Thursday, December 16, 2010
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OK, I'm a history buff. So my kids had the opportunity to visit many houses and villages that are historic preservations or restorations. They might put that a little differently. "We got dragged to all this history stuff!" Our two sons especially got to dreading that word "tour." In fact, they made it a much longer word. It went something like this: "Oh, we're not going on another toooooo-urrrrr?" One thing that made the toooo-urrrs a little more interesting, were the craftsmen working their crafts. Like the potter, for example. Even the kids enjoyed stopping to watch him do his work. He'd start with this worthless lump of clay and slowly, painstakingly, he would transform it into something really beautiful and valuable. I could tell that, by the gift shop prices on his pottery.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How God Makes You a Masterpiece."
I'm glad I've had the opportunities to watch the ways of the potter. Because, according to the Bible, when I watch the potter, I'm watching a picture of the ways of my God. And that potter picture might give you some meaning to what's going on in your life right now.
Here's how the ways of God are described in Isaiah 64:8. It's our word for today from the Word of God. "Yet, O lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand." There it is. Me clay, Lord; You potter.
When God wanted to explain to His people the painful events in their lives, He sent His prophet Jeremiah down to the potter's house for an illustration. Jeremiah said: "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 it seemed best to him." Then the Lord sent this message: "Like the clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand" (Jeremiah 18:1-6).
Since this potter parallel is God's idea, let's consider how the ways of the potter may shed some light on the ways of God in your life, in the past and even in your current circumstances. We're all that shapeless lump of clay until we put ourselves in the hands of the Master Potter. Only the One who gave you your life can shape your life into what it was created to be.
How does He make you into a masterpiece? First, there's the purifying. The Potter works to wash out and work out impurities that keep you from becoming something beautiful. And then, there's the poking and the squeezing - the pain which makes us want to ask the Potter, "Why?"
His answer: "I'm shaping you into something of great value. Trust Me." And then there's the heat - 2,000 degrees in that kiln oven. If the clay could talk, it would probably scream, "You're killin' me in here!" No, see the heat solidifies and makes permanent the beautifying work that the Potter's been doing. Without the heat, you lose what He's made you. The heat makes it last.
So whatever you're going through right now is a tool in the hands of the Master Potter. It's not random, it's not just about the situation you can see in front of you. It's the chosen tool of the Potter who is also your loving Father. Let Him do His wonderful work. Trust His loving hands even when you can't understand what He's doing. He's using what's happening to make you more beautiful and more valuable than you could ever imagine.