Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Jars of Clay
Paulo Mendieta
Jeremiah 18
Its origin Genesis 2:4-7. From the beginning of creation we can see that after God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them; birds in the sky; fish in the ocean and animals on the earth, God created man, but He created man in a very different way; different from the rest of creation. God chose a very special material to create man. From all the beautiful, powerful and unique materials available in the universe, like, gold, silver or even wood, He chose the most simple of them all, dust (clay). From this passage and some others in the Bible, we constantly see how God compares man with a jar of clay and how man recognizes his condition ‘clay’ before God, his creator (Job 10:8-9). “Your hands fashioned and made me altogether, and would You destroy me? Remember now, that You have made me as ‘clay’; and would You turn me into dust again?”

What did God see in dust (clay) that made it so attractive to Him? What was so unique about clay that stirs God to create man His masterpiece out of it? Let us find out.

1. Its Characteristics:
• Available vs.2-4. The potter’s house, or workshop, needed to be near the clay sources and where water was available.
A= In the same way we too need to be available, ready to be used by our Potter. How?
1. By being in His presence to pray to Him–corporately (2Chr 7:14-15); and privately (Mt 6:6-7)
2. By being in His house to worship Him (Psa 26:8)
3. By being in His hands to serve Him (Col 3:23-24)
[Coordinators–always available]

• Flexible-Soft vs.4. We can see that the vessel was spoiled and the potter reshaped it in the way that he liked. That only happened because the clay flexible ‘soft’ therefore able to be reshaped in any way the master potter wanted. A= We too, need to be flexible in our potter’s hands:
1. Ready to be formed into His likeness and image. The Potter wants us to reflect who He is, His heart, and His character (Psa 51:10)
2. Ready to be transformed by renewing our minds through His powerful Word (Ro 12:1-2).
* In addition, where did that shaping take place? In the potter’s house… (Ef. 4:11-13)

• Humble – ‘clay’, modest, not proud vs.4. The potter chose to use clay because of its simplicity in nature ‘dirt’; therefore not really coveted. A= Just as humbleness characterized clay, we too need to posses that valuable quality, to be able to be use by God. A quality, which He himself possessed. (Mt 11:29). Be humble:
1. By having sound judgment of yourselves (Ro 12:3).
2. By being obedient –to God –to His delegated authorities (Php 2:8)
3. By attributing glory, to whom glory is due, the Creator.

2. The Sovereignty of the Master Potter:
• Over its shape vs.4. The master potter has all authority over the clay. He can shape it any way he wants; that is his prerogative; therefore, the shape of the vessel will determine its use (pot, jar, bowl, etc.) A= In the same way, we are clay in His hands and He too, can shape us in any way He determines, because He is sovereign over our lives. We are all made from clay, but we are shaped differently, according to our calling (Ro 9:20).

• Over its purpose:
1. To be a vessel of dishonor and destruction vs5-7. The master potter is sovereign over the purpose of the jar. After all, he is the one who created it. But it is not out of the potters election that a jar becomes a vessel of destruction, but rather it is out of the hardness of the clay [Saul] (Jn 10:10) (Jer 19:1; 10-11).
2. To be a vessel of honor and glory vs9. When the potter creates a jar of clay, is always intended for honorable use. The potter’s greatest desire is to see that the vessel will fulfill its desire purpose. However, that purpose is only accomplished if the clay remains available, flexible and humble ‘soft’. A= In that same way, our purpose is always for honorable use. But we too, need to remain available, teachable, and humble in our Master’s hands.(Ro 9:23-26).

However, clay is too weak and fragile; how can it accomplish its purpose? If it’s exposed to the elements –heat, water, cold; it breaks. Not to mention when it falls in the wrong hands; it is destroyed. How then can it accomplish its purpose?

3. Its advantage:
• Weakness-Fragile 2Ti 2:20-21. The master potter chose purposefully a jar of clay; a weak and fragile vessel. From all the different vessels, which are in the big house—his church—gold, silver, or wood. He only chose one, which he is to use to accomplish his will, a jar of clay, the weakest of them all (Ge 2:7). A= God does the same thing; even though, in His house are different vessels (gold, silver, wood) He only chose to use clay vessels, because gold, silver and wood already possess their own glory; clay does not (1Co 1:26-31).

• Power. Even though a jar of clay is the weakest vessel, it can also be very strong, that is why it is the most used material in many countries. It can handle very high temperatures and freezing cold temperatures as well. However, what makes it so powerful being so fragile? Its process. A= We are too, weak vessels, but just as clay we can be very strong and can handle extremely high and low temperatures—tribulations, tests, trails, temptation—but not on our own. We too, need grace [Paul] (2Co 12:9-10). So what was the power that makes a jar of clay like Paul so powerful? It is nothing less than the Holy Spirit baptism (Acts 1:4-5). We too possess a power not of our own; it has been given; not by our own merit, but through grace (2Co 4:7-10).

Today, I will invite you to take the first step. It all begins by becoming available, being flexible and humble before God the Master Potter, and surrender your life into his hands; if there’s something that He doesn’t like on you, He will reshape you and form you until you reach the fullness of Christ our Lord.

If you today know that, you have been clay, but perhaps have hardened because of sin or past hurt, wounds, etc. Your Master is calling you right now to come into His hands. Allow Him to soften you with His love, grace and mercy; He will reshape you and make you a vessel of honor and glory. 

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