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A Life Made Over

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
February 27, 2024 4:00 am

A Life Made Over

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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February 27, 2024 4:00 am

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: 1 Peter 3:10-11

Communication is the way to joy, happiness, and victory; without it, we are headed for ruin. Communication in marriage is the highest level of intimacy. If we cannot be completely honest with each other, we will drift apart.

Adrian Rogers says, “Fire is a wonderful servant but a poor master; words can warm a heart or burn down a home.”

1 Peter 3:10-11 says, “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”

Communication is the road on which words travel; that road has some blockades and potholes. Our intrinsic differences as men and women affect how we communicate.

Adrian Rogers says, “Incompatibility is grounds for a great marriage. God made us different so that He might make us one.”

Some couples may battle with insecurities and fears that their spouses will not accept them if they are totally open.

Self-centeredness and unresolved hurts also hinder healthy communication, as they close off the openness we are to strive for. So many issues could be solved if we focused on solving them rather than on winning arguments.

If we’re not careful, the distractions of life or overcrowded schedules will also keep us from the good communication needed for a happy home.

1 Peter 3:8 says, “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous…”

If we want to work on our communication in marriage, we must first be sensitive to each other and deal with our own self-centeredness. Once we do that, we can resolve hurts that may be in the way of our intimacy and create a spirit of oneness.

There is also so much power in the simplest ways we nurture our marriages. We must keep dating each other well after the wedding and learn to laugh.

Finally, praying together as husband and wife fills the potholes on the way to intimacy and creates safe passage for healthy communication.

Apply it to your life


Adrian Rogers says, “Marriage anointed by the Holy Spirit is the sweetest thing on Earth, the nearest and dearest and closest thing to Heaven. It’s really the only part of the Garden of Eden we have left. Work at your marriage. Determine that you will communicate with one another.”

 

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Known for his unique ability to simplify profound truth so that it can be applied to everyday life, Adrian Rogers was one of the most effective preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian leaders of our time. Thanks for joining us for this message.

Here's Adrian Rogers. I want you to take God's Word today and turn, if you would please, to the book of Jeremiah chapter 18. Talking today on this subject, a life made over. I heard of two ladies that met in the beauty shop and one said to the other one, Why, Mary, Mary Jones, I haven't seen you for ages. Mary, you look wonderful. I like the way you're doing your hair, Mary. Why, Mary, you've lost weight.

You look younger. You just look wonderful, Mary. She said, My name is not Mary Jones. Oh, she said, You've changed your name too. Well, how would you like to make your life over?

I mean totally, completely make it over. I want you to look here in the book of Jeremiah, beginning in chapter 18 and verse 3, a vision that God gave to Jeremiah. And here's what Jeremiah says, Then I went down to the potter's house, and behold, he wrought a work on the wheels, and the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter. So he made it again another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter, saith the Lord? Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

Making of pottery is one of the oldest arts known to men. If I ever go to a place where there are crafts being done and there is a potter who has that clay in his hands and that potter's wheel, I have to stop and watch. You see that potter as he takes that clay and he chops it and crushes it and chops it and crushes it and molds it and squeezes it till it is soft and pliable. And then he has a wheel that is driven by a treadle that was driven with his foot, and that wheel is going round and round, and he takes that lump of clay and he throws it on the wheel. And then he begins to caress it. He puts his thumbs on the outside and his fingers on the outside, and it goes round and round. It's an amazing thing.

We've all seen it. And it is a beautiful thing to watch a vessel of beauty or a vessel of service, or both, emerge from that ugly clay. Now, there are three ingredients in the making of pottery, others, but three major things that we read about here in this process. There is the potter, there is the clay, and there is the wheel.

First of all, I want you to see what I'm going to call today the potential, the potential of a life that responds. You think of yourself as the clay and see what God can do with you. Now, look in verse 6, if you will. O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter, saith the Lord? Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. Now, God is the potter.

Get that down. God is the potter. He is the master workman. God is at work in your life, and in my life, God says, I am the potter. Now, we are his workmanship. God is working on us. Ephesians chapter 2 verse 10 says, for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus under good works.

God wants to make out of you a vessel, something, someone that he can use. God is the potter, and of course, we are the clay. Now, there's nothing very wonderful about a lump of clay. It's ugly. It's weak.

It in and of itself is totally helpless. Now, clay has three un's about it. It's unclean.

