ST. LOUIS — Having an artist for a mother gives Rhonda Hufty, speaker and wife of Tom, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Maryville, Ill., a different perspective on jars of clay from 2 Cor. 4:7. The theme verse for the Ministry Wives Luncheon here Oct. 30 gave Hufty an opportunity to share using the example of her mother.
“When I was dating my husband,” Hufty said, “my mother invited Tom to join some of her artist friends in a time of sculpting. He tried to keep up, but in frustration he handed over the piece to my mom. She took it, worked with it over the next few months and created a masterpiece. The lump of clay needed to be in the hands of the master.”
Hufty said it was important to see the parallel of our relationship with God.
“We are all lumps of clay,” she said, “and become masterpieces in the hands of the master. But, we must be clean on the inside and sometimes that takes a power wash.”
Looking inside is necessary according to Hufty.
“We need to look inside to see if it matches the outside,” she said. “If I’m wearing the glow of religion on the outside and it doesn’t match the inside, I need to be cleaned. If my organized manner doesn’t match my messy attitudes, I need to be cleaned.”
Hufty outlined three steps for cleaning on the inside with prayer.
“Prayer is my tool of choice,” she said. “Praying Scripture is a wonderful way to cleanse dirty Christians. The first step is to refocus on Jesus as described in Heb. 12:2 and to pray for the restoration of Ps. 51:12.”
Prayer to replenish is the second step in cleansing.
“The Psalms emphasize the source to replenish us,” she said. “Ps. 1:2-3 says when our delight is in the Lord, we are watered to produce fruit.”
Forgiveness is the final step in cleansing.
“The last thing we want to do,” Hufty said, “but we must be humble to do it. It is His plan for us to forgive as the Lord forgives us (Col. 3:13). Forgiveness is a major tool. It is a decision. Forgiveness is a will.”
“When we will it, the feelings come,” Hufty said, “even though consequences must still be faced, the person may not change or we may not be insulated from future hurts.”
The cleansing makes Christians effective according to Hufty.
“The treasure inside us is the gospel,” Hufty said. “We are designed with our personality, passions and life experiences to edify and glorify Him. We must not taint the treasure in our clay pot. We must be clean for others to be drawn to Him. I want to be fully committed to Him. I want Him to say, ‘She’s mine, she’s reconciled, and replenished.’”