Tag Archives: The Word

Speaking without Christianese


Today, as I scrolled through my reader, I read an interesting post by Julie – thereluctantbaptist you can read it up, and decided to take up her challenge. It wasn’t easy, but I hope I was able to share with you in simple terms my understanding of John 10:7-11

7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

shepherd-sheep-550x320I don’t need to swear to prove Myself to you when I say I am the access point for any sheep that wants to pass through. All those that came before me had plans to deceive you and take your focus off your destination. If you fix your mind on where you are going, their voices will be caught up with the wind and you won’t understand what they are trying to say to you, or become confused.

Last time I told you “I am the door”; do you know that I am willing to let you go through Me to reach the other side? And if you need to be away from all the distractions outside – pay Me a visit, knock, I will open and allow you to get a safe place away from all those craze. Beyond giving you access, it is okay by Me if you want to go out, meet family and friends, network and come back. I won’t stop you. I am not holding you captive or against your wish.

It is only a thief that would do that, because he wants to steal from you. So he locks you up and raids your home, takes away everything that is important to you. Sometimes, he takes life too, which is really sad. If only you realise this, then you will not listen to him anymore when he talks, but always return home to Me. Remember, I won’t keep you against your wish. As a good Shepherd does to his sheep, I will direct you towards enough food, a good life and away from danger. All these makes the sheep happy, knowing that Someone is there to defend him!

What do you think? Can you share Jesus’ love so that anyone can read it on the internet in simple language?

Picture credits: http://www.crosscards.com/cards/scripture-cards/shepherd-sheep.html

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

The Potter’s House – 2


september23_PotteryLast week, I started something on The Potter’s House and this is the concluding part, you might want to read the other one to flow with the gist. 🙂

With this promise in mind, his ego got a boost, but wait a while…the location of obedience will reflect on you when you leave that location. Remember he was told to “…go down to the potter’s house” and that is one place you can’t go in and return the same, because if it’s not the dust in your nose, it’s the clay stuck under your shoes or splattered over your clothes from the one on the wheels as it spins. One way or the other, you are touched by the Potter or his wares. It has been said that “God will not promote you beyond your last point of obedience”…so if you want promotion, OBEY THE LAST ORDER and go down to the Potter’s house!

Knock, knock, who’s there?
A ‘Mr. Jeremiah’ to see ‘Mr. Potter’… I’m directed by God to get a DHL from you
and the next thing you hear is “grab a seat and watch me work”!

Your mind goes, “God! I thought this was going to be quick. How much more humiliation do You want me to endure before You give me Your word? If the people don’t want to listen to me and stand up for me, at least You should! After all You got me here in the 1st place!” And God says, ‘SHUT UP’, WATCH and LISTEN!

At the Potter’s house, God takes you back to Genesis 1:2

“And the earth (Jeremiah) was without form, and void;”

….where you were without form and void. He reminds you that you were no better than this clay on the wheels, but He formed you from the dust of the ground Genesis 2:7

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

….and the only thing that sets you apart from this clay is that He breathed into you and you became a living soul. He paints the picture of the processes He goes through, before you can come out looking so wonderful to the extent that you declare, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”!

It is also at the Potter’s house that He (God) reminds you of the reason He formed you and called you. Remember that in Jeremiah 1: 5-10, He had set Jerry apart already and ordained him to be a prophet unto the nations. God had indicated that a time would come when he will experience fear and He was ready to deliver – vs. 8. But more than that, Jerry was set over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant – vs. 10. The next time you notice this phrase, is in Jeremiah 18 at the Potter’s house. So you could rightly say that…

the Potter’s house is a place of remembrance and preparation to execute commands.

Indeed it is a place of preparation. As the clay, Jeremiah goes through a lot of processes before he can be used to affect the nations which was God’s original plan…or like the clay, he become a vessel for use (to honour or dishonour depending on the level of purging). One of the reasons God sent Jerry down to Mr. Potter was to get him understand that “without the purging process you cannot become a vessel …you’ll keep getting marred in the Potter’s hands. And until every impurity is taken from you, you can’t be useful”.

2 Tim. 2:20-21 puts it this way and I paraphrase….

You are a gold vessel – that means very expensive, but I can’t use you unless you are purged, cleansed, empty, only then can I fill you with My plans, My thoughts and watch you bring to pass My purpose. And it doesn’t matter how expensive or cheap you are, if you aren’t purged, then you aren’t good enough and that is My standard!

Remember that Jerry’s commission in Chapter 1:10 and 18:7-10 were similar and you cannot affect someone’s life with a message that has not affected yours… you have to experience it to share that experience meaningfully. Notice that vs.11 admonishes them (the house of Judah) to purge themselves because God was getting tired of the polluted praise that was ascending His throne and assaulting His nostrils!

There are quite a number of lessons here to learn about the Potter’s house:

1) That every beautiful vessel you see was once an impure clay and that clay had to go through several purifying process by water and fire. A process of rejuvenation…a rebirth which John 3:5-7 calls the born-again experience. Any clay the Master uses has encountered the Son (water, word) and the Spirit (fire) to become a vessel (an ark) a carrier of God’s presence and essence.

