marred in the potter’s hands. The desired result will not be achieved and the beauty in the potter’s imagination cannot be released.

I find it helpful to remind myself often that I, as a believer must stay centered. We are as clay, and God (the ultimate Potter) shapes us into the masterpiece best suited for His purpose. “For we are His workmanship (His masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) We must be in the middle of the Master Potter’s wheel, if we want to become suited for Kingdom success. Our anointing, the touch of God upon our lives and the flow of spiritual influence; is hinged to staying focused on Christ. At the very center of the Potter’s Wheel is the most vulnerable place, and the most wonderful place; to live your life!

Needing a Savior:

The first step of being in the middle of God’s will is to recognize we need a Savior. We have fallen short of God’s original intent and we need someone to lift us up onto the “Potter’s wheel” again (Rom. 3:23-24). That position is where something significant can begin to take place. Being centered in Christ means we live a life of full surrender to what God, the Master Potter, wants to do in our lives. Surrendering to Christ allows Him to remove the most significant barrier – sin, and restore our originally designed relationship between the Potter and His clay. When we accept the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, He becomes our Savior and everything becomes new… our hearts, our focus and our future (2 Cor. 5:17).

Trusting His Lordship:

The second step is allowing Him to become “lord” and follow Him as His disciple. In order to see the kind of spiritual transformation we need, we have to submit our lives to Him. The Greek word for “lord” is kurios, pronounced koo-rios. In Ephesians  it says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:2). Note that the Apostle Paul recognizes Jesus as our Lord and God as our Father. When Christ is truly Lord in a person’s heart, He becomes supreme in authority and is allowed to govern the heart and mind by grace. Something to remind ourselves, is that grace is a favor that the Holy Spirit opens up to us (2 Cor. 3:17-18) as we learn to walk in humble obedience to the Father’s will and purpose for our lives (Jms. 4:6-10). Through the practices of prayer of reading God’s Word, (the Bible) we are awakened on the inside (our spirit) to the force of God’s shaping hands. This is the power of the Holy Spirit at work transforming and renewing our minds to follow His will for our life.

The Master Potter:

God is the ultimate craftsmen, shaping us with His hands and perfecting us for His Glory. We trust Him to mold us, to shape us into a vessel fit for Kingdom use. It requires faith to believe in something you haven’t seen, but as you process all that God does within you spiritually; there is an assurance that grows and shapes even the way you think. The Bible tells us that there is a renewal of strength (Isa. 40:29-31) and a restoration of heart (Psa. 63:3-7) that comes as we position ourselves before the Father. This is because He loves us with an everlasting and unconditional love. He sees in us something beautiful, something we cannot see, something that He alone will cause to emerge. And emerge it will… to display His pleasure, power and passion!

Remind yourself today that you are: “His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:9-10)

The Potter’s Hands

“…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.” (Isa. 64:8)

According to the experts, clay has to be in the exact center of the potter’s wheel. If not, then the clay will eventually tear apart and become marred in the potter’s hands. The desired result will not be achieved and the beauty in the potter’s imagination cannot be released.

I find it helpful to remind myself often that I, as a believer must stay centered. We are as clay, and God (the ultimate Potter) shapes us into the masterpiece best suited for His purpose. “For we are His workmanship (His masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) We must be in the middle of the Master Potter’s wheel, if we want to become suited for Kingdom success. Our anointing, the touch of God upon our lives and the flow of spiritual influence; is hinged to staying focused on Christ. At the very center of the Potter’s Wheel is the most vulnerable place, and the most wonderful place; to live your life!

Needing a Savior:

The first step of being in the middle of God’s will is to recognize we need a Savior. We have fallen short of God’s original intent and we need someone to lift us up onto the “Potter’s wheel” again (Rom. 3:23-24). I must find myself in God’s hands! That position is where something significant can begin to take place. Being centered in Christ means we live a life of full surrender to what God, the Master Potter, wants to do in our lives. Surrendering to Christ allows Him to remove the most significant barrier – sin, and restore our originally designed relationship between the Potter and His clay. When we accept the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, He becomes our Savior and everything becomes new… our hearts, our focus and our future (2 Cor. 5:17).