It's unlovely, and it is unable. We are the clay. You want to say amen to that?

Or, oh, me? We are. We are the clay, literally. We're made of the dust of the earth, unclean, unlovely, unable. God is the potter, and we are the clay. Now, there's some people who don't agree that they have to have the potter to do anything for them.

They think they can mold their own lives, and we've all seen some of those moldy people. Now, the wheel. What is the wheel? God the potter, we the clay, the wheel that goes round and round. That's the circumstances of life.

That's what we call providence. But it is the workman who turns the wheel. Not only does God caress the clay, but He's the one that arranges the circumstances on our life. He is the one that orders every turn of the wheel. Now, many of us think there are incidences in our lives that are meaningless, but not a blade of grass moves without God's permission. And over it all is arched Romans 8, 28, if we love God, for we know that all things work together for good to those who love God for the ones that are called according to His purpose. I think back on my life.

I think of things that might have seemed incidental. I was preaching on the street corner in Daytona Beach as a college student on a bus bench. They made me do it because I had the loudest voice, but a group of us as college boys were over there, just witnessing for Jesus. I climbed down from that bus bench and went over to meet a man dressed in a gray flannel suit, very distinguished looking man. And I said, sir, you're Christian? He said, yes, I am. And I said, he said, my name is Doyle Carlton. He said, I own this hotel.

He was standing in front of a hotel. He said, who are you? I said, I'm Adrian Rogers. He said, what are you doing over here? I said, just witnessing. And he said, where are you from? I said, I'm a student at Stetson University. We got to know one another. That man had a great influence on my life. As a matter of fact, it is through Doyle Carlton that I came to be the pastor at Merritt Island and from there to come to Bellevue Baptist Church, a seeming incident.

I don't think it was an incident. I was in grammar school and I was sitting over here and a young girl was sitting over here. Her name was Joyce. I'm sitting here, a young lady sitting there. It was hard for me to study because I had eyes for that girl, walked past her desk in the sixth grade and dropped a love note. She still has it. It's church history.

That girl I'm married to. Well, was it just happenstance that she sat here and I sat there? Well, you can say as you wish, but I believe that there is a wheel of life. And all of us look back and we can say, by the grace of God, I am where I am.

I am what I am. Now, it may not make sense to you. It doesn't have to make sense to you as long as it makes sense to God. Isaiah 55, verses 8 and 9, put it in the margin. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, said the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts. You see, God thinks differently. Don't ever say, now, if I were God, here's the way I would do it. I heard about a boy who was sitting, a farm boy sitting under an oak tree and he was looking out at the watermelon patch and he said, you know, if I were God, I wouldn't put the great big watermelons on that weak little vine and the little acorns on that great big tree. That seems backward to me. And about that time, an acorn hit him on the head.

He was glad there wasn't a watermelon. Now, sometimes we say, you know, if I were God, here's the way I would do it. God thinks differently than we think because God sees the big picture. I heard of a person who picked up one of these bookmarks that most of us have in our Bibles and he looked at it and it was just a mass of tangled threads. It made no sense at all until he turned it over and woven on the other side of these words, God is love.

Now, if you look at the wrong side of anything woven, it doesn't seem to make sense to you. And we see from our perspective, God works on a different thought level and God works on a different technique level. God does things differently than we do.

We sometimes would like to tell God how to do something. For example, out there in the wilderness when those fiery serpents were biting the children of Israel, if you remember that story in the Bible, they might have said God take away the serpents, but God didn't take away the serpents. God told Moses to put a brazen serpent upon a pole and everyone that looks at it will be healed. God did not remove the serpents.

He brought a solution in the midst of the pollution. Sometimes we say, God, why don't you kill the devil? God doesn't kill the devil.

He puts his son on the cross. You see, God's ways and our ways are not always the same, but you can put it down, friend, that God is the potter, we are the clay, and the wheel of life is run by the foot that will one day bear the nail prints. Every foot and every turn of the wheel is ordered by God or at least allowed by God.

Now, I want us to remember this. Now, if you can't understand right now the difficulty that you're in, remember that one day, though you may not understand it now, you will understand that every turn of the wheel has been a part of God's plan. If he does not rule, God overrules. He's going to turn every Calvary to an Easter. He's going to turn every midnight to a sunrise.

