- Rev. Thomas Abraham
The Good Work In You (Part 3)
Philippians 1:3-6 - "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Jeremiah 18:1-4 - "This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 'Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.' So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 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."
God asked Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house. God wanted to show him how He works on His people, the people of Israel.
Verse 2: "Go down to the potter’s house"
God didn't ask Jeremiah to go to the potter’s shop to see how his employees or assistants work, or to look at all his vessels on display. No, instead, God told him to go to the potter’s house - the potter’s role is not that of a merchant but of a loving and caring father working intently and with care in his house to produce the clay vessels.
Verse 3: "I saw him working at the wheel"
The potter was not on vacation or on a lunch break. He wasn't taking a nap, but he was diligently at work.
Yes, MY Potter is always at work.
Psalms121: 4 - "Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep."
The potter is busy with his work; no matter how many times he fails, he remains working at the vessel on his wheel.
Regardless of how many vessels did not come up to his expectations at first, he remains working on his vessels, they are constantly a work in progress.
If the wheel isn't spinning very fast, then none of the vessels will come to it's desired shape. Look back at all the troubles, problems, and trials we have had to face - yet the master is making us perfect and stronger.
The potter himself works on the clay. He will never hand his work over to a stranger because when a crisis comes, a stranger will leave the work and run.
John10:12 - "The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it."
But MY Potter has given me a promise that He will never leave me or forsake me – even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because He is with me there!
Verse 4a: "But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred (spoiled) in his hands"
Even though it was marred, it was not useless.
When God told Jeremiah to go down to the potter's house, God did not allow him to speak, but simply watch the potter at work - watch the vessel being formed.
It's possible that when Jeremiah saw the marred pot, he wanted to comment on the value of that pot - but he was quiet the entire time.
"Be still and know that the Lord is God"
We are not allowed to judge the potter or the pot at work.
There are some people that never close their mouth.
They like to make comments at everyone and for everything.
Some find it satisfying to constantly criticize. Then there are others that enjoy going around engaging in gossip. Silly people are not ashamed to interfere in other people’s lives.
Matthew 7:1-5 - "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
Matthew 12:37 - "For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Romans 14:4 - "Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand."
Not only was Jeremiah not allowed to make any comments about the vessel, he was not allowed to touch the wheel as well because it was spinning very fast – only the potter could handle the wheel.
Jeremiah was not allowed to go back after the clay was marred because it was not finished yet.
Wait upon the Lord, the work is not yet done.
Don’t make any negative comments especially when God’s work is still in progress.
Don’t jump into conclusions especially when God’s work is still in progress.
It is natural that the clay was marred because it is simply clay.
We are not perfect, but we are forgiven!
It is the nature of clay that if it is not smooth enough to be shaped in the hands of the potter, it will be spoiled.
We the clay need more grace, more anointing, more humility, more prayer, more of the word of God, more tears in order to be shaped well in the hands of the potter.
One failure is not a total failure.
One wound is not the sign of a battle lost.
One fall is not total destruction.
Verse 4b: "So, the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him."
The potter did not throw away the clay into the trash because he knows the clay is costly. Even though it has no shape just yet, it has value.
Once, this clay was useless out in the field. Nobody noticed the value of the clay until the potter look at it.
People will look at your wrong side, but my Lord will look at your right side.
The potter will remove the hardness and the small stones from your surface, that irritated nature, with no smoothness and make it into desirable clay.
The potter has spent his time and energy to form the clay into this position - the clay is now on the wheel, so there is no way it can come out of the potter’s hand.
Nobody knows the mind of the potter nor what shape he will be forming the clay into.
The touch of the potter has changed this clay.
The touch of the master potter will change your destiny, your value, your life, mixed with the water that is the word of God and the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Don’t be disappointed when you fail or when you fall.
Don’t give up, for if you are still in the hands of the potter, no matter how many times you fail, there is still hope!
We all know the 16th president of the United States - President Abraham Lincoln.
But it was the failures in his life that made a huge impact in shaping him into the great president that we remember him as today.
At the age of 29, he ran for the speaker of the state legislature, but failed.
At the age of 31, he ran for an electoral position, but failed.
At the age of 34 and 39, he ran for congress, but failed.
At the age of 45, he ran for the senate, but failed.
At the age of 47, he was nominated for vice president, but was rejected.
At the age of 49, he ran for senate again, but failed.
At the age of 51, he ran for presidency – he won and became one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States.
Don’t be disappointed and don’t give up.
If you are still in the hands of the potter, no matter how many times you fail, still there is hope.
"The potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him"
This means he made the second one better, more valuable than the first one.