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Summary: The Bible uses different ways to describe our relationship to Him like; He is the creator, we are His creation¡ He is our Father, we are His children. The one I want us to focus on tonight is: He is the Potter, we are the clay.

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THE WORK OF HIS HANDS

The Bible uses different ways to describe our relationship to Him like¡KHe is the creator¡Kwe are His creation¡KHe is our Father¡Kwe are His children¡KThe one I want us to focus on tonight is: He is the Potter¡Kwe are the clay.

CONF.- 4 of 7 days I was set aside. Why? Realize that God is pleased with me even if I¡¦m not being useful. To build character and learn humility.

Turn to Jer. 18:1-4¡Kread the passage¡KGod wanted to show Jeremiah what He was doing with the house of Israel¡Kand perhaps how He was working in Jeremiah¡¦s life.

THERE IS A PROCESS GOD WANTS US TO BE AWARE OF

„³ Potter finds _SUITABLE_ clay. (show little piece of clay)

He removes dirt, stones, and _AIR_.

He _SOFTENS_ the clay with water.

„³ Clay is _THROWN_ (attached) on the potter¡¦s wheel.

„³ Clay is softened and _SHAPED_ on the spinning wheel.

Potter _MOLDS_ the clay using both hands.

Potter shapes and molds the clay by applying pressure.

„³ Clay pot is set aside to _DRY_.

„³ Dry pot is put in hot _OVEN_ (1500-2000 degrees).

Heat strengthens and hardens the clay.

„³ Pot is set aside to cool then it¡¦s ready for Potter¡¦s use.

THERE ARE REASONS THIS PROCESS IS IMPORTANT

„³ God wants to build Christ-like _CHARACTER_ in our lives.

Bill M. and I: Iron sharpening iron¡Kmarsh mello war story

„³ God wants to remove our _PRIDE_ and replace with humility.

Jim F. and I: Iron sharpening iron¡Kwashing dishes

„³ God wants to prepare us for His _SERVICE_.

I think it way Billy Graham who said ¡§Before God can use you, He must break you¡¨ I heard that a long time before I understood it¡Kand experienced it.

Expectations when I came to Miami: Ward and I roomates..pals¡K

„³ God wants to make sure He gets the _GLORY_ He deserves.

THERE ARE LESSONS WE CAN LEARN FROM THE PROCESS

„³ God is actively _INVOLVED_ in our lives. (Jer. 18:3; Isa. 29:16)

We need to allow Him to shape us. (Isa. 45:9)

We need to let Him do what He thinks is best. (Jer. 18:4)

LIFE IS HARD, BUT GOD IS GOOD!

I¡¦m not exactly sure what¡¦s going on in your life, but I am confident that God is at work

What is it in your life?

Family issue (divorce¡K);

Relationship issues (conflict with roomate, girlfriend, personality conflict, singleness);

Recent disappointment;

Academic issue (studies, classes, grades);

Finances (or lack there of);

Illness;

Question mark about your future (after graduation; summer plans)

Can you identify where God has you in the process right now?

„³ As a hunk of clay¡K.

I must not _RESIST_ what God is doing. (Rom. 9:20)

I must choose to _DIE_ to self. (Jn. 12:24)

I need _PURIFICATION_. (2 Tim. 2:20-21)

I will be _BROKEN_. (Ps. 51:17; Isa. 66:2)

We are broken people reaching out to other broken people who need Christ.

I will _SUFFER_ through the process. (2 Cor. 4:7-11)

I must be _SHAPED_ so I can be _USEFUL_.

Father, right now the hardest part about being clay is¡K..

But knowing You are a loving, skillful Potter Who wants the best for me

makes me¡K

Potter and Clay

Who are we?

The Bible gives us many different ways to describe our relationship with God.

He is our Father

We are His sons and daughters

We are saints

Jer. 18:1-4

God is the potter, we are the clay

What does it take?

Need to find suitable clay

--remove dirt, stones, air

Need to prepare the clay

--takes patience

--takes time

Need to put the clay on the wheel

Isa. 29:16

--we want to get off the wheel sometimes

God is a Master Craftsman

We need to allow God to do what He thinks is best.

God is involved with our lives

He gauges us to build character

Potter sets pot aside to dry

Isa. 45:9

Potter puts pot in oven

--over 2000 degrees

--does this to give pot strength

Lessons:

God is in control- He’s soveriegn

God is good (He’s involved and skillful)

Jn. 12:24

As a hunk of clay

--I must not resist (try to jump off the potters wheel)

--I must choose to die to self

--I need purification (I need to be put in the fire)

--I will suffer

--I must be patient

Results

--beautiful vessel to be used to show God’s glory to the world.

We are jars of clay with God’s fingerprints all over us.

How do I respond?

--trust God to shape our life

--uneasy about the process

--may reject the truth of this

Prayer: Father, right now the most difficult part of being clay is... But knowing that You are a loving skillful Potter makes me...

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