Jeremiah 18:1-11 ESV
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 words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.
Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the Lord, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.’
I sense that the Lord Jesus would have me share some of my personal testimony here as one who is clay in the Potter’s Hands.
I was brought up from birth attending gatherings of the church, and for 63 years of my life (I am now 73) I weekly gathered together with the church in person, or with what is being called “church” in various cities and states and locations. But I also ministered within these gatherings in teaching the Scriptures, beginning at age 16, and in working with children, youth, college students, and women in various areas of ministry. I also did a lot of secretarial type of work both volunteer and for pay. And I sang in groups and directed ensembles and sang solos, etc.
At age 7 I trusted in Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior (I was born again of the Spirit of God) and I began following him with my life. But my home life was not good, so it was a definite challenge. Then, when I was in my early 20’s, our pastor recommended the NASB version of the Bible, and my husband and I bought it. And when I began reading it, the Word of God really began to come alive to me then, for I always struggled to understand the KJV. But when I began reading the NASB is when I really began to hear from the Lord and to follow his leading in my life like never before. And that is when I really began to grow in my walk of faith in the Lord Jesus.
Then, when I was close to age 40, I was going through menopause (I had a hysterectomy at age 31) and my hormones were going berserk and I was struggling in some areas of my life, and I ended up following my husband into sin, which lasted on and off over a span of about 6 years, with a 7 year gap, and then for about another year before the Lord brought me back for good. And then several years later the Lord called me to this present ministry of writing what he teaches me from his word each day and posting it on the internet, which I have been doing for the past 18 years.
Then the Lord Jesus had me go through the Scriptures one book at a time over and over again so that I learned the Scriptures and their context. And during this time he was teaching me so much, not just about the Scriptures, but about what is presently going on in our world in relation to prophecy of Scripture. And he was teaching me the difference between the true church, the body of Christ, and the institutional church of men. And during this time he also allowed me to go through much persecution at the hands of these institutional churches.
Long story, but the Lord then led me to gather with Christians on the internet, and that is my church. That is where I am able to meet with the body of Christ and minister in the areas of ministry to which my Lord has called me, which I was not able to do in these institutional churches because of the persecution, and because so many of them have now gone the way of the world and so they are altering the character of God and the gospel of Christ to make it more acceptable to the world. And I don’t fit with that.
Okay, so as followers of Jesus Christ we are all clay in the hands of the Potter (God). And he is working to make us into his likeness and to make us into the people he wants us to be for his glory. But if we do not cooperate with him, and we choose to walk in sin, instead, then he can’t use us. And he may bring upon us some disaster in order to get us to return to him. And so we must know that his promises only apply to us when we are doing what is required for those promises to be fulfilled. But if he threatens some type of divine correction because of our rebellion, but then we repent, he will relent, and he will rework us into another vessel which he can use.
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Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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