The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.
The Lord tells Jeremiah to go to the house of the potter. Jeremiah goes and sees a potter working at a wheel. The vessel he is working on goes wrong so he reworks it into a different shape and purpose.
The Lord then speaks to Jeremiah and says that He is the potter shaping the nations, including Israel, to His purposes. He may declare disaster on a nation, but if that nation repents of its evil ways, He will save it. Likewise, He may plan to bless a nation, but if the nation turns to evil then He will withdraw the blessing.
He then warns Israel that He is planning judgement on the nation but there is still a chance to turn from its wicked ways.
It is a sobering thought that we are clay on the Potter's wheel. We want to think that we are captains of our own destiny, but the truth is that the Lord is shaping us for His purposes.
There are few fixed points in our future. Our sin will reap its rewards, but if we repent we can avoid eternal judgement. Likewise all of our good deeds count for nothing if there is sin in our hearts. Our relationship with God, in Jesus, is the key to becoming vessels fit for use.
Only Jesus can rework our lives and reshape the vessel of our heart.
Lord Jesus, I submit myself to you again. You are the Potter, I am the clay. Use me for your purposes. Amen
“All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
At a banquet Jesus notices that people are jockeying for the best places. He tells them that it is better to choose a lower place so that the host promotes you than to choose an honoured place and have the host move you to make space for another.
It is better to give a banquet for the poor, the crippled and the lame who cannot repay you than to only invite your friends. Jesus assures us that we will receive our reward in heaven.
In a culture that relentlessly encourages self-promotion, Jesus' teaching seems crazy. Why not put yourself out there and make people take notice of you?
The pathway of humility- being realistic about ourselves and others- is actually more productive in the long term, and certainly in the Kingdom of God.
We live not for the glory of men but for the affirmation of God. At least we should live for the affirmation of God.
Is it better to have the “Well done!” of creatures of limited senses or to have our heavenly Father who created the cosmos with a word say “Great effort!”?
It is too easy to have our goals and desires shaped by sinful people. God wants us to keep our our eyes on the goal of eternity.
Lord I understand that you are training me for an everlasting Kingdom. Please help me to set my eyes and my heart on what pleases you. Amen.
I saw a photo of my retina and scars that probably have been there from birth.
I was amused that despite all the changes, it still comes down to a man with a box of lenses saying "Is that better or worse?".
Despite the technology, they still haven't fixed the "bill shock" at the end of the session. :)
- New Life Christian Fellowship NarrabriPastor, present
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