thinking of the sunday’s sermon i came up with this outline:
in jer. 18:1-11, jeremiah is referred to potter for an object lesson.
clay mixture (god’s folk)
– has to be worked and prepared before making pots
– needs clay (faith)
– needs water (prayer)
– needs sand (hope)
– needs crumbs of old baked clay (exp of the good and the bad)
no water – not pliable
no sand – cracks
no crumbs – no endurance
because clay is there as the material that holds things together. clay cannot hold together its own self.
potter’s wheel (church)
– turns so that all sides can be seen
– helps to shape the pot
– uses centrifugal forces
– is the mastermind of design
– is the ultimate judge of his produce
– is the creator of the clay mix
the potter knows how much of each ingredient he needs for a given type of pot. he knows the destination of the pots, their uses, and so shapes them accordingly.
can the potter make mistakes?
can he make a lopsided pot?
can he make inappropriate pot?
pot is the final, end result of potter endeavour. it has been shaped, dried and hardened in fire.
before that it is hardly possible to talk of pot.
potter makes pots. appropriate or inappropriate is the matter of the buyer and user of the pot.
end object lesson.
a number of times jeremiah refers to god shaping his people like a clay pot.
god, like the potter, presses his ppl by warnings, and shapes them by promises.
god judges and estimates the readiness of his product by the responses of the material.
god prefers his job to be done up to scratch. therefore he reworks, reforms his material until it satisfies his demands.
notice: turning from evil is essential to becoming a useful vessel in god’s hands.
what shows us evil?
how can we turn from evil?
– by admitting that there is evil – in one’s own self
– by asking god to remove it and replace it with his christ.
– by asking god to make his word and his christ the model for your lives.
if you want to become a finished pot in god’s pottery – allow him to balance your ingredients, shape you, dry you and burn you.
this is to grow in christ.