He's going to turn every tear to a pearl and string those and make a diadem for you. God will do that. Now, this is the potential, the potential of a life that responds. What should we do, therefore? We ought to say, Lord, you're the potter. You are the clay, mold me, make me after thy will. That's what Romans chapter 6 says we're to do. We are to yield. What is clay to do in the hand of the potter?

It's to yield. May I ask you a question? Are you yielded? Can God caress you? Can God form you? Can God shape you? Can God make out of you what he wants to make out of you? That's the potential of a life that responds. Most of us dare not dream what we could be if we would allow God to have his way in our lives.

Three persons are in your seat this morning. There's the person you are now, the person you might be for evil if you turn from God, and the person you can be if you let God have his own way and say, mold me and make me after thy will while I'm waiting, yielded and still. Here's the second thing I want you to notice. Not only the potential of a life that responds, but I want you to see the problem of a life that resists. The problem of a life that resists, look, if you will, in Jeremiah chapter 18 now and verse 4. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter. So he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Now, here is the vessel on the wheel.

The wheel is going round and round. The potter is caressing the vessel, putting his artistic hands on the vessel, but something happens. It's marred. It's ruined. It's messed up. There's a problem.

Now, I want to ask you a question. Where is the problem? Is the problem in the hand of the potter?

Do you think God messed up? God is the potter. The problem is not in the hands of the potter. The problem is in the clay. Now, what could be the problem in the clay? Well, first of all, there might be some hidden impurity in the clay, some rock, something there, some impurity, something hidden that keeps the vessel from becoming what it ought to be. There may be some hidden impurity in your life that is marring what God wants to do.

Or it may not be a hidden impurity. It might just be that the clay is not broken enough. The clay is too stiff.

The clay does not yield to the hand of the potter. Now, is there in your life right now, listen, any unclean, impure thing that stands in the way of what God wants to do in your life, is there? Now, don't answer out loud, but answer is there. Or today, are you truly yielded to the Lord? Have you said, Lord, here I am. Make of me what you wish.

Do with me what you will. Have you done that? I mean, have you done that? Now, answer the question, have you done that? If not, the vessel is going to be marred and the problem will not be with the potter.

The problem is with the clay. One of the greatest Christian writers of the centuries is a man named F.B. Meyer. F.B. Meyer was a great man of God.

F.B. Meyer, as a pastor, was very successful, but he was not as he ought to have been. He had two friends. One was named Charles Studd and the other one's name was Hudson Taylor.

Both of these are great names in the history of the church. Charles Studd and Hudson Taylor. These two men seemed to have victory day by day. They seemed to have joy and power in their lives and F.B. Meyer watched them.

One day F.B. Meyer went to Charles Studd and he said, Charlie, you seem to have a victory. You seem to have a joy. You seem to have something in your life that I don't have in my life. Tell me about it. And Studd said, there is nothing that I have that you cannot have.

F.B. Meyer said, well, how may I have it? Studd said to him, have you given everything to God?

Meyer pretended he didn't hear the question, but it sank deep into his heart. He went back to his room that night and he began to pray because he said, in my heart there had been something, there had been something that I was wrestling with, something that I did not want to yield up to the Lord. It seemed to me like a small thing, but it was standing between me and victory and I knew it and I knew I had to do something about it. I wrestled with God that night until finally I came to the place where I had to do something and I took the keys out of my pocket, a bunch of keys. And I said, Lord, here it is. Here is the key ring.

This represents my life. Lord, I give it over to you. And he said, it seemed as if the Lord said to me, are all the keys there?

He said, yes, Lord. They're all there except for one key, one small key. It's a key to a little cupboard and that's not on the ring, Lord, but it's an inconsequential thing, just one little key. He said, the Lord handed the keys back to me and started to walk out the door. I said, wait, Lord, don't go. It's just a little key.

He kept walking. I said, please come back, Lord. Here are all the keys. He said, Lord, I don't even believe I can give it to you, but I'll hold it out.

Please take them. And he said, the Lord took those keys, every one of them, and went into that little closet and began to do a work and my life was transformed. I wonder, is there some little key like that in my life? Some little cupboard, something you could say, Lord, you can be Lord of all except this and the vessel is marred. Now, there is the potential of a response of life.

