Glazed and fired

a spiritual journey of pain to beauty

By Matthew Brewer – Guest Blogger

This article is brought to you by The Wendy Thompson Lending Team. More Than A Mortgage!

Have you every looked closely at a beautiful ceramic vase, at the color, the detail, the fine craftsmanship that this vase displays?  Have you ever considered what this vase went through to look the way it does?

Maybe you have seen someone in a magazine or a T.V. commercial with a chiseled body or a figure that you would kill for?  Have you every considered what that body had to go through to look like that?  What pain was endured in order to have that body?  What sacrifices were made?  What was added to this person’s life in order for them to look like this?

Oftentimes in life, we look at the finished product of something, see its beauty and admire it, and never once stop to think about what happened to it to get it there.

I have been guilty of this many times.  I see someone at the gym and I think I want to look like them.  I want to have that type body.  However, the true painful reality for me is that I am not willing to do what it takes to get that body.  I may do a few things to be healthier and I may change a few habits, but I am not willing to take the steps to make such a dramatic transformation.   I am not willing to endure the pain to have a refined, toned body.  When you talk to these fit and trim people, more likely than not, they all have a story of dramatic and systematic changes that they had to endure to create and maintain their physique.

The vase is just clay and rude paint until it has been glazed and presented to the flames of the fire.  The body is just flesh, bones, and skin until it has been toned and manicured.  Our lives are just empty vessels until they have been glazed by the fruits of the Spirit and presented to the flames of the Holy Spirit.

Our lives are just empty vessels until they have been glazed by the fruits of the Spirit..

We begin our journey as clay, waiting to be created into something beautiful by our Creator.  He takes our lives and pours Himself into us, with attention to detail and with a strong purpose to make us into His image.  We have to go through something in the forming.  Life is not perfect.  Life is not always easy and life is certainly not the proverbial bed or roses that some think it should be.  It is through our pain, our struggles, our sorrow that we can be glazed and fired by the flames of the Holy Spirit.

When I think about the glaze on my own life of clay, I think of 4 ways in which I am glazed and then fired.

1. Bible Study
2. Daily Prayer
3.  Community and Fellowship with Other Believers
4.  Corporate Worship in a Community of Faith

Bible Study helps me to understand God and His purpose for my life.  It helps me to know how to surrender and allow God to lead me on my journey.  Daily prayer is my conversation with God.  My wife has often said she doesn’t say Amen after a prayer because it is a conversation that never ends.  Fellowship and Community with other believers help cheer me on my way.  We laugh together, we cry together.  We experience life together.  We were not meant to be alone.  Community and Fellowship is a wonderful way to glaze ourselves in the Holy Spirit.   Corporate Worship – the church coming together to Worship the One who is worthy of all our praise helps to keep me on the same page and moving toward a common goal of celebrating the goodness of our Great God.

Are you ready to be glazed and fired?

Glazing is essential to bring out the inner beauty.  Even after a piece of pottery is painted, the colors don’t shine and sparkle as they should till it has been glazed and fired.  When it comes out of the fire, then we see what it is truly made of, and the image that it conveys.
Our lives are like that.  When we go through the fire, we become stronger, and when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives through his refining power, we see what we are made of, who we were meant to be, and the image that we convey.

Are you ready to be glazed and fired?  The flames of His Spirit are waiting today!

Prayer

Great God our Father, thank you for the blessings of this life, and Lord, please help me to see the refining that you are doing in my life as a blessing, as a way to draw closer to you and understanding who I am to you and the purpose you have for my life.  I will cover my life with studying your word, having daily conversations with you, fellowshipping and worshipping with other believers.  Guide me today and always.  Amen!

Matthew Brewer

Guest Blogger

Matthew Brewer has been in the Memphis area since 2003, and in that time, he has been no stranger to the wonderful southern cuisine found here in the Mid-South.  He graduated from West Liberty State College, received his masters from University of Louisiana at Monroe, and his D.Min from Andersonville Theological Seminary.  He is employed by Shelby County Schools as a PLC Coach, pastors Grace Gathering Church, and in his spare time, does marketing for his Wife, Jennifer’s custom Jewelry Company, Jentegrity Jewelry, located in Cordova.  He enjoys spending time with his wife, quiet evenings at home, dinners with friends, and lots of family time.

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