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In The Potter's House Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
April 27, 2021 1:00 am

In The Potter's House Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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April 27, 2021 1:00 am

Most of us go about our business, thinking we’re in control of our lives. But God sets the agenda, and He knows what is best. Many believers have never seen themselves as clay on a potter’s wheel, being molded to suit the Potter’s purposes. But the sooner we understand this truth, the sooner we’ll be fruitful members of the body of Christ, serving and loving both God and others.

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Rain forests looking to Jesus and many believers have never seen themselves as playing on a potter's wheel.

Potter's purposes. We understand that soon it will be full members of the body of Christ today blessings from allele the furnace during a trip to Israel Moody Church in Chicago.

This is Dr. Sir Lewis clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Estimates are people these days may not even know what a potter's wheel is well that may be true today, but those of us who have been to Israel. We have actually seen a potter's wheel is a matter of fact, there are those who continue to make clay pots and so the imagery from the book of Jeremiah was well known to the people of his day, but even if you've not been to Israel. You can visualize the scene and will be explaining that to you in just a moment and I believe that this message is going to have a tremendous impact on your life and I say that because every time I read this passage I myself am convicted and instructed. We want to think that many of you who help us here at running to win. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts.

If you want to know more. Here's what you do go to RTW and click on the endurance partner button that's RTW or if you prefer you can call 1-888-218-9337: 1-888-218-9337 and now let us use our imaginations. Let us in our imagination go to the potter's house, along with Jeremiah for lessons that are transforming for all of us today. I'm speaking on the topic in the potter's house, all of us have gone through experiences in life.

I'm sure that if an discipline pointing our dreams have been shattered if we could go up and down the aisles we find people today who would say I hope for a happy marriage. But it hasn't happened. Someone else might say. I hope for good health. I hope to correct satisfying career. What is God doing in the midst of our pain in the midst of our disappointments and in the midst of our shattered dream's will.

Today I want you to come with me to Israel, how many of you have been to Israel, can I see your hands.

Please, not nearly as many as I thought, but were all going to Israel today.

I want you to bring your camera, you know, everywhere people have digital cameras nowadays. In fact, they even have cameras on their phone. So bring your camera along because what were going to do is were going to go into the potter's house were going to take for snapshots so that when you get back from Israel. You can show your friends saw in the potter's house, Jeremiah chapter 18 is the passage of Scripture where Jeremiah was asked to go into the potter's house, and if you didn't bring your Bible. I hope that you use that pew Bible. Jeremiah is one of the big books and it follows one that is even long, namely the book of Isaiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah Jeremiah chapter 8 team the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, arise, and go down to the potter's house and there I will let you hear my word. So I went down to the potter's house and there he was working at his wheel and the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good for the potter to do. I know that in context.

This is a reference to the nation Israel. As Jeremiah explains in the next verses. But today I want us to see this passage from God's standpoint in our standpoint and what God is doing in our lives and what it's like to be a vessel in the potter's house, and I told you to bring your cameras because the first picture that were going to take as we walked in the potter's house is a picture of the potter himself, who, in this particular story is God. But let's look at a potter that you might find in Israel. He is he is so intent on what he is doing that he doesn't even know that we have walked into his store into his is very intent and as we look more carefully.

We notice that he is working purposefully. He has a plan in mind. He has a good idea what this vessel is going to look like and he determines whether it's going to be a flowerpot. Whether it's going to be a water pod whether or not it'll have handles how big it will be all that is in his mind as he works purposefully. He's not like children, preschool children playing with Plato, were just making things that that perhaps have no particular shape and he's not blindfolded as the evolutionists say that he is working blindly throwing things together. There is a plan and there is a plan that God has for your life clearly in the book of Romans that says that that plan is that we should be conformed to the image of his son, today is your listening to me whether here or on the Internet or the radio. Keep in mind that God has a purpose in what he's putting you through because he sees you in a way that you don't see yourself. He has a plan in mind is working purposefully. Let us also realize that he is working patiently. We may think that as we see the potter go through all of the various motions. Says he's looking at that vessel. It might seem as if it's good to us, but it's not yet good to him and he's taking his time.

He does not want to sacrifice beauty for speed. So there. He works at the divine. Potter sometimes works that way to have you ever noticed how long it sometimes takes God to remake somebody and would like to be able to put it through the assembly line.

Do it quickly.

God do it in a few weeks.

A couple of months. Surely not years. But God is working patiently but is also working authoritatively because he has in mind of the kind of vessel that he has and will see this when it comes to the second vessel the remainder vessel. It says that he remake said as it pleases him, as it seems good to him. God works with authority. Doesn't this bring to your mind. Romans chapter 9 that very difficult passage that all of us struggle with regarding Pharaoh. It says for this purpose.

