Jeremiah and the potter

Jeremiah 18:2: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.”

To go down means to humble yourself. God wants to speak to us, but as humans we are often too proud to listen to His voice. He can only speak to us when we are humble. And God has a lot to tell us. Once a Christian leader said: God speaks to me all the time. Can He do that to us too? He wants to reveal us His word and His will. He wants to show us what is the best way to live. He has wonderful things to say to us. God wants to make us happy. We will be more and more happy when we listen to his words.

This verse means also something else to me. When we are proud we sit on the top of our mountain. When our brothers and sisters also sit on the top of their mountain, then we are far away from each other. Then it is not possible to have fellowship. But if we come down from our mountain and we come in the valley, then we see that the mountains touch each other. There, down in the valley, they meet each other, and there we will have fellowship.

Let us be humble in our life, then God will certainly bless us.

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Is anything too hard for the Lord?

“Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Genesis 18:34-14.

In Abraham’s and Sarah’s time nothing was too hard for the Lord. In Dutch it says: “Would anything be to miraculous for the Lord?” God promised Abraham a son, but he had to wait a very long time for it. When Isaac was born he was already 100 years old. Sarah’s age is not mentioned in Genesis, but it says that she was very old and that she was past the age of childbearing (Genesis 18:11). She was no longer fertile. But the miracle did happen and she became a mother.

And how is it in our era? Is today anything too miraculous for the Lord? It says in James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Indeed, God still is a God of miracles.  He wants to do miracles in your and my life. He wants to make us fertile, in spite that we are humans. In our own power we can do so little, but king David writes in Psalm 18:29: “with my God I can scale a wall.” He had no fear of failure!

And isn’t the greatest miracle not the transformation that God can let us undergo? That we human beings can become totally good. We can live here on earth a holy life, just like Jesus did it. “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21. We are called to live the same life as Jesus Himself! He is our leader, He shows us the way. He opened for us a new and living way (Hebrews 10:20), not that we would dream and speak about it, but that we would walk each day on that way.

World peace, do not all of us long for it?

Mother Theresa won many prizes and was once awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Once a man asked her how he could bring more peace in the world. She answered him: “Go home and take care of your family. Be friendly to them and bring peace into your home.”

Many people long for world peace. They dream of great things, great goals in the world. But everything starts at home. We must start small. It’s only when we are able to bring more peace into our own family that maybe one day we can bring peace into the team in which we work and into the company. Maybe one day we can do something for the greater society. But we must start at home and stop dreaming of great works.

The Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh goes one step further and asks the question how we can bring peace in our family around us. He says that first of all we have to find inner peace inside ourselves. We have to live in peace with ourselves. That is something we can reach by meditating regularly. When we have reached that inner peace we will also radiate it to the people around us. And that goes always further, just like when you throw a stone in the water. It makes circles that expand always further away. In that way we can bring change in the world.

Bible challenge

We sing in a Christian children song: Read your bible, pray every day, if you want to grow. Reading the bible is an important stone in the foundation of spiritual growth. But how much do we actually read? Sometimes I am surprised when I see how little knowledge some Christians have about the bible. It is very important for children to learn the biblical stories. But also for adults it remains important to read daily in the bible. I would like to challenge everybody to read each a day a part of the bible. Let us read the bible in one year! That is really not too much. If you look how many pages your bible has and you divide it by 365 then the result will be about four. If you read each day four pages you will have read the whole bible in one year! And then we start again. Is that not possible for the most of us? I know that it is not always easy, when you have a fulltime job and a family to take care off. You invest a lot of time in earthly things. But how many hours do people watch TV daily? Reading four pages in the bible costs you about 20 minutes. Do that investment and you will see that you will make great progress. Your bible knowledge will increase enormously and it will give a boost to your spiritual growth. I challenge everyone! Just try it.