In the Hands of the Potter

In 1502, in Florence Italy there was a large block of marble given to a church in Santa Maria, so the church immediately hired who they thought was a professional to sculpt this enormously huge piece of rock. 
The man was not a professional and soon after commencing this great task the man drilled a whole right at the bottom destroying this magnificent piece of marble, so that 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, Michaelangelo caught word of this large stone and how it had 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 statutes of David ever built. 
  • What was once thought to be a lost cause became one of the greatest statues 
  • This morning, we are at different points in life, but we are all sinners, broken people 
  • But in the capable hands of the Lord, we can be molded into something beautiful
Jeremiah 18:1-6
  • Jeremiah went to the potters house
  • Jeremiah watched the potter as he molded the clay into the object he wanted.
  • God was showing Jeremiah how Judah is like a piece of clay in His hands. 
  • No matter where we are at, we are unfinished pieces of pottery that can become we are beautiful.
  1. The Potter (God) has a Purpose
  • The potter has a purpose in mind for his work. 
  • What look like simply mud, can become something beautiful
In Romans 9:19-21, Paul builds on this imagery:
One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ’Why did you make me like this?’ ” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
  • The Potter’s Purpose: 
    • Noble Purposes/Common Use
  • God has a (Primary) purpose for our lives.
Romans 8:29 (message) – God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son
Colossians 1:15 (message) – We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. 
  • To shape us into the likeness of His son
God’s Purpose is Not happiness, security, possessions, comfort, perfect health
  • We must put our lives in God (the Potters) Hands
2. God has a Plan
  • uses various means to shape and mold us
  • To make pottery you must free the clay from all impurities (burn it)
  • The Potter fashions the clay into an object
  • God uses His Word, People, Challenging circumstances
    • Suffering – What may have been intended for harm, God uses for good
      • God does not waste an ounce of our pain; suffering doesn’t come our way for no reason
At times, we might say, God, why me?
  • I’m not God and He does not need my opinion
    • He has all the power, and I have none 
    • He can do what He wants
    • He has the strength/design/skill,control, not the clay. 
What’s going on in your life? 
God is trying to do the same with you.
  • If you look at your own life, you might be able to see what lessons God has been teaching you. 
    • Developing your prayer life – Unanswered prayer, situations that look hopeless
    • Helping you to love people – Patience (Long- suffering)
    • Unconditional love with different people 
    • Teaching you to grow in marriage
    • Teaching you something about your parenting
    • love for your kids when disappointed or get on your last nerve
    • Like the clay, we must choose to stay on the wheel in order to fulfill the Potter’s purpose.
    • We must endure the process to become what God intends to accomplish. God is up to something 
3. God doesn’t give up on marred clay. 
Jeremiah 18:4 – 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.”
  • Marred (imperfection). Chip or a scratch. 
  • Ruined, spoiled, flawed are often tossed.
    • But not so in our story of the Potter & not God
    • Truth: We are all marred clay with Imperfections
    • Sinners, flaws
  • Good news: God takes what is marred and makes something useful out of it.
  • God does not give up on you or toss you away
  • Not seen as a lost cause or hopeless situation 
  • God continues to work again and again to shape us as He seems best to Him