The Potter and the VesselBro. David Chancellor
1/20/2002 6:00 PM
We want to consider how things are with us and God. As each of us comes into the world, God has a plan for that life. The potter had a plan for what the vessel would be. Until it is finished, only the potter knows what the vessel will be. How much clay is used depends on what he wants to make. As he works with the clay he may find things in it that weren't obvious when he put it on the wheel. As Jeremiah observed, God was teaching him how he saw things in this world. This can be used to see God's dealing with people. God has some idea of what he wants to do with our life. As we go on with life and begin to make choices, man falls into a life of sin. When this happens, he is marred. God didn't design that we live this life as sinners. Sin mars the vessel. What becomes of the vessel? God has to work with what is there. He can change the use of the vessel. What works to cause what change? When a life is in sin it is a vessel of dishonor that the judgment of God is poured out on. Until the vessel is put in the fire it can be changed. If a soul will turn and repent, God will make the vessel for honor and glory to God. What works in the clay is part of the choice that is made, yet it is ultimately up to the potter. God is able to take what exists in this world to accomplish his purpose, whether you submit to it or not. It is within his hands to change how he works with things if we'll turn to him.
2 Timothy 2:20-21, 16
In a great house there are various types of vessels: china and chinet. It depends on our purpose as to what we choose to use. Some are to honor and some to dishonor. There are some things in our life that need to be put aside so that we can be a vessel to honor. We need God to do some purging in us. Are you proper for God's use? If we will submit ourselves to him, we'll be fitted to the occasion he has need to use us in. He wants us to be ready for what comes next. We have to turn God loose in our life so that we'll be able to be a better vessel in his hands. He's preparing you by the things you face to be ready for his use. He may have to send us through trials to soften us up. There is some preparation that must be made for us to be tools in the hands of God. Our experiences give us a better perspective of what we need. Can we go through things submitted to God? If we'll turn to God, he can make us a vessel that is in the proper condition for God's use. If people would get the message of the gospel, they need to see it lived out. It will take vessels of honor for people to see the gospel lived out. We should desire to be a vessel to honor. God chooses the vessel that will work best for the situation. Are we submitted to the hand of God, that he can use us in whatever will bring honor to his name?
"Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth." This is truly what God wants for everyone. In Pharaoh's case, he wasn't submitted to God, but through plagues and judgment God used him. Whatever way we choose to go in life, God will still use us for his purpose. If we go in the wicked path, he can use us to show the consequences of such a life. We should desire to work with him, not insisting on our own way. Submit to God. A man may go through poverty and insignificance, but that may be the first step on the road to greatness. If you get bitter, you could miss out on what God would have for you. God would have us be faithful. It may be popularity, but many fail in that. Stay submitted to God. There may be things to suffer, but God can still work in that. We don't want to harden up and say, "No." God would use us whether we submit to him or not. He will get something out of your life either way. God shows his longsuffering. He would gladly remold the vessels of wrath if they would just let him. God's glory can be shown on the vessels of mercy.
This is a picture of how a vessel was changed on the wheel. As we endeavor to reach out to souls, we should desire that God work on both ends at once - us and them. On them, to prepare them for the word; on us - to have compassion. Ananais still had the old picture and message. Have we done that to people, held on to what they were instead of what God is working in them? God was working on Paul and a change had been made; he was becoming a chosen vessel to God. If a change hasn't happened in you, it can. Generally speaking nothing is a finished work until life is over. Stay submitted to the potter's hand. Recognize that God can make a change. Paul had had a murderous, hateful, forceful religion. He was a troublemaker and told bad stories about the church. But God changed him. He went through many things for God. He became a chosen vessel and God began to form him anew. You might start unpopular and be someone that no one much wants to be around. We need to think about visitors and those coming in. Our beginnings may be very simple. Paul was very trained in the Jewish religion, but his preaching began with his testimony. A message we can tell is how God has changed us. He has fitted us to tell this to others. We can be a chosen vessel to God. As people repent and find salvation, God starts remolding the vessel.
Esther looked on the situation as a matter of life and death. We, too, may feel this way. We want to know when to speak and when not to. Mordecai reminded her that God could deliver his people with her or without her. He gave her this to think about: "...and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this..." We live in a very troublesome time; there's been apostasy all over the land. We have the opportunity to be a real example of God's mercy. Esther was fitted for her time by being taken in to the palace, but she had to exercise some courage, whether it meant life or death. There may be things we'll face that will call for courage, that will almost seem that significant, but you may be here for such a time as this. God needs vessels of mercy in our time. He needs a people submitted to him; who may not know what he is working, but who will submit to that which promotes his cause. Will we let him shape us into what he wants us to be? God may have to overrule the part of us that would want our own way. Submit to his purpose and realize if you life isn't where it needs to be, to turn to God. Can we submit to his purpose? If we go our own way, he will fashion a vessel, but it will be a vessel to dishonor. We should desire to be a vessel of mercy, that his cause would go forth and his name be glorified.