Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Man the Potter Created

The Man The Potter Created

A baby boy was held in the arms of an old woman, lying there in a dirty diaper in unfamiliar filthy surroundings he cried and fussed. He had no idea of what was going on, but he could sense the tension and he was responding to the turmoil. Meanwhile, the police were trying to coax the man and old woman holding the child into giving the child they had kidnapped back to the mother and grandmother. The kidnappers were armed and refused to give the infant to the mother who was standing just outside the dingy old house. Eventually, the kidnappers surrendered the child to the police and the mother and grandmother rushed to take the child home. The young child’s mother was a stripper and would latter marry seven times before the boy was seven. The boy’s father had kidnapped the son at gunpoint would later be sent to prison for murdering a four year old boy a few years later. But Grandmother was a Godly woman, who prayed for the well being for the child endlessly. Her prayers were answered, and she was able to raise the baby boy as her own. She trained and shaped his life, taking him to church and trying to erase the turmoil, the exposure to drugs, and the dangerous life of a family of criminals. The boy grew and all during that time God’s hand was shaping him and directing his paths to the ministry. So many near death experiences and heartaches occurred in his life, but I am here to tell you that I stand here before you because of the grace and mercy of God. As the son of a murderer and a woman of the night, I humbly greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jer 18:1-6
18:1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
2 Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
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.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
6 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.

Isa 64:8
8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

· I would for the next few minutes like to preach to you on the topic The Man the Potter Created

Let’s examine the scriptures a little closer. Notice verse 4 “And the vessel was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

Imagine, if you will, the potter going down to the river bank and digging out a batch of clay in which to create a vessel. I can see him pulling the grass, and roots out of the clay, I can see him brushing the rocks and sticks out as well. It is with great intent and determination that the potter is taking so that he might make a masterpiece. A vessel to contain the most precious item known to man. His Spirit!

And so he returns to the potter’s house and places the clay upon the potter’s wheel. He begins the process of shaping and molding the clay into the picture that he has in his mind of what the clay should become.

He places water on the shapeless lump and begins to spin the clay upon his wheel. His masterful hands begin to place pressure and a shape soon replaces the blob of clay. The process goes on and on and the skillful hands of the potter soon has made a vessel that at first glance seems to be just what he wanted. The potter then takes the vessel and places it into the oven to be hardened and useful as a container of precious ointment. Upon taking the vessel out of the oven he discovers that the clay is marred and imperfect. He then takes the vessel and breaks it into pieces and applies water to the pieces and places them back into the wheel and begins the process again.

Our own lives are just like that vessel that the potter had made and had to break it into pieces so he could make again another.

I am looking at people here today that are full of imperfection and flaws, but despite what your flaws and your sins are, The Potter is interested in making a vessel of honor out of you. He has no desire to throw you away but seeks to reshape and mold you into the vessel that can contain the precious ointment. That ointment is the Holy Ghost!

No matter how marred, no matter what you have done God can and will forgive you and he wants to desperately to restore you and to create you in his image. You are not a throw away. When your family, friends, and society gives up on you, Jesus will not!
Though everyone forsakes you, Jesus will not forsake you. We will leave the ninety and nine and go and find the one lost sheep. He will move heaven and earth to rescue you if you will only submit to his will for your life.

The Bible is full of examples of failures who became the man the potter created.
Moses started his ministry as a former murderer, David committed adultery and tried to hide it by murdering the husband. Jacob was a liar, and Jonah ran away from God. All of these men were mightily used by God even after they were marred. The factor of change was their repentance of their sins and then they allowed God to change them.
God loves you so much that he has engraven a picture of you in the palm of his hand.
You may have a hard time believing that Jesus can forgive you or that He even wants to, but I am here to tell you that He is will able and ready to not only forgive you but to help you to become what he wants you to be.

When you look in the mirror do you see the man that the potter intended to create or do you see the man you created? Will you continue to resist the hands of the potter and his desire to shape you into what he wants to?

I can’t say for sure, but I suspect that a lot of you probably didn’t have the greatest childhood, some of you were abused, and some never had Godly men as your role models if you had dads at all. Some may have come from great families, but for some odd reason you chose a different path. While others seemed to have their paths chosen for them. Your background doesn’t matter anymore!

I am here to tell you that the master of all situations is here and he can break the chains of your past if only you will let him. Maybe you have been hurt, and disappointed by so many people, it is hard to trust and to let down your guard. I know it’s not manly to admit that anyone could hurt or abuse you ,but it happens nevertheless. There are sins that can even be imagined that occur everyday, nothing surprises God, maybe you have even committed some of those sins. The apostle Paul stated in 1Cor. 6:9-11:

1 Cor 6:9-11
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Let’s go back to Jeremiah 18:4 “And the vessel was marred in the hands of the potter:so he made again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.”

In math class we were taught to reduce a math problem to the lowest common denominator. In every stage of the shaping and the creation of the vessel, in every situation, every trial, every troubling situation and in the final creation we see that the vessel was in the potter’s hand. So no matter what you are going through today, know that you are still in the hands of the potter.

No matter what sins you have committed, no matter what you have done, if you will stay in the hands of the Potter, and allow him to mold and shape you, you will become the man that the Potter created.

