I have to share something new I learned last night at church. Our pastor was gone, and one of our other pastors, Yoel, shared a great message. (We are very blessed to have awesome speakers who can fill in when our main pastor is gone). Yoel was talking about how the Holy Spirit empowers us to live for God. And, one way He does that is empowers us to be "sincere." This is one of the verses shared with that bullet point:
"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." Phil. 1:9-11 (NKJV).
The word "sincere" was emphasized by Yoel, and this is what he explained about the word. The word literally means "judged by light." It is a term used in making pottery. In those days, if an artist created a pot or a jar, after it was fired, they would hold it up to the light to see if there were any cracks in it. If it was "insincere," meaning it had cracks, the potter would throw it out. However, there were some potters, who, after holding it up to the light and found cracks, would use a dishonest method. They would fill the cracks with beeswax, paint over it and sell it. The unsuspecting buyer would take it home, fill it with a liquid and realized it leaked or even broke.
You see, we are pots or jars. We may have cracks in our character that need inspection. And either we expose ourselves, or God will expose us. It is a lack of sincerity to not live out what we know. In order to be found sincere, we must:
1. Allow the Word of God to inspect our souls. (Be in the Word daily, in order to experience change).
2. Do not cover cracks with wax, but repent and let Him heal. (Praise God, he doesn't throw us out, but rather, forgives and heals us!)
3. Humble yourself and believe what God says about you. (Look to His Word for who we are).
4. Be patient. (Not our favorite thing to do!)
Yoel wrapped up his message with Micah 6:8, reminding us that it is God who gives us the strength, courage and ability to do right, love mercy and to walk humbly with God. I'm so glad I am empowered by the Holy Spirit to walk with the Lord, and I don't have to depend on myself or anyone else. He's going to help me by showing me those cracks, no matter how much I'd like them not to be exposed. Plus, He won't toss me in the trash, but heal me. Then, empower me to walk with Him. What a good word!!