2) That the Potter’s house is a place of breaking, marring, mess, making and beauty. A place where you don’t have a say in what goes on in your life…all you do is submit (arise and go down) your clay (yourself) and endure the pain (as a good soldier of Christ). A place where God works on you and removes filth, and reshapes you according to His original plan.

3) That the Potter’s house has a wheel, where He places you and spins you till His will becomes enthroned on yours and all things that surrounds becomes shadow in His presence. Truthfully, while on the wheels you can’t keep your mind together, all you are saying is “I SURRENDER ALL” because you don’t have a say in the direction you spin…or the time limit to get off the wheels. Every other thing becomes a blur and He is all you see. More like worshipping Him alone in Spirit and Truth, because your flesh (the clay) is under control of a Higher Being and you don’t have the magic words to direct its behaviour anymore.

Whenever you choose to visit the Potter’s House, bear these and more in mind. Go prepared, expecting anything!

Picture source: http://theschoolofchrist.org/daily/september23.html

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved



PotteryThis begins the first part of what I learnt reading about Jeremiah and his encounter with his Maker.

Jeremiah 18:1-6
The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

The picture that comes to mind when the Potter’s house is mentioned is one that is not so beautiful yet not ugly. The air surrounding the Potter’s house is dusty and the floor messy with broken pieces of vessels and other materials required for work. This is not a place you step in clean and come out untainted…not in the least.

Yet in the midst of all that dust, clay, and seeming ugliness are vessels aesthetically and artistically designed to elicit praise…tease the senses…create beauty and bring about awe. Vessels, whose appearance puts you in between the beginning and the end…the ugly and the beautiful…the void and the form; That gets you wondering how something so colourless (lacking beauty) could be worked on to the extent that it inspires the senses to imagine blaze in every bleakness around… and beauty in plainness. To understand the mystery surrounding this transformation, you need to join Jeremiah at the Potter’s house.

Ready? Here we go…!

Why would the Lord send me here just to hear His word? Why doesn’t He tell me what He has to say at the top? Do I really need to go down there…! Down into all that mess and dust, I could even catch a flu…you know. Anyway, how does He expect me to hear Him with all the noise and activity going on there…all the distractions? Sometimes I wonder, I wonder about Him, does He know what He is doing. (Doesn’t He!?) I could easily have gone to the Potter’s showroom and have a field day revelling in the beauty of each vessel and then the word would come loud and clear…don’t you think so?

But the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah and said,

“Arise and go down to the potter’s house….” – Jeremiah 18:2a

Whenever someone is asked to “arise” that means the person was down, probably in a seated position or had not yet attained the height that he was meant to. It also means, “To come up for notice or into consideration”

Imagine being called up to a place of prominence after being in notoriety for too long…the glee on your face, the excitement in your heart, the flutter in your steps and with expectation of the crowning, you approach the podium and only to be told when you had arisen to “go down”.

Oh, the drop in the thermometer will stand out, your flag that was flying high will hit rock bottom and your balloon that was filled with pride (in a positive way) deflated…. Oh! The look of disappointment on your face, the drop in the pulsating of your heart, the strut in your steps reduces as you walk in no hurry anymore and all the excitements have developed wings and gone with the wind. You are reduced not to your size but lesser.

How do you tell people that the command to “arise and show” off was misunderstood and the glory that came with arising, momentary? How will they view you? As one who is not sure of what he heard and yet claimed God spoke! Of course, it is only natural to arise and climb, arise and stand. But “arise and go down?!” How worse can it get. Now you understand how Jerry felt.

In the midst of all the persecutions his people had put him through just because he was chosen from birth to deliver God’s message – (Jeremiah 1:5-19). A job description was written out for him, before he even had a chance to weigh the options and chose the best among the rest. A position he didn’t contest for was “pushed” on him by an Authority above all authorities. For once, Jerry had an opportunity to show them pepper…yes! And it felt good! Only to be told, SORRY, commanded to “go down”.

How many times has He deflated your “This is our chance” balloon and raised His “Thy will be done” flag on your behalf? I’m sure you can empathize with Jerry easily. Well, if God says left is the way, then ‘left’ we must go…I’m sure it’s not all that bad after all…

“His thoughts for me are thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give me an expected end” – Jeremiah 29:11.

Hold it a bit honey, notice that the commandment to “Arise and go down” is in Chapter 18 and “His thoughts of good” are in Chapter 29, so how do you survive the taunts of Chapter 19-29:10 (10 WHOLE CHAPTERS!!!) hmmm! You must really be anointed! YES, YOU ARE! Since Chapter 1 already gave you a glimpse of the trouble and the glory …so if Chapter 29 is far off, baby hold on to Chapter 1.

Picture source: http://www.theonlydoor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/15236618_m.jpg

© 2004. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved