: Although we do not usually go to places where pots and other vessels are made, we all today can understand what God is illustrating by the analogy of a potter creating a vessel for usage/service.
: Today’s cooking vessels are primarily made of very strong and very tough metals. One hears of things like, non-stick, non-stain, microwave tolerant, even heat distribution, life-time guarantee, etc.
But that is not what vessels were made of back then.
: Today, I’d like to look at this passage and use the imagery of clay to describe some characteristics that I believe this passage would bring us to.
Clay in two forms
I want to spend the majority of our time speaking about clay in its pre-finished, still pliable state.
: A few important factors concerning pliable clay (for devotional consideration):
“The Lord says, go down to the potter’s shop and I will speak to you there.”
: We need to get to that place where God can speak to us and show us what he needs to.
“I will speak to you
.” – unique place, individual place, solitary place.
: I dare say that we need to get there! Where? Where God can speak, where God can illuminate, where God can reveal and show us His plans, will, and purposes.
: The first thought I have devotionally for our understanding is that pliable clay is by nature in the absolute place of dependency.
: Pliable clay is just a big blob of earth and water primarily. It doesn’t have form in and of itself.
In Genesis we read that God created man from the dust of the earth (from the clay of the earth). He pretty much is a manikin of sorts.
: Last Sunday I saw a brief piece on the anniversary of the crash dummies. Remember the crash dummies. The first two have names; Vince and Larry!
: That is kind of what we were at first. Manikin’s until God breathed into the dummy the holy spirit! (That’ll preach huh?! Dummies coming alive by the Holy Spirit).
: Today’s skillets I would assume are mass produced by large instruments that have a familiar mold or some type of form or something like that.
The point I’d like to make is that when it comes to us and God, the potter and the clay, what pliable clay (soft human hearts) should understand is that it needs God to shape, fashion and prepare us as individuals for His use!
We should depend on God to make us what He knows we need to be!
: The second piece to this message is that pliable clay, though initially just a blob, still, in the mind of the potter is going to be formed for/with a purpose.
2. Pliable Clay is placed on wheel for/with a purpose
: God has a plan for us! We may all be a little different, but the potter has an idea (vision) of what he intends that piece to ultimately be.
Let me also point out that most potters free-lanced a little more that what God might, but still he has a vision.
In Corinthians we are told that God puts together his body, made in diverse ways, with different advantages but puts them together for something grander.
: Big Bowl (for holding water) and a skinny vase (for holding up a rose).
Pliable clay understands and needs to believe that God has a purpose in mind for it!
: Number 3, pliable clay can and does undergo constant shaping.
3. Pliable Clay understands that it will have to endure constant shaping
: Don’t we surprise when God changes things around a little. Or when He leaves you in the fire a little longer, or even when he brakes you for the purpose of starting all over again!
: Moving on…Number 4.
4. Pliable Clay only gets ultimately finished after it’s placed in the fire
: You can easily understand this I Hope.
1 Peter 1:7
, says that the testing of our faith is more precious (important, valuable) than gold that will perish.
1 Peter 4:12,
“think it not strange when you go through fiery trials as if something strange is happening to you.”
: Number 5 of 6. Pliable clay will always just be clay!
5. Pliable Clay will always be clay.
(Fragile, yet usable!)
: What I am trying to say is that we will always be vulnerable, breakable and flawed.
Application: While we may be used by God for his purposes, we will never be perfect or without sin.
Application: Just like our pots and pans. Then can get very messy. Food can harden making it difficult to get off but we don’t throw them away right? (That’s what paper plates are for) !
NONE OF US HERE ARE PAPER PLATES!
: Lastly, I would like to make the point, that especially in light of point #5, that we are fragile…that clay pots need to handles carefully.
6. Pliable clay when constructed should be handles with care and precaution
: How many of us take care of similar things a little more than the other? Vases, shoes, tools, whatever…Why? Because of value.
: We have read, studied and sung about the relationship to potter and clay.
: Most of our cooking and drinking are no longer made of clay…especially when it comes to cooking.
Today we revisit the progress.
Some vessels are made of tough metals!
: How many of you have or use
skillets or pots? I love the idea of a cast iron vessel. It can get awfully messing and even oxidized. But it can be restored with heat combined with oil and salt!
The Lord always looking to shape, use, direct and recondition pliable clay for His glory.
NKJ Romans 9:21
“Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?”
“When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?”
“Woe to him who strives with his Maker!
with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it,`What are you making?’ Or shall your handiwork
,`He has no hands ‘?
“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’
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