Trusting His Lordship:

The second step is allowing Him to become “lord” and follow Him as His disciple. In order to see the kind of spiritual transformation we need, we have to submit our lives to Him. The Greek word for “lord” is kurios, pronounced koo-rios. In Ephesians it says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:2). Note that the Apostle Paul recognizes Jesus as our Lord and God as our Father. When Christ is truly Lord in a person’s heart, He becomes supreme in authority and is allowed to govern the heart and mind by grace. Something to remind ourselves, is that grace is a favor that the Holy Spirit opens up to us (2 Cor. 3:17-18) as we learn to walk in humble obedience to the Father’s will and purpose for our lives (Jms. 4:6-10). Through the practices of prayer of reading God’s Word, (the Bible) we are awakened on the inside (our spirit) to the force of God’s shaping hands. This is the power of the Holy Spirit at work transforming and renewing our minds to follow His will for our life.

The Master Potter:

God is the ultimate craftsmen, shaping us with His hands and perfecting us for His Glory. We trust Him to mold us, to shape us into a vessel fit for Kingdom use. It requires faith to believe in something you haven’t seen, but as you process all that God does within you spiritually; there is an assurance that grows and shapes even the way you think. The Bible tells us that there is a renewal of strength (Isa. 40:29-31) and a restoration of heart (Psa. 63:3-7) that comes as we position ourselves before the Father. This is because He loves us with an everlasting and unconditional love. He sees in us something beautiful, something we cannot see, something that He alone will cause to emerge. And emerge it will… to display His pleasure, power and passion!

Remind yourself today of whose you really are – “His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:9-10)

Our Highest Prize

Scripture: “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” (Acts 4:31-32)

Thought for Today: “Living for Jesus – boldly”

Our highest prize is to be found living for Jesus. Living in such a way… that places are shaken, fullness is experienced, unity is established and all things are shared among a generous fellowship. God is offering us the invitation to walk in spiritual prosperity and release His love to the world around us. Our enemies are God’s enemies, our difficulties are God’s difficulties and yet, our victory is God’s testimony. We are beginning to understand that we have full access to everything for which Jesus died. Its not about the bigger, better or more popular life, its about gaining Christ. He has captured our hearts, by loving us in the midst of discovery!

“We cannot, but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20)

Prayer and fasting can lead us to believe that our Christian faith is more about dying to self than living for Christ. Yet, we are exchanging the ashes of a misguided life for the beauty of abiding in His Presence. Though darkness lasts for the night, fresh joy gets released in the morning. The Lord, Himself becomes our Everlasting Light and shapes the way we see our world. It truly is Christ in us that is the hope of Glory (Col 1:27).

The Unveiling:

Yet, Glory goes unseen, because flesh is a veil that the devil uses to hide what is available to us (2 Cor 4:4-6). The inward, spiritual man is so much more wonderful than the outer, natural man of flesh and blood. Its the Holy Spirit’s influence that begins to delight our heart and remove the veil of flesh, so that blessing, purpose and fruitfulness can emerge as our treasure (2 Cor 3:16-18). And treasure it, we will… just try to still our voice, shift our vision or hold us back! We have understood the call to go forth in power and it is now inside us, to endure all things with bold perseverance (Heb 10:35-39).

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?… Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us! (Rom 8:31-37)

Creativity Connects

Creativity connects the spiritual to the natural… like no other expression!

Music doesn’t just touch your senses, stimulate thought and awaken memories. Dance doesn’t just engage your physical body in movement and self-expression. Art doesn’t just bring color and texture and image to canvas. Writing and storytelling are not just literary and verbal communication… mechanisms designed to convey thought and emotions and dispense information.

These are not just forms of creativity and personal expression either… they are gifts! These are gifts that help our ‘human-ness’ and our true ‘heaven-ness’ find one another. They awaken us to life and cause our heart, imagination, wonder, beauty, mystery, sadness, pain and joy to find one another and walk the most elegant steps of life.”

Written by: Ray Hughes

Thanks Ray – I Love It!

Confident in Love

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” (1 Jn. 3:1)

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:5-8)

How can you know that God loves you?

To become confident in the love of God, we must see it and experience it!