There is the problem of a resistant life. Have you yielded? I'm asking you this question, have you yielded? Now, here's the third thing I want you to see and that's the promise of a life that repents. Now, just because you may have failed, that doesn't mean that God has finished with you. Look, if you will, now in verse 4. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter, so he made it again another vessel as it seemed good to the potter to make it. The vessel now that was marred is remade. You can have a brand new start.

There's hope for you. Our God is the God of a second chance. Now, look in Jeremiah chapter 18 verses 6 and 8.

Oh, it's 6 through 8. O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter saith the Lord? Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom to pluck up and to pull down and to destroy it. If that nation against whom I have pronounced turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. If you will repent of your sin, I will repent of the judgment. That's what God is saying. Now, here's a promise to every one of us today. Your life may be marred. Your life may have been messed up by some hidden sin or some unyieldedness, some stiffness, but God is saying to you, listen, I don't hold grudges.

I'm the God of a second chance. God says, if I say to a nation, I'm going to judge that nation and that nation will repent, then I'll repent of the evil that I'm going to bring upon that nation. We must disabuse ourselves of the idea that it's too late for America. America can come back to God. The same is true of nations. It's true of churches. And churches and nations are made up of individuals. If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked way, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Now, listen. This condition holds true for a life, number one, that is still pliable, and number two, that gives him all the pieces. If your life is broken, give him all the pieces, but do it while it's still pliable and he can make another vessel out of you. Are you willing to do that?

Now, if not, we're going to move into the fourth stage and the final stage. I want you to see the peril of a life that rebels, the peril of a life that rebels. Now, you may be here today and you can say, well, I'm not going to yield to God. Then that clay is going to be hardened.

It may be a deformed vessel, but it will be hardened. Look if you will now in Jeremiah chapter 19 and verse 1. Thus saith the Lord, go and get a potter's earthen bottle, that is a vessel, and take of the ancients of the people and the ancients of the priest.

That is, you get the leaders, the wise people there. And then verses 10 through 12. Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that are with thee, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, even so will I break this people and this city as one breaketh a potter's vessel, now watch this, that cannot be made whole again. And then go down to verse 15.

Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, behold, I will bring upon this city and upon her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it because they hardened their necks that they might not hear my words. Now here, here is the peril of a life that rebels against God. And I can talk about hidden impurities.

I can talk about stubborn resistance. And you can be broken and say, Here I am, Lord. I yield myself to you. I repent. Take me, make me, mold me.

Give me a new start. Or you can just say, Well, it's my life. I'm going to live it the way I want to live it. I'm not going to yield.

That is your privilege. But if you do that, you're going to be hardened in that position and the potter, once the clay is hardened, cannot remold it, he cannot make it. God gives a second chance. If you read the Bible, you'll find that the Bible is full of people to whom God gave a second chance.

But always, always they were pliable. Sometimes people want to know, Have I committed the unpardonable sin? I get letters frequently from people that say, I think I've committed the unpardonable sin. I'm so worried. I always write back and say, If you're concerned about it, you have it.

If you're concerned about it, you have it. Because God is still dealing with you. A person who has committed the unpardonable sin gets so obdurate, so hardened in the sin, that God cannot speak, God cannot mold them anymore. What God is talking about now is a vessel that is hardened in deformity and impurity and stubbornness has turned to hardness and it is to be broken and broken beyond hope.

In front of every man, woman, boy and girl is a deadline. There's a time, I know not when. There's a place, I know not where, that marks the destiny of men to heaven or despair. There is a line by us not seen that crosses every path tis the hidden boundary between God's mercy and God's wrath. He that being often reproved and hardened at his neck shall suddenly be destroyed and that without remedy.

When you cross the deadline, when you say, I will not yield to the potter, the clay gets hard and then it's too late. When that happens, your spiritual sensibilities are dulled. Put this verse down, Romans 11 and verse 8. God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear unto this day. They have eyes, but they don't see. They have ears that they don't hear. Now, they may not need a hearing aid and eyeglasses, but they cannot see spiritual things. Sometimes a man may say, well, preachers don't preach like they used to when I was a boy.

Some of them do. You just don't hear like you used to when you were a boy. You have eyes, but you don't see.

You have ears, but you don't hear. You have become hardened in your sin. You're like that vessel that is hardened.

