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Summary: A sermon on the potter and the clay that I preached for New year 2018 - (Some unknown sources)

…Romans chapter 9 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21Does not the potter have the right to make from the same lump of clay one vessel for special occasions and another for common use? 22What if God, intending to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience the vessels of His wrath, prepared for destruction?…

Ever said- “if only”- have you ever said that if only I was born into a different family – things would have been different have you ever thought if I could just go back one year or ten and have another go at that year or decade – If only.

The circumstances of our life can be quite limiting and you do meet people brutalised by history and spat out to cope in a strange and mystifying world.

What about this young man?

He was born into poverty. His race was ostracised and his home town ridiculed. He was not good looking and people questioned his friendships. His Father died when he was young. In his later years he travelled the streets and cities homeless. He was misunderstood in his ministry and abandoned in death. He did all of this for you and me. He did it to identify with us in our weakness. But he also did it as a sacrificial act of suffering in our place, in order that we might be made whole.

These are Floyd McClung’s words in the father heart of God.

The only time you ever found Jesus saying “If only” that I know of is when he said if Only you recognised the son of God when he came.

It brings you to the point of accepting your pat and squaring up to your future –

That is what God wants you to do and somehow New years eve does that to everyone as well.

For Christians, it si incredibly important to make fresh beginnings to push the refresh button often and this January which starts tomorrow is a wonderful opportunity.

I chose as a reading for today Jeremiah chapter 18 – The Potter and the clay – although applied here to Israel there are, nonetheless important principles that we can learn from and apply to our lives in making a fresh start.

If you are making a fresh start it is really important to understand where you are starting from.

I think that is what is happening when Jeremiah is going down to the Potters house. Jeremiah 18English Standard Version (ESV)

The Potter and the Clay

18 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear[a] my words.”3 So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4 And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

There is an important spiritual principle in these words.

: 2 “Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear[a] my words.”3

Arise and go down to the potters house, and I will let you hear my words.

Arise Get up from your existing position – Move out from where you are!

Then don’t go up into a place of worldliness, arrogance and despair but go down to the potters house it is in going down that you hear the word of God but too many today want to go up and they end up going down but those who go down and humble themselves under the word of God go up into the purposes of God their lives.

There was a vessel of clay on the Potters wheel but it was spoiled – In many ways we are like that clay shaped into a vessel but with faults and the first thing God is trying to show us is how we can be great vessels of his but we won’t be reshaped if we think we are already perfect. We might think one thing or another is the problem but really the problem might lie somewhere else and we need to humble ourselves before God to find the truth. Jesus once said you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. So often we are daling with lies disguised as truths.

From Reader’s Digest: A friend of mine awoke one morning to find a puddle of water in the middle of his king-size waterbed. In order to fix the puncture, he rolled the heavy mattress outdoors and filled it with more water so he could locate the leak more easily. The enormous bag of water was impossible to control and began rolling on the hilly terrain. He tried to hold it back, but it headed downhill and landed in a clump of bushes that poked it full of holes. Disgusted, my friend threw out the waterbed frame and moved a standard bed into his room. The next morning, he awoke to find a puddle of water in the middle of the new bed. The upstairs bathroom had a leaky drain. Life is that way sometimes isn’t it? In Jeremiah’s time the people of God found themselves in a bad situation.

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