Pastor’s Pen 15th September 2019

Shalom. May his Holy Spirit whisper to you the life giving words of God and as you absorb them into your spirit may they change from the inside out.
Discipleship is something every believer should be involved in. Both being a disciple themselves and helping to ‘make disciples of all nations…’ (Matt 28:19).
This is something that we should be serious about, something we should devote huge amounts of time and energy too; something that should be right up there in our priorities. The encouraging thing is; it often is. The challenge is that we can too often try to make it into something that resembles a college course or a university paper, a process that requires study, correct answers and a short exam. Now hear me on this… This might be a part of discipleship; courses of study and structured approaches have their place; but we are tragically misguided if we mistake filling our heads with knowledge equals discipling.
It’s definitely part of the deal, but the deal is really about a relationship with Jesus. It’s about remembering that God loves us just the way we are. But he refuses to leave us that way; He wants us to be just like Jesus.
We learn to be like someone by hanging with them, studying how they do things, copying their attitudes, their reactions, understanding their thoughts.
I’ve read biographies of famous people, but that doesn’t give me confidence to say I know them, simply that I know about them. I’ve even met some mildly famous people and talked briefly, and I still wouldn’t say I know them well. But I’ve got friends who I can chat to for ages, sharing thoughts, ideas, secrets, dreams and really get to know them. Jesus invites us to be disciple this way as well.
2 Cor 4:7 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
The Cracked Pot
A waterbearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole, which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it. While the other pot was perfect, and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the mistress’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to her master’s house.The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream: “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your mistress’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in her compassion she said, “As we return to the mistress’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my mistress’s table. Without you being just the way you are, she would not have this beauty to grace her house.”
Be a cracked jar for Jesus his week and leak out over others and I trust you discover the joy of time spent with Jesus in fresh and energising ways.

Bless ya
Pastor Mike