Monday, January 09, 2006

Clay Replaced by Gold

I was just sitting here reading an email that I had received from someone who adheres to a completely opposite political persuasion. He blatantly claimed that Stephen & Irene's Straight Talk Radio program is promotion of hate speech. Of course, I'm not a bit surprised by this for it has become their mantra. Any person who has been transformed by the saving grace of Jesus Christ and no longer is being deceived by a lie that they once participated in is a bullseye target for those who are still under such deception.

A person who has not been transformed by the conversion power of the Holy Spirit cannot fathom that such a thing can, and does, happen. It is only those who have also experienced the redemptive power of Jesus Christ and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who can genuinely say that they understand.

Jesus can release us from the darkness, power of deception, and even the desire to continue in the participation of any kind of sin. No matter how strong the former temptations were, humbly submitting to His Will and placing Him on the throne within the center of our individual lives frees us from such strongholds.

I have found through discussion with many non-believers, they just don't think that this is possible. Yet, there are people who are living proof that it does happen!

For example. I have met several wonderful people who have been released from homosexual attraction, behavior and identity and I have seen the power of the Holy Spirit working in their lives to minister to others.

In one post at Stephen's board, I stated the followingly in reply to a former homosexual who is now a Christian but objects to Stephen's ministry:

I understand that you want to separate the political firestorm over these issues from the spiritual aspects of ministering to the homosexual community. There are several ways to approach both. There are also ways to approach only the spiritual/ministering aspects. There are also ways to approach only the political aspects. I guess that each Christian must decide for themselves how they think that God is leading them.

Stephen and Irene’s ministry is involved in both. The ministry at my former church (was called Discover Recovery) only dealt with the spiritual aspects. There are also ministries that deal mostly with the political aspects first, then lead people into the Gospel message.

Which do you, personally, think is best? Which, if any, do you think should be eliminated? There is always room for improvement in ANY ministry effort, including my ministering efforts here at this blog.

But I know that I will never be able to achieve perfection in my communications with any group and/or person; especially, with those who personally disagree with and/or reject Jesus Christ and his Word, the Bible.

This subject was brought up at a “Godblog” conference I attended in October. One person on the panel answered that if we kept silent until we perceived the “perfect answer” to any question, we wouldn’t be able to write anything on our blogs! He had a good point.

We also discussed the meaning of “tolerance” when posting. The word “tolerance” does not mean acceptance. It means disagreeing with the other person’s point of view, doing so as respectfully as possible, and continuing on in sharing the truth of the situation. After all, the Word of God is like a two-edged sword. Those who hate the message are not going to react peaceably nor amicably. Yet, this doesn’t mean that we should not share the truth.

I think that the term “tolerance” has been misrepresented by society these days to mean “total acceptance” of the opposite point of view. This is a morally relativistic position which is, in reality, an impossible position to keep. As the authors of a book called “Relativism” subtitled it, it is like having your “feet firmly planted in mid-air.”

The Bible tells us that ONLY repentant sinners will inherent the kingdom of heaven. If a church is teaching that “it’s ok to be gay” and the members do not see a need to repent (which, as you and I both know means confess and turn away from sin), then they will inevitably miss heaven.

I agree that it is best to do this delicately, if at all possible. However, as Stephen’s story tells us, this is not always achievable. He was VERY ANGRY at first, when his friend Kathy shared those Bible verses that condemned homosexuality. But, this was EXACTLY what he personally needed to realize before he could humbly come to the Lord to be saved.

Still, others have achieved their conversions in opposite ways. Some react to the Spirit’s call upon their hearts through compassion, patience, mentoring, loving, and praying; while others needed that confrontation, sharing those condemning Bible verses, admission that they are sinners in need of the Savior, surrendering their lives to Christ, praying, and, finally, humbly submitting to the Lord.

No matter which methods are used, God can use ANYTHING to bring a person to repentance!! I don’t think that there is anyone on earth who has the same exact testimony…do you?

I could share a lot of stories of confrontation and stories of compassion with homosexuals, their heterosexual supporters, and ex-homosexual people. I am still learning. I am still praying. I NEED to learn to be quiet, at times, and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life! My dear friend Susan Smith from Jerusalem lovingly helps me in that area! (Love you girl!).

I just received another email from my friend Rocky. I always enjoy receiving his prose pieces because they are just so beautiful! I saw this one as speaking to the heart of the matter on this topic and it is a great way to end this post!


Clay Pots
(written by Rocky Chambers)

I said to myself
I am just a clay pot
But the Lord said to me
Only if that is what you choose

2 Tim 2:20-21 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

If you cleanse yourself
I will make you a golden vessel
A Holy vessel
For my work
To produce fruit

The man who exalts himself is brought down
But the man who humbles himself is exalted by God
It is not humility that makes one think of himself as a clay pot
That is false humility
A lie
A poverty mentality
A pride that says
I am so worthless God can't do anything with me
I am just a clay pot

O man why do you make the price paid for you so trivial
Do you not see how worthwhile you are to the One who paid the great price
Now be cleansed by His blood
Let your mind be renewed by His words
Meditate on His love
Then you may begin to know
You are only a clay pot if you choose to be
God desires you to be a golden vessel
A noble vessel

Yes we have this treasure in earthen vessels
But that treasure makes us more than jars of clay
It makes us full of the glory of God
And so we are transformed from clay pots to golden
Not because we lifted ourselves up
But because we humbled ourselves
We received from God
And He exalted us
He made us into noble vessels
Golden vessels

I saw a jar of clay
And out of heaven a stream of gold was pouring into it
The vessel overflowed
And the gold coated both the inside and the outside
And the clay was replaced by the gold

Mat 23:12 (KJV) And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

False humility results in abasement
True humility produces gold
Gold vessels are instruments for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work
Cleanse yourself, be made gold

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