Sermons

Summary: The LORD wants to shape us for HIS use. It takes our repentance to allow for Him to work His fingers through the fiber of our lives. Sometimes we need to be pulled from the wheel, pounded on the block and reshaped.

THE POTTERS CLAY

by William Akehurst, HSWC

Jeremiah 18:1-6

Romans 9:20-21

Songs:

The Solid Rock

Have Thine own Way Lord

Thou art the Potter, I am the Clay

In our car, SUV, expedition…you know, when you’ve got a family of 6, it takes a pretty big vehicle to get everybody to the same place at the same time…

Typically, Terri and I are in the front, the girls in the next row, and the boys are “in the back of the bus”.

When we get in the car to go somewhere, I sometimes ask, do you know where we are going? And then might ask, do you know how to get there?

Sometimes it might be to a new place, and our kids don’t have a clue where we are headed. So, I will look in my rear view mirror, and Josiah and Jared are typically in the

very back of the car. ‘Jared’, I’ll say, ‘you ready to go? Follow me this way’. Of course he’s gonna follow me…He’s sitting in the back of the truck.

Funny thing is the girls are starting to tell their brothers to follow them. And if one is sitting next to the other, they might say something like, Stay with me, or come along

side of me, or some such rubbish.

My 3 year old Jillian loves to ride in my pickup truck. She gets to sit up front and see the sights.

But there’s one problem. Though she sits beside me in her car seat, she now thinks that she is in the driver’s seat. Every time we come to a stop in the road, she

interjects her thoughts as to where we should go. “Go that way Daddy”, she will say. And sometimes she is correct in the way we are heading, but sometimes she wants

to go in the wrong direction. And when she says ‘go that way Daddy’ and we go the other direction, at times she gets downright angry, or starts to whine. “I said the other

way Daddy”.

I tell her, but Jillian, you don’t know where we are going… “But I wanted to go this way,” she says pointing in the opposite direction.

Little Girl, you don’t know where you are going. I know where we are taking this truck. Just follow alongside me and let me do the driving.

Its funny how that works. I know where we are going, she doesn’t, yet she’s trying to tell me what to do.

This made me think about what the Bible says about how the LORD has a plan and a purpose for each and every one of us, and as long as we are obedient to HIM and

follow Him, we can stay in His shelter.

But when we choose to throw in the monkey wrench, it can mess things up.

I remember the story of the potter and the clay. If you’ve ever seen a potter make a clay pot, it’s a truly remarkable craft. I remember trying it, and the pot or whatever it

was would fall apart as I put my hands on it.

But someone who knows the craft, who knows the clay, and how to work with the clay, how much water is required to keep it moist and workable, how much pressure must

be exerted on the clay to make it hold its form.

If you ever saw a potter take a raw piece of clay, the first thing they do is cut off a slab of clay, and roll it on a table. Then, they punch it down. Much like a baker punches

down the bread so that it will rise again.

But in this case, the punching down is not for the purpose of allowing it to rise

but rather to take all the air pockets out of it.

So here is this potter, pounding the clay against the table. Sometimes adding water to the piece, and other times adding a dryer piece of clay to the mix.

As I understand it, this pounding and punching down is to condense the clay, get the air pockets out of the clay. An air pocket would later cause a defect in the

pottery…creating a weak area in the wall of the jar, or sculpture or whatever. A weak area that could lead to the uselessness of that piece.

So, once the potter has the clay at the right consistency, they take the piece and go to the wheel.

And there the clay is placed upon the wheel. Like a lazy susan, that spins around like a top. But there is a special way of doing that too. The clay is not placed on the

wheel, but rather thrown on the wheel. In order for the clay to be worked, it must ‘stick’ to the wheel. If it doesn’t stick correctly, it may fly off when the potter puts his hand to

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