Friday

Scripture Reading:
Jer. 18:3; Matt. 7:24-27; Eph. 2:10

“And He Himself gave some as apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as shepherds and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ. ”(Ephesians 4:11-12)
the potter's work

Even though the divine speaking in the church is so rich, God expects us to obey His words, just as Jeremiah did. When the Lord told him, "Arise, and go," Jeremiah did not argue or make suggestions. We do not see any resistance in him, such as, "Lord, why should I go down to the potter's house if You can speak to me right here?" Or, "Not today, Lord. I'll go when it suits me." Jeremiah had another attitude: "So I went down to the potter's house, and he was there doing work at his wheel" (18:3). Jeremiah's quick reply reminds us of the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27. Everyone who hears and practices the Lord's word is like a wise man who built his house on the rock and nothing could bring it down; not winds or rains or rivers. On the other hand, everyone who hears the word and does not practice it is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The winds, rain and rivers dashed against the house and it fell and its ruin was great.

Jeremiah heard and, obedient to the Lord's words, went down to the house of the potter. When Jeremiah arrived there he saw a vision: "And he was there doing work as his wheel" (18:3b). There Jeremiah saw something. He said, "He was doing work," that is, the potter, God, was doing His work. This corresponds to the experience that the apostle John had in Revelation. Firstly he heard a loud voice and he turned to see who was speaking to him. Then he saw the Son of Man in the midst of the seven golden lampstands, which were the seven churches in Asia (Rev. 1:10-13). The words of God, the divine speaking, always cause us to see more of Christ. Both Jeremiah and John heard the Lord's words, responded to His speaking and received a vision. In the Potter's house, the church, the first thing God wants to show us is Christ.

Jeremiah saw that the potter was intent on doing his work. Our God is the same. Contrary to what many think, He is not simply resting on His heavenly throne, rather, He is doing His work. In the Gospel of John we see that some Jews also had the concept that God is only resting, especially on the Sabbath. Because of this concept they persecuted the Lord Jesus, who had healed a paralytic on the Sabbath day. They even wanted to kill Him because He broke the Sabbath (5:16-18). Those Jews did not want Jesus to do any healing on that day because to them, God should not work on the Sabbath. Then Jesus said to them, "My Father is working until now, and I also am working." "Until now" indicates that God was even working on the Sabbath as well as Jesus. How we need to see what Jeremiah saw: the Potter was doing His work; God is working on His vessels. Many times when we consider our daily routine, we cannot see beyond the tiredness our work causes us, how difficult our studies are, our family problems or our anxieties. This shows that we are lacking in vision. In order to receive a vision we must rise up and go to the Potter's house to hear His words and obey them. What is the vision we need to see? We need to see the vision of the Potter doing His work. We need to receive the vision of what God wants to do and what He is doing in us. We are vessels of mercy and God wants to mold us that we might be vessels of honor in His house. God, who is in control of everything, uses the circumstances and people in our environment for the sole purpose of shaping us, transforming us, according to His will. God is concerned for each one of us so He sovereignly prepares the best environment in order for us to be transformed. Although many times we face difficult situations, we must see that the hands of our Potter are behind all of them. Once the situations have accomplished their purpose, they will no longer be seen as problems. Therefore, we should not murmur when we face difficulties since it is God who put us there and knows that they are helping us very well.

Even though there are many vessels, God's work is unique. We are all His vessels; we are not His many works. We are not being worked on individually so that one day we may be sold and exhibited as a decoration in a display cabinet. No! God's work is corporate. He is working on us corporately to make us His masterpiece. In Ephesians 2, the apostle Paul states that we, the church, "are His masterpiece." In this section, "masterpiece" has been translated from the Greek word "poima," indicating that we are His best work, God's masterpiece. An artist creates many works throughout his entire life and among all his works, there is one that is very special. It is the work that took him more time and demanded more concentration, more dedication and more love. In the end, the artist can appreciate the work in his hands and say, "It was worth it." Our Lord, God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, has done many wonderful works. We only have to look at nature to exalt God as the greatest artist that ever existed or will exist. What a wonderful creation God made, filling the whole universe with so many items worthy of our admiration: planets, stars, animals, birds, plants and man! Yet among all these works, there is one that God considers to be His masterpiece. What work is this? In Ephesians 4:11-12 we read, "And He Himself gave some as apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as shepherds and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ." Consequently, the work that God is working at is the building up of the Body of Christ. This is God's masterpiece. There is no other work in the universe that can compare to this. God is forming people, the members of the Body of Christ, so that He can build His Body with them.

Sometimes we ask: "Lord, why am I going through this situation?" or, "Why are You allowing this, Lord?" This shows that in reality we do not see what God is doing. God is "taking great pains" on the details of His work and therefore needs to use many kinds of instruments. The Lord has even given brothers to the church who, through much time, have been perfected so that they can help to perfect the other saints. Such brothers were given to the church for the work of the ministry. The work of the ministry is the work of God and it is the work in which we are all involved. We have to see this clearly in order for us to cooperate with God. Everything that is related to us has a "dose" of God in it and nothing passes unnoticed before His eyes. We should not be afraid, because we are in God's hands.

Key Point:
Molding
Question:
What work does God consider to be His masterpiece?