Confidence is a soulish reality… kinda like a knowing on the inside, in your heart of hearts. A person feels confident when they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what they are experiencing is reliable and trust worthy. When we become confident in the love of God it becomes the truth that stabilizes our belief system and strengthens our hope. The Apostle John says, “Behold” or look intently, at the kind of love the Father has bestowed or lavished upon us… see and experience its quality, its depth of passion and its supernatural power. It will transform how you see yourself and others, because you will see His beauty and extravagance toward all people… sinner and Saints alike!

The 2 Ways of Seeing & Experiencing Love: 1st) It is demonstrated in the Cross! 2nd) It is poured out by the Holy Spirit!

  • The Apostle Paul tells us that God reveals His love in two different and complementary ways. The demonstration of the cross is public; the work of the Holy Spirit is private and personal. The demonstration of the cross is historical; the work of the Holy Spirit is contemporary. The demonstration of the cross is objective; the work of the Holy Spirit is subjective and experiential.

1st) God demonstrates His love at the cross… sending His Son in our place!

To “demonstrate” something is to make a show of it openly, even to prove it as the truth that matters most. God demonstrates two important things with the cross: His justice (Rom. 3:21-26) and His love (Jn. 15:13). In the cross, He shows all of humanity that He would not allow sin to go unpunished, but in that same cross; He also demonstrates His unique love for us… by giving an immeasurable gift, the Sinless Lamb of God. It was the richest gift heaven could offer, given for those who had lost their way.

Now according to the Bible, the essence of love is giving… “God so loved… that He gave us His Only Son” (Jn. 3:16). And love is measured partly by the cost of the gift to the giver, and partly by the unworthiness of the person receiving it. Since man was hopelessly lost in sin, it helps us recognize the price of this gift. Mercy, the compassion to not give us what we deserve; was involved in the demonstration. How could any sinful man deserve forgiveness… only God would love so much as to pardon the sinner, without a guarantee of any remorse or reconciliation. It was an act of love and tender mercy… and when we behold the manner of love God gives, it moves us to make some kind of decision. We can embrace the gift and let it change how we see or reject it and live with the counterfeits of lust, pride and selfish ambition.

2nd) God “pours out” His love through the Holy Spirit!

There is a unique reality to the love of God… and its the reality of relationship! God communicates His love toward us, because He is passionate about our fellowship. God not only “demonstrates” His love by having sent Christ to die for us; but He also “pours out” His love for us to experience – Him, in all His fullness. He does this through the Holy Spirit!

*The Holy Spirit teaches us by revelation. The Holy Spirit speaks into our hearts about God’s love for us (1 Cor. 2:12 & Eph. 1:17-18). He opens our hearts to understand that Christ’s death was not just some abstract gift that God gave to humanity, but that Christ died for “me”, because He loves me. He takes passages from the Bible and opens them up to our hearts so that they nourish our confidence in God’s love and goodness.

*The Holy Spirit helps us to relate to God personally. The Holy Spirit creates the open door of fellowship, so that God is not perceived as a distant “judge”, but as a warm and loving Father, with whom we share in very personal and intimate ways. He helps us communicate with God in prayer (Rom. 8:26-27) and He assures our hearts that we really are God’s sons and daughters (Rom. 8:15-16). Our confidence increases by our familiarity with His heart toward us!

*The Holy Spirit comforts and strengthens us. God’s hope and peace and joy are made available to us in the midst of painful and anxious situations (Jn. 14:26-27, 2 Cor. 1:3-7 & Eph. 3:14-19). The Holy Spirit not only works through our sufferings to produce God’s character in our lives; but He also assures us of an abiding love in the midst of trials and tests. This is why, while non-Christians point to suffering as the proof that God is not loving, Christians point to suffering as the context in which they experience God’s love in deeper ways!

*The Spirit expresses God’s love to us through His people. He is moving in the Body of Believers, the Church; so we experience forgiveness, encouragement, affection and favor in spiritual and personal ways (2 Cor. 7:5-6 & Eph. 4:29-32). They speak His Word to us, pray with us, communicate His peace and offer forgiveness and hope. And we get to experience the Holy Spirit moving in us for others, as well!

Perhaps the greatest reality of all is that we were made to receive and give love… “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 Jn. 4:16).

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