Daily D – Jeremiah 18:1-4 | Philippians 1:4-6
Jeremiah 18:1-4 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and 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 seemed best to him.
Philippians 1:4-6 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Maybe your problem isn’t your problem. Maybe God is shaping you, or reshaping you, for significance. If you’re still breathing, he’s still working on you.
Notice two things in Jeremiah 18:2 and 4: Jeremiah heard what God said and he did what God said. The most important lesson we will ever learn is how to hear and obey God. The most important lesson we will ever teach is how to hear and obey God.
Jeremiah had to move from where he was to get in position for God to speak to him more clearly. Jeremiah had to see what God wanted to show him so that he could say what God wanted to speak through him.
Notice second how God keeps reshaping our lives. Flaws do not stop his work. He does not angrily throw the clay against the wall and walk away. He patiently reshapes the clay as seems best to him.
The last words of verse 4 in the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) say, “as it seemed right for him to do.” The New Living Translation (NLT) says the potter, “started over.” The Message says, “the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.”
You can say, “God is the God of the second chance.” You can say, “He’s still working on me.” What you cannot say is, “God gave up on me.” He patiently reshapes us as he relentlessly works us into a masterpiece of his unique styling. (See Ephesians 2:10 NLT).
Maybe you need to buy one of those bumper stickers saying, “Be patient with me. God isn’t finished with me yet.” This is half of the truth. The other half is how God’s plans for what the finished masterpiece you are to become may well be different from what you have in mind.
The last half of Jeremiah 18:4 is enlightening: “so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” God’s work in our lives is always for our best and for his glory. We will never live better or more fulfilling lives than when we let him do what he wants to do as he shapes us into his own masterpiece. When we say Yes to what he wants, we become a display of his perfect love and his singular craftsmanship.
Maybe your problem is not your problem. Maybe your problem is God’s hammer, chisel, brush, and sandpaper. Maybe your problem is God’s redirection away from one pursuit toward a greater pursuit. Maybe God wants to reshape your life to show others how he can take lumps of clay and turn them into works of art.
Maybe you should change your name to Clay. Maybe you should sing, “You are the Potter; I am the clay.” Maybe you should endure and enjoy the process of becoming all God ever dreamed you would be.
I will yield to the Potter’s hand.
Our Father, mold me, shape me, fill me, use me. Amen.
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Leviticus 19:32-34 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord. “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
Luke 6:27-31 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”