Jeremiah 18:1-6: From reading this passage of scripture, we have an
object lesson here; The LORD asks a question in verse six.
November 26th, 2000, Sunday Morning
"Clay in the Potter's Hands"
How GOD wants to mold us
(Special guest speaker: Earl T. Faulkner)
OPENING: Jeremiah 18:1-6, KJV
- GOD wants to ask us the similar question--can your church (meaning the
church members inside) be molded after GOD's desire?
- Praise the Good LORD He gave us free will and not that of mind-numbed robots.
Just as Jeremiah went to the potter's house, let's pretend to be looking in
the potter's window and compare our lives to the dirty clay and the potter being GOD:
- #1/4: The Potter must go and get the clay
- The clay (us) will not awake and go mold itself. We're all stuck in the
muck and the mire, down in the slime pits of sin.
- Romans 3:11: This implies no one in this world ever has (or ever
will) looked for GOD. GOD looked for us first.
- Psalm 40:2: If salvation was wrought through good works (as
Catholics claim), then why, as this passage of scripture says, would GOD hunt so low
to find us as opposed to "up high"?
- We were all on our way to hell and didn't even know it. Our life was worse
than we originally thought (i.e., "I've been kinda bad but not that bad...").
- Most people who are saved are those
who are at the "end of their rope." They're not looking for food or riches but for a hope.
- #2/4: Pulling out the clay that has impurities attached (dead leaves, dirty water, etc.)
- Matthew 9:9-10: There's no reason to try and become any more "clean"
before we come to Christ--no reason to wait until tomorrow... GOD wants us to come to Him
just the way we are. If we were clean and perfect, why would we need to come to GOD, anyway?
Just like Jesus ate in the house of cheaters and sinners, it's the sick who need help--not
- To clean dirty clay, it is hung on a rack, cut, and dried. It is drained
of water so it is "workable." GOD uses clean vessels (bodies--us) for His work.
- True, vessels can look good--even in their impurities (i.e., a molded piece
of clay still has a little water and a couple dead leaves in it) but when it is tried with
fire in a kiln, the impurities may cause that pot (vessel--us) to explode. In addition,
if other vessels are in the kiln, they may become damaged, as well.
- I.e., One Christian sews discord by saying something about another and then
another Christian becomes mad and soon you have yourself a Jerry Springer show in the
congregation. Everyone is broken and mad at each other.
- Jeremiah 13:27: Why does Jerusalem (and us as a nation and world)
refuse to be clean? Don't wait one more day--get cleaned NOW!
- 1 John 1:9: This is a precious verse for the newly
saved. We don't ever have to worry about losing
everlasting Salvation. We don't lose fellowship with GOD--we just break it.
- If we confess our sins, perhaps we'll have prayers answered that previously
weren't. You'll pray for something and GOD will say, "Ok, we'll get to that, but first
about your sins..."
- WARNING: One of the devil's tricks is for you to believe that
GOD is tired of hearing you repent for the same sin over and over. This is untrue.
- Sins are to be confessed retail--not wholesale: ask for forgiveness for each one
as opposed to saying, "forgive me for everything I did this week; Amen."
- #3/4: Potter must soften the clay
- In Jeremiah's day, clay was softened by putting the dried clay in water and
kneading it with the feet.
- Isaiah 41:25: There is more muscle power in the legs to soften
the clay (our hearts, our will) so that it's easier for the hands to mold later.
- GOD doesn't want hard hearts. His molding of us will hurt our will of old
traditions ... sins we used to love doing like drinking, etc.
- We should be willing to accept the water (Word of GOD) and the kneading
(GOD's working our heart to obey Him).
- Romans 12:1-2: The KEY is that we should present ourselves a
living sacrifice to GOD--obeying His will.
- Isaiah 30:10: We shouldn't go to another church for preaching
that we want to hear to make us feel good.
- The LORD's correcting you is the way of showing He cares and loves you enough
to want you to be doing what is right.
- #4/4: Mold the clay
- The Potter (GOD) has the strength, power, and resources to make the shape of
- The Potter did all this work (search for the clay in dirty, stinking, low,
sinful places) to find and clean the clay (you) in sin. Doesn't the Potter have the right
to mold you?
- An arrogant piece of clay that doesn't want to be molded is a
piece you'd want to squash back to the beginning start all over. Some would throw the clay
away and disregard it forever. But GOD would never throw you away. He's patient is great
and he'd try you again, and again, and again...
- All too often, when we're all of a sudden motivated to serve GOD, we write down
a list of things we can perform for GOD on a piece of paper and present it to GOD saying,
"GOD, this is what I can do for You." But the humble man presents a blank
piece of paper before GOD and says, "GOD, do with me as You would."
- The term "no, LORD" doesn't belong in our vocabulary.
Think of what Jesus Christ went through for you because He loves you first:
- Nails in the hands
- The ripping of his beard
- Spear in His side
- Being naked and ashamed before a screaming crowd
- The rejection of Israel of Him
GOD won't override our will ... but He could. He wants us to do His will because
He loves us.
Whereas parents eventually have to force children to do their chores, GOD is
extraordinarily patient with you and will not force you to do anything.
If you're dirty clay stuck in the mud and can't get out, GOD must remove
you and take you to His (the Potter's) house.
Jeremiah 18:6: So getting back to the original question:
when will you come back into GOD's will? GOD will not smash you and trash you ... he'll
retain and re-mold you.