The Potter and the Pot

Tomato and Lemon PlantI haven’t really tried creating my own clay pot, but I have noticed that designing and creating one is not that easy. Just recently, my wife and I are interested in plants. We’re now trying to grow lemon and tomato plants on our balcony, and I’ve noticed that the pots that we used have a specific design. The design can vary from the size, drainage, material, etc. It is the potter that dictates the design. And the same truth is applicable in our life. It is God, our potter, who dictates how we, the pot, is made.

ISAIAH 29:15-16

15 Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the Lord,

And whose deeds are done in a dark place,

And they say, “Who sees us?” or “Who knows us?”

16 You turn things around!

Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay,

That what is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me”;

Or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

You see, the pot can’t tell the potter how he should be designed or molded. The pot can’t also say that “He did not make me” therefore, I can do what I want. It is God who made us, and it is God who has the right to do as he please. But let us not think that just because God can do as He please, that He will do something that will harm us. He always does what is best for us, even though that might mean discipline at times. That is exactly the context of one famous verse that is often misquoted.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

So, let us trust the potter. Let us trust his work and let us trust him that he has designed us perfectly for his own purpose and glory.

Psalm 139:13-14

13 For You formed my inward parts;

You wove me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,

And my soul knows it very well.

Is there anything in your life right now that you grumble about? Are you willing to trust the potter that he knows that he is doing?

Is there anything in your body that you don’t like? Why don’t you see that you are perfectly designed by God for a purpose?

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Do you like detours?

Do you like detours? Here in Manila we know a simple detour can greatly affect our traffic. I know we don’t like detours. I know we don’t like seeing our plans change. But the reality is, there can be detours on the road but at the same time in our lives as well.

I remember a detour that I experienced in life. Only a few people know this, but last 2016 I already wanted to get married. I had a chance to talk to the parents of my girlfriend back then but was advised to wait. They wanted to get to know me more before they give me their approval for marriage. It was a huge detour in my life. At first, I did not understand why. But looking back, I now understand why God had to allow that. God had my best interest in His mind and His perfect timing for me to get married was last November 30, 2017.

Another person that experienced, not just one detour in his life, but a lot of detours is Joseph.

jacob_joseph_coatJoseph was a dreamer. He had a dream (Genesis 37:5-8) that he was going to be someone great. His brothers were so jealous of him and they planned to kill him. But instead, they sold him into slavery. This was the first detour in Joseph’s life. Normally, when we experience detours in our life, we grumble and complain against God, but in Joseph’s case, he never did. When he was sold as a slave in the household of Potiphar, he found success. But just when things were now going well (Genesis 39:1-2), another detour came his way. Potiphar’s wife accused him (Genesis 39:17-18) of rape, so Joseph was sent to jail. In jail, Joseph still found success. God’s hand was with him. He was able to interpret the dream of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker. The cupbearer was restored to his office as Joseph interpreted and just as he taught the cupbearer would return the favor by mentioning him (Genesis 40:14) to Pharaoh, the cupbearer forgets him for two more years – another detour.

Despite the multiple detours that Joseph experienced, God was still with him. Pharaoh learned about Joseph who can interpret dreams and made him second in command. And he was used by God to save the very brothers that sold him into slavery. Joseph said in Genesis 50:20:

 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

Detours are not really easy to accept. In life, there will be many detours we will experience. But be encouraged that our detours are not accidents. God has a plan and God is always in control. He can turn something evil for good. The best response during detours is to trust God and refrain from grumbling against Him. Everything that he allows is for our good. James 1:16-17 said:

 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Don’t allow your circumstances to dictate the character of God. God is always good. Everything that He allows for our life is for our good because God is good. Be encouraged with the life of Joseph.

Are you experiencing a detour in your life right now? Are your plans not going as planned? What do you think God is teaching you? How do you think should you respond?

I don’t know what you are going through, but I know God knows. Trust Him. When you encounter detours, remember what Joseph said, and comfort your heart with this truth:

 YOU MEANT EVIL AGAINST ME, BUT GOD MEAN IT FOR GOOD.

 

 

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Seriously, how can we feed 5000 men?

Luke 9:12

Now the day was ending, and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place.”

Crowd of 5000 that Jesus fed

It was very interesting to read the disciples command Jesus to send the crowd away, so they can eat. It seems right and practical, I don’t think they were ready to feed 5,000 men.

But rather than doing what seems logical during that situation, Jesus commanded his disciples to feed them. If you were one of the disciples, what would your reaction be? Honestly, if I was one of the disciples during that time I could have told Jesus that he was crazy! It’s impossible to feed 5,000 men when you don’t have the money to buy the food, plus you don’t even have the time to prepare the food. So why did Jesus tell his disciples to do this?

John 6:6 tells us, “This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.” This is the same story, but John gives us the reason why Jesus told his disciples to do that.

You see, there are moments where God would ask us to do something impossible  – this can also be something that seems absurd or doesn’t make sense. The reason that God tells us to obey is not that we are capable, but for us to see what he can do through us. It was not the disciples who produced the food for the 5,000 men. It was Jesus who used the food of an ordinary person who only had 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed a large crowd.

How about you? What do you think Jesus is asking you to do today? Do you believe Jesus is powerful enough to do the possible and work through you? What is something ordinary in your hand right now that the Lord can use for this glory?

Remember, what is impossible to man is possible to God. In the story of the feeding of the 5,000, the crowd was fed but the amazing thing that we should still take note of is that there were still 12 baskets of leftovers. Jesus can do the impossible and even do beyond that we think or imagine. What an amazing God we have!

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