Monthly Archives: August 2012

Crushed Under the Potter’s Hand

English: Crushed Chocolatemilk can

Quote from our Pastor teaching on Jeremiah 18:

“So at one point in the shaping of the vessel, the potter discovered that not enough pressure was applied…and it didn’t shape the way [the potter] wanted…and he knew he could not recover the vessel’s design by continuing on. So he took his hands off…and crushed the vessel down…and got ready to make it over again.

“Sometimes, we want God to work with a whole bunch of stuff…We want to bring a whole lot of stuff and put it on the wheel, but God needs the clay to be pliable in his hands. God needs the clay to be able to be formed and conformed to His will and His desire. [The vessel] needs to be made after His goals and…for His purpose.”

Administrative Assistant Marvin Sanders
Pastor of Shiloh Temple COGIC
Pastoral Teaching
September 13, 2011

On the Potter’s Wheel

Grarncarz w Rabce / Potter in Rabka

Quote from our Pastor teaching on Jeremiah 18:3, ” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.”

…Jeremiah, when he came to the potter’s house, he didn’t disturb the craftsman but he just stood there in the door and beheld the craftsman while he did his work. He saw how the potter had his wheel… He had to pump the pedals to turn the wheel. The wheel would spin around, and as it [spun] around, he put the clay on the wheel and he would take his hand, and he would [morph the clay] with his hands… He would apply pressure here and pressure there. And he would lighten up over here and lighten up over there. And he would shape the clay in his hand to cause it to become a vessel of his desire. Only the potter knows what the vessel needs to look like because the potter has the image of the vessel in his mind. The potter has the purpose of the vessel in his mind. The potter knows what he is making the vessel to be used for.

Administrative Assistant Marvin Sanders
Pastor of Shiloh Temple COGIC
Pastoral Teaching
September 13, 2011

We Need a Word from God

"Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Je...

“Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem” by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quote from our Pastor teaching on Jeremiah 18:

“Jeremiah was so broken down to see [the] decline in the worship of God – to see how people had turned their back on serving God until he just says, “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night…” (Jeremiah 9:1). [Jeremiah] felt, “If I could just make an intercession by crying all the time, Lord I would that.” …All he [was able to do was] bring the Word… but whether or not the people received the Word, it was up to them.

Sometimes the modern-day preacher [will] preach the same message over and over again. Some… listen and [some will] go on as though they never heard the Word… The preacher will preach the Word – he’ll bring the Word of God – and folk sometimes will hear it, sometimes they won’t. Sometimes they receive it, sometimes they don’t. And it leaves the heart of the preacher… broken…

Jeremiah was so broken and perplexed, until God spoke to him one day and said, “Get up Jeremiah. Stop your crying… I need you to hear a Word… Go on down to the potter’s house. There I will cause you to understand my Word and to hear a Word.” And sometimes, we need to get a word from God: a Word that is going to do more than just prick our heart, but a Word that is going to change us; a Word that is going to make us brand new. We need a Word that’s going to reshape us.”

God Always Makes the First Move


“Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you…”(James 4:8)

There are times when we desire to be closer to another, albeit a family member, a friend, or a love interest. Sometimes, we act on this desire only to have our advances rejected. It is good to know, however, that if we desire to be close to God, we can be. He will never reject our desire to be closer to Him because the Bible promises that He will draw close to us when we draw close to Him.

Jesus taught:

No man can come to the Father except He draw them first.”
(John 6:44)

In other words, if we have a desire to draw closer to God, it is because He initiated the process. God always makes the first move. It is God’s will that we draw near to Him.

 Eighteenth Century Bible Commentator John Gill says:

“…The saints draw nigh to God when they present their bodies in his sanctuary; when they tread in his courts, and attend his ordinances; where they always find it good for them to draw nigh unto him; and blessed is the man that approaches to him in faith and fear: they draw nigh to him when they come to the throne of his grace, for grace and mercy to help them; when they draw near to him in prayer with true hearts, and lift them up with their hands to God; when in the exercise of faith and hope they enter within the vail, and come up even to his seat; and lay hold on him as their covenant God and Father.

“And he draws nigh to them by granting them his gracious presence, by communicating his love to them, by applying the blessings of his grace, by helping them in times of need and distress, and by protecting them from their enemies…

“Now this is not to be understood as if men could first draw nigh to God, before he draws nigh to them; for as God first loves, so he first moves…”


To Submit or Not to Submit (Part 2)

The Temptation of Christ, 1854

The Temptation of Christ, 1854 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(James 4:7)

In the Book of James, we are instructed to submit to God and then to “…Resist the Devil…” so that “…he will flee from you.” To resist means “to stand against… to act in opposition” or “to strive against.” If we are to resist the Devil, then we must choose a different course of action. No longer should we submit to the wiles of the Devil but, instead, we should submit to the plans and purposes of God. So doing, we can expect that the Devil to flee. When he sees that we have committed our heart and lives to God, the Devil will flee from us for a season. But we will never experience this if we do not submit ourselves to the powerful grace of God.

The enemy cannot lure us into sin if we see him in advance and are well aware of his tactics. His tactics have never changed; he lures us with (1) the lust of the eyes, (2) the lust of the flesh, and (3) the pride of life. If we look at the Great Temptation of Christ (see Matthew 4:1-11), we learn how to properly “resist the devil.”

  • The Lust of the Eyes:Christ demonstrates that we should trust God alone to provide our needs. If we don’t have it:
    • We don’t need it,
    • It is not the proper season for it, or,
    • We are not ready for it.
  • The Lust of the Flesh: Christ teaches us to find ourselves in the center of God’s will and under His Divine protection. It is not wise try God’s hand of protection as we seek vain pursuits.
  • The Pride of Life: Christ teaches us to worship and serve God alone. We deceive ourselves when we trust in self, our abilities, our talents, etc. All these things are given to us by our heavenly Father. And whatever He blesses us with, we should return it back to Him and bless and honor Him therewith.

To Submit or Not to Submit (Part 1)

 [Continued from yesterday…]

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will free from you.”
(James 4:7)

Submit: “To yield, resign or surrender to the power, will, or authority of another; To give up resistance; To yield without murmuring”
(Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary).

(Richard King) Pope Pius XII (Kiltullagh)

(Richard King) Pope Pius XII (Kiltullagh) (Photo credit: Fergal of Claddagh)

If we walk in agreement with the world, then we walk contrary to God and, thus, become enemies to Him. It is not God’s will for us to be His enemy, but instead he desires to have us wholly to Himself, therefore He gives us the grace we need to overcome and to walk in victory over sin. For this reason, James tell us to submit to God. Based on the above definition,  we learn three things about what it means to submit to God:

  • As we submit to God, we come to agree with His word. We let go of our way and grasp a hold of God’s way. We admit that His way is best. We give up our need for control and yield ourselves over to the awesome power of God.
  • When we submit to God, we give up striving against God and we begin to strive against sin. We give up the right to be stubborn and we learn how to be meek before the presence of God.
  • As we submit we do so without murmuring , or uttering complains in a low voice or sullen manner.

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