Summary: This sermon is an encouragement and uplifting sermon. It reminds us that as long as God is the Potter and we are the clay, we have nothing to fear because He is in control.
Sermon: “Still Under Construction”
Text: Jeremiah 18: 1-6
The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make [it].
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD.
Behold, as the clay [is] in the potter’s hand, so [are] ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
INTRO (Parts of the intro borrowed from Pastor Paul DeHaan)
When the Lord chose to call you and I, God really made a long term investment in a project. That is, like a divine contractor, God covenanted within Himself and decided that He would bring you and I to that place where He wants us to be and make us into what He needs us to be. That is, God would provide the material, the patience, the skill, the work, and the muscle that would bring this wonderful work to completion. With a blue print in His mind and with skill and precision, God has taken on this massive project, and you and I are a work under construction.
Regardless of how spiritual we are, we are under construction. Regardless of how many titles we hold in church office, we are under construction. Regardless of how far we think we’ve come by faith, we are under construction. Some of us have come from some difficult backgrounds, and are now standing in the house of the Lord; we are still under construction. We weren’t always Elder Dan or Deacon Smith. We weren’t always Sister Sabbath School teacher Susan or Miss Missionary Mary. We were not always where we are today, and we still haven’t arrived to where we’re going. Many of us this morning can declare, “Maybe I’m not all I should be, but thank God I’m not what I used to be; I am still under construction.”
The prophet Jeremiah who gave his name to this book lived and minster in Judea during a time of suffering and heartache for the nation. A swift decline spiritually characterized the people who descended from the heights of revival to the depths of rivalry. The prophet Jeremiah, whose name means, “Yahweh’s appointed or God’s established”, occupied at least 41 years from 627 B.C. During this time he suffered personal humiliation, rejection, and persecution from his own people. Now he find himself caught between a rock and a hard place. Often times he would receive the Word of God to deliver to the people, and they would rebuke and revile him. On many occasions he would be beaten-up and harassed by the very people God called him to minister too. After many years of this evil and unruly treatment from the people, he got to a place where he accepted that this would be the result whenever he delivered the Word of God. He called to God one day and said, “I will no longer preach your word, I will no longer make mention of your name, I will no longer deliver a “Thus saith the Lord” to your people.” He had gotten fed-up with trying to serve the people only to be treated in this manner. But as he turned to walk away from the Lord, he felt something down in his bones, like fire shut-up in his bones. (Jer. 20:9, Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But [his word] was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not [stay].) If he did not deliver the Word of God he would be beaten and persecuted, but if he delivered the Word of God it would feel like fire shut-up in his bones. After great deliberation and analysis he decided it’s better to get this fire out of my bones, than to worry about what people said about him.
How many of us can relate to the dilemma that Jeremiah faced during this difficult time? Too many of us face that daily battle of whether or not this Christian walk is really worth the heartache and pain. We are commissioned to preach the Good News, evangelize, hand out literature, tell someone about the God we serve, teach someone about the Sabbath, and the list goes on of the Christian duty to save lost souls. All the while the world is succeeding in riches and wealth, and we are poor and disenfranchised. We the followers of Christ struggle to make it each day. We do all the things to ensure our salvation, and we, like Jeremiah, are persecuted, rebuked, beaten-up, mistreated, cursed, abused and offered up as a lamb to be slain.