I raised Pharaoh up when I hardened his heart that I might show my glory throughout all the earth, and of course an objector says will wait a moment, God, this doesn't make sense doesn't Pharaoh have free will. How come you are still blaming him.

If you're the one who raised him up, and you remember what the apostle Paul says who are you to reply to God, shall the thing formed to say to him that formed it might have you made me this way. Does the vessel say to the potter. Why have you made me thus, what if God wants to make his glory and his power known. Does he not have the right to make some vessels on Donner and someone to dishonor you works with authority and God works with authority. And yet, as we look at the text we notice that 10 from our standpoint. At least it looks as if the potter has a mixture of success as well as a mixture of failure because clearly this vessel is not turning out the way in which he intended. So naturally we face the question does God ever fail. Does he intend to do something and want to do something but then he's blocked because of our stubbornness.

What are two ways that we must view this. First of all, let us understand that God's hidden purpose is hidden purpose is always achieved.

There is no doubt that he works all things after the counsel of his own will and the will that you and I do not say because there's so much that we see that we do not understand, and we cannot understand God's purposes that hidden will is always achieved he do it according to his will in the Army of heaven and amongst the inhabitants of the earth, and none stay as hand or say unto them, style is eternal, hidden will is always achieved, but there is another sense in which his visible purposes here on this earth are sometimes thwarted by us by our hardness of heart by our rebellion by our failure to take human responsibility. So that's the other side of this coin, but as the potter's sits there working he is working authoritatively because he does have an and in mind, give a picture now of the potter on the camera of your mind. Do you see him there, sitting on a stool working intently dressed in brown clothes where working with brown clay. That's the first picture. The picture of the potter. Let's move on and let's take a picture now of the wheel to wheel. You'll notice it says and he was working at his wheel last part of verse three and he was making a vessel on the wheel. So what is the wheel. The wheel is real life experiences and the analogy and he is working in our lives through two different venues. Broadly speaking, first of all circumstances.

God brings circumstances into our lives and the Bible says that all things work together for good to those who love God and that little word. All should be emphasized and underlined all things work together for good.

All the circumstances of life, including your struggles with your health and as we shall see in a moment struggles with other people but notice circumstances it says in the Old Testament regarding Joseph Joseph. It says that Joseph when he was exalted and he was next to Pharaoh because he was working with Potiphar who was Pharaoh's Secret Service agent. It says and the Lord was with Joseph and he was exalted in Egypt and then he becomes falsely accused your member and he's thrown into prison and it says and the Lord was with Joseph when he was in, may I say to you today that God is with us in our promotions but he is also with us in our demotion. The potter uses both the use says health as well as sickness. He also uses not only circumstances but people have you ever noticed how God irritates us with people you know we all love humanity as Charlie Brown says is just people that we can stand to live above with the saints we love all that will be glory, but to live below with the saints. I know that's another story here is God puts us altogether and he says enjoy one another. Now how does God use people God uses people to teach is to mold us if we are to look at that. Potter as we would see the clay spinning around in his wheel. We notice that he has a knife and he is using that night very guardedly very carefully so that the excess clay might come off and he is doing that and that's exactly the way in which God tests us and develops us new students that are here today the roommate that God in his providence has given you for this semester may be the very knife that God intended to use to make you into the vessel. He wants you to be. But you know that the vessel has no right to tell the potter.

You can't use that person or that circumstance, you will write to do that.

Potter can use whomever wishes. Think of it this way. In the case of the apostle Paul. The potter used Satan and messenger of Satan to trouble Paul and to give them the thorn in the flesh in the life of someone like Peter, what you find is that God used somebody else, namely the his own deception and his own unwillingness to follow Jesus Christ and in the case of Joseph whom I spoke about earlier, God used his brothers. His brothers were the wheel that God used to produce with in him Christlike character because that's what God is after. And indeed the Bible says all things work together for good.

That's the wheel there was a very wise Chinese man.

I read the story some time ago who had a son and a horse metal that he had, but his son let the horse out of the barn so the horse ran away so this man's friends gathered together and they said we want to sympathize with you over the bad thing that happened in the man said how do you know that this is bad. Next day the horse returned and brought 10 stray horses with him all of his friends gathered together they said we want to we want to celebrate with you regarding the good thing that is happening. Is this how do you know that his son was trying to break one of those new horses in the horse threw them off and the boy broke his leg. Everybody gathered around and they said we want to comfort you regarding the the evil, the bad, that is, how do you know that it's bad next day, soldiers were coming through the countryside looking for young men to fight and his son was exempt because he had a broken leg: let us gather together and let it what you know this story could go on for a long time. As Christians we do not make superficial judgments. All things work together for good to them that love God. That's the wheel upon which God places us all right.

