Summary: An expository lesson from describing how God can and will work in our lives to do great things.
THE POTTER AND THE CLAY
INTRODUCTION: From Reader’s Digest: A friend of mine awoke one morning to find a puddle of water in the middle of his king-size waterbed. In order to fix the puncture, he rolled the heavy mattress outdoors and filled it with more water so he could locate the leak more easily. The enormous bag of water was impossible to control and began rolling on the hilly terrain. He tried to hold it back, but it headed downhill and landed in a clump of bushes that poked it full of holes. Disgusted, my friend threw out the waterbed frame and moved a standard bed into his room. The next morning, he awoke to find a puddle of water in the middle of the new bed. The upstairs bathroom had a leaky drain. Life is that way sometimes isn’t it? In Jeremiah’s time the people of God found themselves in a bad situation. They were a nation who had thrown away God. Chaos ruled throughout the land, corruption was widespread, morality was declining rapidly. The people were infected with evil. This is when God told Jeremiah to write these words. READ TEXT There are some important lessons in this passage for us, and tonight we will take a look at two.
I. GOD’S PEOPLE ARE AS CLAY IN THE MASTER’S HANDS
A. Self-determination is one of the things our society prides itself on. The ability to decide our own faith, choose our own path, is a source of great personal satisfaction.
1. The self-made man has been, and remains, the rage of big business and high society. But, that is all illusionary. In the real scheme of things, we are only as valuable as we allow God to make us.
2. The talents and abilities we possess are not of our own volition. We are not successful because we determined it. We are nothing more than molded clay and the shape we take on is determined by the Master’s hand.
B. The Lord says to Jeremiah, and through him the nation of Israel, "Can I not do with you as this potter? Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand." There is nothing God’s people cannot be so long as they are being shaped by God’s hands.
1. Isaiah 64:8
C. We are can be the most evangelistic church in the world, the most benevolent, the most influential, the most in any area so long as we allow God to mold us to fit His plans and serve His needs.
II. GOD’S PEOPLE CAN BE REMADE IN THE MASTER’S HANDS
A. Every human life has at least one flaw, the only problem is that some are unwilling to admit it. But it is none-the-less the complete and absolute truth.
1. Our lives are often broken by our own sin, mistakes and regrets. Sometimes find ourselves shattered into tiny bits by the well-laid plans of a scheming enemy. And when that happens the natural tendency is to throw it all away.
2. Untold numbers of good people, with a God-given souls, have cast away all they could ever hope to be because of a flaw they are unable to find healing for. They are broken beyond repair in their own minds and deem themselves useless to God and everyone else.
3. That mentality is so tragic and so unwarranted. It destroys a life that could be of great service to God and mankind, and eliminates any chance of reconciliation and eternal salvation, which is above all most important.
B. As Jeremiah stood watching the potter work he noticed something that God intended to impact him greatly. The potter was shaping a vessel with his hands when it all collapsed on him. The shape did not take in the clay, it was literally ruined as Jeremiah recorded it. But noticed what happened next.
1. The potter did not throw the ruined piece into the corner of the shop, or into the trash. He continued working with it and reshaped it into another vessel which he deemed good to make. In other words, he began again, from scratch with the same clay and gave it a shape that was good and would hold it’s form.
2. Again, God has said to His people, "As the clay is in the potter’s hand so are you in my hand." When we are found flawed, God can remake us! We when fall apart at the seams God can put us back together again!
b. II Chronicles 7:14, "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."