A couple walked into a master potter’s shop one day looking for an exsquisit piece of pottery to decorate their new home. Money was no object to them, only quality and uniqueness mattered. The couple had heard that this was the master of all potters and that his shop was stocked full of quality workmanship and they were in awe as they looked around. However, one particular piece of pottery stood out amongst all of the rest. It was located on a shelf on the wall behind the counter. As the couple admired the piece the potter approached them. The couple commented on how beautiful the red swirls were that decorated the piece. The shape was perfect and the vessel was just what they wanted. When they inquired as to the price of the piece the potter replied “ This piece is my pride and joy, it was the most difficult piece I ever created. I shaped and molded this piece over and over and yet it would not hold it’s shape. When I finally got it to hold it’s shape I placed it into the oven and when I pulled it out I discovered it was cracked and marred. So I broke it into pieces and started again. This time as I shaped it the harden pieces cut my hands and so the red swirls you see are my bloodstains. I created this piece and apart of me is in it so you see I could never depart with this vessel.

You are that clay upon the potter’s wheel, he bought you with His blood, and you are too valuable for him to sell you or to give up on you. All you have to do is submit to his commandment and repent of your sins, be baptized in Jesus’ name and you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. By This process, we can become the man that the potter created. Are you the man the potter created or have you become marred and cracked? Will you allow the potter to restore you?
Pastor Kevin Collins

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What is Sin? I am I a Sinner? What must I do?

This question is of vital importance because of the fearful judgment against those who commit sin. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die," thunders the Old Testament (Ezekiel 18:20). In like tones, the New Testament declares: "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). The one who lives in sin throughout his earthly life and faces God without having obtained divine forgiveness will be sentenced to eternal perdition.
Sin sprang full-grown among men. Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God. The first boy born on this earth grew to manhood and murdered the second-his own brother! And sin has existed in every generation since.
In our time, however, there is one difference: many no longer know what sin actually is. Things evil are sometimes designated as good; things good, as evil. Isaiah condemned such a practice, declaring, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil" (Isaiah 5:20).
Since this confusion exists, and since a person will not seek forgiveness for sin until he knows what sin is, a clear-cut definition, both negative and positive, is urgently needed.
Sin Is Not Necessarily Crime
Some equate sin with crime, feeling that to commit sin one must be a murderer, robber, rapist, or the like. Once, an evangelist passing out revival circulars was told that he should go to the local jail and try to convert a woman who had recently murdered her father. Certainly this woman needed forgiveness, but no more so than other sinners who had not committed a crime.
A crime is a sin, but not every sin is a crime. Crimes are committed against people; sin is committed against God. As an example, David wronged Bathsheba, and committed the crime of murder against Uriah her husband, but he affirmed, "Against thee [God], thee only, have I sinned" (Psalm 51:4).
Sin Is Not Unbelief Alone
Near the end of His ministry, Jesus told His disciples that the Holy host would "reprove the world of sin . . . because they believe not on me" (John 16:8?9). Misinterpreting His meaning, some have concluded that sin is nothing more than unbelief. But Jesus meant that unbelief would form the basis of sin. People sin because they do not believe on Jesus Christ. Unbelief is sin, but it leads to further sin.
"Sin Is the Transgression of the Law"
This definition is given in I John 3:4. By law, the apostle meant the Word of God, which originally was the Old Testament but which now includes the New Testament as well. Sin, then, is the transgression (breaking) of a commandment found in the Bible.
Sins of Comission. Someone is guilty of such a sin when he does something that the Word of God forbids.
Sins of Ommission. He who fails to do what he knows God has commanded is guilty of a sin of omission. "To him that guilty to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).
"All Unrighteousness Is Sin"
I John 5:17 declares this truth. A person is unrighteous when he does what is wrong. According to this verse, then, when someone does wrong, he commits sin.
We should note that all unrighteousness is sin. Men are prone to classify sin as little or great, black or gray, mortal or venial. But to God, all sin is offensive and objectionable. As an example of the difference between man's and God's judgment of sin, man classifies the sin of lying as one of the lesser evils, but God places "all liars" in the same category as the abominable, murderers, whoremong ers, sorcerers, and idolaters (Revelation 21:8). Moreover, He pronounces the same judgment upon all of these sinners?eter nal perdition in the lake of fire and brimstone.
What then is sin? Simply put, sin is doing what God forbids or failing to do what He commands.

Taken from the UPC website on the topic of sin

We are all sinners, and to quote a littel from the Old Testament we are all born in sin and shaped in iniquity. That simply means that we are born sinners and that we all are in need of forgiveness of our sins. The wonderful thing about that it is that God loves us so much that he robed himself in flesh and according to 1Timothy 3:16 He manisfested himself in the flesh so that he could become the sacrifical lamb to take away our sins forever. However, God placed a procedure in order to make that atonement or forgiveness in effect. In the book of Acts in chapter 2 verse 38 people asked Peter what they had to do and he said "Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus for the remission of sin and you will reveive the gift of the Holy Ghost." If you have never repented of your sins, and have been baptized(submerged underwater) in the name of Jesus then you are carrying around burden and a death warrant unneccesarily. Salvation is available to you today. Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today. You will find that God is ready, willing and able to forgive you of your sins and he wants to have a parental relationship with you. He is your Dad and as your Dad he wants to take care of you and to help you, to love you and to have regular commnuication and visits with you.

Will you repent of your sins today? Do you want peace and hope? If so and you would like to talk, email me.

Pastor Kevin