We have looked now and back behind that will my friend is God. So we taken two pictures we've taken a picture of the potter.

We've taken a picture of the wheel. Now it's time to take a picture of the first vessel. That's the third picture that we take notice what it says he was working at his wheel. Verse four and the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, we look at this vessel and there was something with in it that resisted the potter possibly had some lumps within it. It is as if this vessel was rebelling against what the potter wanted to do and these lumps were creating difficulty. The lumps showed that there was also a lack of symmetry.

Symmetry is very very important to the potter and and as a result of that the this particular vessel, despite the fact that the potter was working authoritatively.

This particular vessel was marred. It was spoiled it was one in the hands of the potter.

My friend, this is pastor, teacher, can't you just visualize that here's a potter who is working with authority and yet the clay resists the potter.

What a picture of your life and mine. What a picture of society when God is the one who is the potter and we're the clay and we will not submit to the potter's hand, you most assuredly have to listen to next time because all continue this message and we need to understand more of the imagery from my heart to yours.

Today I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of running to win. Maybe you've never connected with us even though you are blessed by this ministry may challenge you to become an endurance partner endurance partners are those who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Of course you want more information and to get that information, you can go to RTW perhaps as you have frequently heard me say in the past. RTW offer is all one word RTW and when you're there, click on the endurance partner button and it will indicate what it means to become an endurance partner joining hands with us in a sense joining the running to win the family or if you prefer you can call at 1-888-218-9337 now let me give you that phone number again.

Perhaps you've not had time to get a pencil that you can write it down now 1-888-218-9337 or as I mentioned, go to RTW Click on the endurance partner button. Thanks in advance for helping us and be sure to listen next time as we go once again to the potter's house, it's time again for another chance for you to ask Pastor lutes or a question you may have about the Bible or the Christian life sometimes were bothered by unresolved issues were glad to be able to offer some direction to people to help sort things out. Today's email brought us these questions from Lorenzo. I have a couple of questions about repentance that trouble me. What is the biblical definition of repentance do you have to repent to be saved, if you turn from your sin in order to be saved. Doesn't that mean that works are a part of salvation. Lorenzo you know that in asking this question, you kind of jumped into a hornets nest because there is some disagreement in the evangelical community about this. So let me try to shed some light on it. First of all, the word repentance in its most basic form, means to change your mind now some people say that based on that that salvation is nothing more than changing your mind about Jesus, you receive them as your Savior. You change your mind as to who he is but it seems to me that the word repentance is actually deeper than that.

The word repentance seems more than simply changing your mind. It almost seems to be to change your direction. Somebody has defined it to turn away from as much. As you know about your sin to as much as you know, of God.

Well, couple of comments. First, when you get saved, there's a sense in which you have to turn from your sin to Christ. I don't know how else to explain it except that repentance is a change of mind whereby we are going in one direction and now we turn to Christ like it says in first Thessalonians. The people there, they turned to Christ from idols and in the very same way we turn to Christ, and we leave our idols behind. This becomes a very natural explanation for what repentance is. But I do need to caution that if you continue to tell people that coming saved means that Christ has to be Lord of your life.

That's where we get into some difficulty because some people may not be in a position where they can make Christ the Lord of their life. They turn from their sin in their helplessness to Christ. But some things in their life. They may not.

At that point be able to totally give up when I was in Japan.

This was clarified for me, a pastor there told me that if you tell some of these dear people, that in order to receive Christ they have to give up all of their idols. First though. Say to themselves that's impossible because I worship these idols and I simply cannot walk away from them. So what we need to do is to present Christ hold him up urge people to believe on him, despite their weaknesses, despite their misgivings to receive the free gift of salvation will Lorenzo. I hope that I've shed some light on this.

I hope that my comments were not confusing so I need to simply summarize and say that repentance is turning away from sin to Christ, and that is not a matter of works being smuggled into the gospel because the gospel assures us that eternal life is free, but in the process. We recognize that the business of making Christ Lord of our lives. That is something that takes the rest of our life to do.

Hope this helps. And above all, if there are those who are listening, who never trusted Christ as Savior. Now is the time to do it. Thank you Dr. Luther. Thank you Lorenzo if you'd like to hear your question answered.

Go to our website to find that There you can click on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at the running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614.

Seeing ourselves as a way helps us avoid the I'm in charge attitude. We all too often project as the potter God is in charge. He has a purpose.

We can't see a purpose that takes us to the fire so that one day will come out as goal.

So are you content being clay on God's pottery wheel. Next time. Join us for more on what kind of vessels God wants to make out of you and me. Thanks for listening, Dr. Erwin lutes or this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher

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