I remember hosting a dinner party once and using my set of hand thrown plates (best gift my husband has ever given me). I told our guests to please notice the beautiful plates I had set out for our dinner and gushed on about how they were made and where they were from. They looked at them and nodded their heads obviously not impressed. This was my first realization that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for ceramics. However, I cannot keep myself from talking about them and how they relate to God’s Word!
If you were to come to my house and look over my shelving unit of pottery I keep in my dining area you would quickly notice something about my collection. Rarely do I buy a piece that is not useful for something. Very few are just pieces designed to simply look good. The vast majority are pieces that serve a purpose. They may be pretty at the same time, but they were purchased to perform a duty. I have plates, bowls, pitchers, serving trays, a colander, a butter dish, a mixing bowl, a bread bowl and even a bacon maker. Some are chipped and some are still in great shape. They have to be durable to survive use and washings.
As I look at my pottery I think of the how God is the true Great Potter:
But now, O Lord, you are our Father: we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8
It really is the perfect metaphor. So what can we learn from this? Oh, so much. Here are a few that I want to point out to you today:
- God created and shaped you into the exact form he wanted you to be. God is perfect, he does not make mistakes, and therefore you are no mistake. You are perfectly formed to do the work God wants you to do. You are the work of his hand.
- God had an exact purpose in mind when he formed you. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for his good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
- We weren't created to sit on a shelf and look pretty. Our beauty is found in the way we were created and the purpose we were created for. Just like pottery isn't useful sitting idle, neither are we. We need to be doing the work he created us to do.
- Don’t get the order mixed up. Once God has chosen us to be his and he lives in our hearts we can be put into action. Meaning only after conversion has happened can we be used for godly good. Without God in us first we are only clanking pots.
- The bacon maker makes a lousy butter dish. Since God made you unique and for a specific purpose, you won’t have the same purpose as the dish sitting next to you. Deal with it and make good bacon.
- Chips happen. I love my pottery, but I won’t leave it on the shelf and not use it just so it doesn't get hurt. We need to live the same way. Throw off what hinders you from being useful. Are you fearful? Become bold knowing Christ is with you. Do you lack knowledge? Read Gods great Word and gain understanding. Feel alone? Be around other believers. End the excuses.
So get off your shelf and see what purpose God has for you today to bring him glory. And, hey, if you ever want to check out my collection for a little encouragement come on over!