Summary: God – the Master Potter – knows how to take the mistakes of life and reform it into something beautiful.
Text: Jeremiah 18:1-6
God doesn’t make mistakes.
In 1502, in Florence, Italy there was a large block of marble given to a church in Santa Maria, the church immediately hired who they thought was a professional to sculpt this enormously huge piece of rock. The man was a professional and soon after commencing this great task the man drilled a hole right at the bottom destroying this magnificent piece of marble. So, the church decided just to drape a huge sheet over it not knowing what else to do, since it had been damaged beyond recognition and repair. A certain man, named Michangelo caught word of this large stone and how it has been destroyed, so out of curiosity he went to check it out and thought “Hey, I think I can do something here.” After a time he began work and sculpted; and what was once thought to be a lost cause became one of the greatest statues of the biblical character of David ever built.
Many people today feel like a gigantic slab of marble – perhaps battered and bruised – perhaps lacking substance – perhaps someone who has been discarded by certain people.
But, in the capable hands of the Lord God Almighty, we can be molded into something beautiful.
God – the Master Potter – has a way of taking the leftovers and making them something beautiful.
He is the potter; we are the clay. He is the shepherd; we are the sheep. He is the Master; we are the servants. 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.
God knows what He’s doing for all of us. He is the potter and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, so that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Today, as we study Jeremiah 18, we see three stages of the clay in the Potter’s Hand.
Stage 1: A picture of a marred vessel.
(v. 4) But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands;
God uses the adversity and negative experiences in your life to mold you into Christlikeness.
A young man had been promoted to an important position in his company. He’d never dreamed he’d be in such a position, much less at such a young age. So he went to see the venerable old timer in the company, and said, "Sir, I was wondering if you could give me some ADVICE." The old timer came back with just two words: "Right decisions!" The young man had hoped for a bit more than this, so he said, "Thank you, that’s really helpful, and I appreciate it, but could you be a little more SPECIFIC? HOW do I make right decisions?"
The old man responded: "Experience." The young man said, "Well, that’s just the point of my being here. I don’t have the kind of experience I need. How do I GET it?" The old man replied: "WRONG decisions!"
It is not you who shapes God, it is God Who shapes you.
If, then, you are the world of God, await the hand of the Artist
Who does all things in due season
Offer the Potter your heart, soft and formable,
And keep the purpose in which He fashioned you.
Let your clay be moist, lest you grow hard, and lose the imprint of the Potter’s hand.
We don’t enjoy the experiences in life that create scars.
The pain. The grief. The tears. The questions. The regret.
We find ourselves broken.
Could it be that brokenness is the first step toward being the individual God wants us to be?
David said as recorded in Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart.”
Perhaps our prayer should be: “Brokenness, brokenness, is what I long for. Brokenness is what I need.”
Stage 2: A picture of a vessel being reformed.
(v. 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.
A new haircut place had opened up, and wanted to attract customers. So, they advertised a grand opening special: $ 7.00 haircuts. Well, this didn’t go well with their competition who was a few doors down from that strip mall. So they decided to put up a sign of their own that read, “We fix $ 7.00 haircuts.”