The clay is fixed and solid and cannot be molded. I've often used the illustration if you go out to the South Florida acreage and woods and you might see an old pine stump out there where there's been a fire and the fire has been burning all the palmetto bushes and all the pines and so forth, but there's one stump out there that when the first time the fire came sweeping along, that stump that had that rosin and that pine tar on it just burned brightly, and then it went out. Maybe the underbrush grows up again in three or four years and another fire comes along and the fire is burning furiously. When it gets to that stump, it may ignite it again, but it burns this time not nearly as brightly, not nearly as long, and the fire goes out. There may come a time in other years when the fire is roaring and coming through. When it comes to that stump, blackened and charred, it doesn't even glow. The fire just jumps right over. That happens in congregations. I have been preaching when the power of God's Spirit would move across the congregation like a fire and souls would come forward weeping, saying, I want to give my heart to Jesus Christ. And some would sit there like this, never touched.

Don't feel a thing. The fire of God's Spirit never moves upon them. They have eyes, but they don't see.

They have ears, but they don't hear. That's the reason I want to beg of you. While the clay is soft, while the clay is pliable, even if you messed up, come to Him. He will receive you. And if you want to be saved, you can be saved, but there will come a time when it will be impossible for you to come to the Lord. Let me give you some of the most terrifying Scriptures that I know of in the Bible, and then I'll be finished.

I just jot these down, or you might want to turn to them. They're all in Romans chapter 1, verse 21. Because that when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Light refused increases darkness. Romans 1, 24, wherefore God also gave them up.

Has God given up on you? Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lust of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. He's talking about sexual immorality and perversion. Romans 1, 26, for this cause God gave them up unto vile affections, for even their women did change their natural use into that which is against nature. Then Romans 8, Romans 1, verse 28. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not convenient. God gave them up, God gave them up, and God gave them over. I want you to think about the Scripture this morning.

Think about it. God says, look, I'm the potter. You're the clay. Unable, unlovely, put you something in my hand.

The wheel, the circumstances of life. I want to make something beautiful out of you. Respond to me.

I have a plan for your life. That's the potential of a life that responds. There's the problem of a life that resists. If there's an unyieldedness or a hidden impurity, you'll mess it up. But there's a promise of a life that repents. Maybe you have messed it up.

Maybe it's not too late. God made it again. Another vessel. But there's the peril of a life that rebels. When you say, no, I don't want your God. I'm going to have my own way.

It's my life. I'm going to live it. He that being often reproved and hardened at his neck will only be destroyed. And there'll be no remedy.

Once that hardened vessel is broken, it's over. The wisest thing you could ever do would be to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior if you have never, ever done so. Say, here I am, Lord Jesus. Have thine own way, Lord. Have thine own way. You're the potter.

I'm the clay. Mold me and make me after thy will while I'm waiting. Yield it and still. And even if you've done that and then said, Lord, I blew it. He's the God of a second chance. He'll give you a fresh start. But whatever you do, please, in the name of Jesus, do not harden your heart until the clay sets, the vessel is deformed, fit to be destroyed and never repaired. Bow your heads in prayer.

Heads are bowed and eyes are closed. And if you're not certain that you're saved today, I want to lead you in a prayer. And in this prayer, you can receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Now, you're not saved by just repeating words. You're saved by trusting Jesus Christ.

The Bible says, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. He died for you. He shed his blood on the cross to pay your sin debt.

And he can take you a lump of clay and make your vessel a beauty in service. Are you willing to pray? Pray like this, dear God, I'm only a lump of clay, unclean, unable, unlovely, but you're the potter. I place myself in your hands. I receive you, Lord Jesus, as my Lord and my Savior. Take control of my life and begin now to make me the person you want me to be.

There are many things I don't understand, Lord, about the way the wheel of life goes round and round. But by faith, I put myself in your hands. Come into my heart, forgive my sin, cleanse me, save me, Jesus. Pray that, friend, from your heart. Save me, Lord Jesus.

Did you ask him, were you sincere? Then don't look for a sign, don't wait for a feeling, just by faith, pray this way, thank you for doing it. Thank you for doing it. I receive it by faith, and that settles it. You're now my Lord, my Savior, my God, and my friend. In your name I pray. Amen. If you would like to learn more about how you can know Jesus or deepen your relationship with Him, simply click the Discover Jesus link on our website, lwf.org. For a copy of this message or additional resources, visit our online store at lwf.org, or call 1-800-274-5683. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-02 03:29:20 / 2024-05-02 03:42:35 / 13

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