The Potter's Hands
Contributed by John Browning on Sep 9, 2007 (message contributor)
Summary: I’m always amazed of the plan God has for our lives. It also amazes me that when I fail or refuse to follow the plan that instead of pitching us out and starting over he reforms us in the image he sees fit.
The Potter’s Hand
By: Pastor JC Browning
Jeremiah 18: 1 – 11
In this world of constant struggle it is often times of trial and temptation when we ask father where are you?
Last week I spoke of the temptations we face.
This week I’m going to start with a conversation between God and Jeremiah.
Turn with me to:
Jeremiah 18: 1 – 11 READ TEXT
1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : 2 "Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message." 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.
11 "Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ’This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’
Illustration: He is the potter; we are the clay. He is the shepherd; we are the sheep. He is the Master; we are the servant. No matter how educated we are, no matter how much power and influence we may think we possess, no matter how long we have walked w/ Him, no matter how significant we may imagine ourselves to be in His plans, none of that qualifies us to grasp why He does what He does when He does it and how He chooses to do it. God’s will is a way beyond our understanding, yet it is a way in which we are called to think and live.
It is not you who shape God;
it is God that shapes you.
If then you are the work of God,
await the hand of the Artist
who does all things in due season.
Offer the Potter your heart,
soft and tractable,
and keep the form in which
the Artist has fashioned you.
Let your clay be moist,
lest you grow hard and lose
the imprint of the Potter’s fingers.
When we fail we are like the clay that will not work into what the potter has in mind. God has a plan for each of us and when we fail to go His direction, or miss an opportunity he places before us we are that clay.
(Visualization) Forming clay into something
The Potter sits down and plans his course of action.
• Teacher’s lesson plan
• Firefighter’s attack plan
• Business action plan
• General’s Battle plan
When things go wrong you have a few options:
• Keep going anyway (push a bad position)
• Regroup and adapt as needed
o Marines – Improvise, Adapt, Overcome
o My God doesn’t run away, ever.
I. God Forms Has a Plan and Molds US in His Image:
• Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
• God like any General has a battle plan
• We are a part of that plan
• His plan was formed before the foundations of the world
o Isaiah 45:9 Does the clay say to the potter, ’What are you making?’
o Romans 9:20 - 21 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ’Why did you make me like this?’ " Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
II. We Stumble / Stray:
• Vs. 4a
• Marred means: decayed, ruined, corrupt, spoiled, disfigured, wasted.
• This was not the fault of the potter; it was the fault of the clay, for the clay would not yield!
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