Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.

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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Misty New England pond
Early this week we were in New England as the fall foliage approaches peak and Ester snapped this photo of the misty pond beside our hotel in Sturbridge, MA early Tuesday morning before we headed home.
(Click on photo for larger image)

"The Master Potter"

Message summary: A deep settled peace and assurance comes to those of us who wholeheartedly place ourselves in the caring hands of the Master Potter.

Listen to this message on your audio player.

“O Lord, You are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you My message” (Jeremiah 18:2).

Have Thine own way, Lord!
Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

When we lived in New England in the nineties one of our favorite destinations was "Old Sturbridge Village", a living history museum, recreating a New England village from the 1830's. Ester and I visited the village before going to the ballgame Monday night and one of Ester's favorite spots from childhood was the Potter's House. When she was a young child we could hardly get her away from the Potter working at the potter's wheel.

Old Sturbridge Village potter's house
Ester at the Old Sturbridge Village potter's house.
Back in the nineties you could get close and take a turn at the wheel but not now during the pandemic.
(Click on photo for larger image)

Many of us have tried our hand at making pottery all the way back to our art classes in Grade School. The results may not have been quite to our liking, at least for those of us who are somewhat artistically challenged. Perhaps you remember the art teacher displaying the pottery students had made including mugs, ash trays (in those days a popular item whether or not a smoker existed in the family), and other small projects.

Brooksyne tells me hers didn’t look nearly as nice as other artistic students, but after she brought it home her mom put it out on the coffee table showing it off to others. Interestingly, among the report cards, trophies, and ribbons she saved over the years she never saved any of her special pottery pieces!

Today let’s consider a great lesson that took place about 2,600 years ago. God directed the prophet Jeremiah to go down to the potter’s house for a teaching lesson. Jeremiah obeyed God’s directive and learned a powerful lesson that is now part of the Holy Scriptures.

I expect God to teach me in the mundane experiences of life and He will if my eyes and ears are attentive to His instruction. The Master Teacher used the ocean, birds, fields, house construction, and even little children to teach lasting lessons in life. In fact we often use observations in nature and everyday life as a basis for these daily encouragements.

Our first daily text expresses an attitude of submission to the Master Potter, “O LORD, You are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). God has not changed and Isaiah’s statement is directed to each of us as well. Many a songwriter has made this connection. Perhaps most famously are the words from the classic hymn, “Have Thine Own Way” which we quoted at the beginning of our message.

“Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you My message” (Jeremiah 18:2). After Jeremiah observed the potter at work God taught him great truths we do well to remember. God, the Master Potter, providentially shapes our will as we submit to His caring hands.  At times the Potter’s pace may seem slow and we grow impatient at the progress or lack thereof. Occasionally the actions of the Master Potter may not make sense to us. We may squirm or complain, considering the Potter to be quite abrupt in His actions. It may be uncomfortable or even disagreeable to us. We may even think we know better!

And yet a deep settled peace and assurance comes to those of us who wholeheartedly place ourselves in the caring hands of the Master Potter.

“You are the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me, this is what I pray.”

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, too often my heart becomes hard, unpliable, and unmoved because of my stubborn will or due to my own ignorance. My pride convinces me that I know best and I become reckless along the way. I want to trust You as the Master Potter when You break my will to remove my imperfections. Though it is a painful, humbling and deliberate process I invite You to realign my heart’s desires and reshape my will according to Your purpose. As I go through this purifying process help me to stand firm during the testing periods of my life. I want to be a vessel of honor that brings glory to You. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

A vacation memory from many years ago:

We recall some powerful sermons we’ve heard using a pottery wheel to demonstrate the points in a very illustrative way. One of the most memorable took place when we visited the Great Passion Play near Eureka Springs Arkansas. Just prior to the Passion Play there is a short dramatic presentation called “Parables of the Potter.”

The “potter” was a man dressed in authentic-looking Bible costume who looked like the typical image we have of Jesus. He dramatically explained the symbolism of the potter illustrations from the Old Testament while he formed a vessel at the potter’s wheel. What especially touched us was that he gave a very impassioned testimony of his own personal faith in Christ. He later played the role of Jesus in the Great Passion Play.

Early the next morning as we left the Mom and Pop type motel we had stayed at Ester and I noticed that the man cleaning the motel sure looked like the Potter we had seen the night before but we didn’t say anything. However Brooksyne, who was following us out, made the same observation and, with no hesitation, asked him directly. Sure enough, he was!

As she talked to him she noted that his voice also sounded similar to the voice of Jesus in the Passion drama and asked him if he also played the part of Jesus. Yes, indeed he played the role of Jesus. And there he was early the next morning cleaning the small motel, which it turns out was owned by his in-laws! He indicated that he and his wife try to help his in-laws with the motel over the weekends. You learn a lot by asking! We were also blessed to see his servant’s heart and working with a good attitude!

Note from Brooksyne: When I was a child growing up in Tulsa we lived about three miles from Frankhoma Pottery in Sapulpa, OK. I was spellbound as I watched the potters at work. I remember from my childhood experiences and our visits to Sturbridge Village in New England that the potter often took a piece of clay that he had formed into a lovely vase or pitcher and would suddenly crush it with his hands. He’d put it back on the wheel and start all over again. Though the untrained eye could not detect a defect in the work the Master Potter knew it was there and would reshape the vessel so that the quality was pleasing to him. It’s a wonderful analogy of what Christ does when He saves us and applies His sanctifying work all along the way.

Here are four assuring truths concerning the Master Potter:

1) The Master Potter is always in control.
2) The Master Potter is “hands on” (genuine pottery products are not mass-produced, neither are we!).
3) The Master Potter takes time and changes His work a number of times in ways that can be mysterious to the observer as he works on the finished product. As living pottery, changes in our lives can be mysterious to us also!
4) The Master Potter has the ultimate good in mind for His work.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Have Thine Own Way Lord"  Video  The McKameys

"In The Hands Of The Potter"  Video  Casting Crowns

"The Potter's Hand"  Video   Women of Faith

"I'll Trust the Potter's Hands"  Video  The Whisnants

"Change My Heart Of God"  Video  Vineyard

Old Sturbridge Village

Old Sturbridge Village green
The village green in Old Sturbridge Village. The building are authentic and were sourced throughout New England and moved to the site
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Old Sturbridge Village
Pond and covered bridge in Old Sturbridge Village
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Old Sturbridge Village farmhouse kitchen
Old Sturbridge Village farmhouse kitchen. They were making pumpkin pie.
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Old Sturbridge Village blacksmith shop
Old Sturbridge Village blacksmith shop. The period characters consider themselves educators and are willing to talk.
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Sturbridge church pumpkin patch
Pumpkin patch in front of church in Sturbridge, MA.
(Click on photo for larger image)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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