Sermon Title:  Playdough Faith

Summary:  In spite of all in our past, God remakes us into a new person through
Christ when we come to Him in faith.  We need as clay vessels to submit to his
will and be transformed inside and out as a new creature. 
 
Function:  To motivate the hearers to understand their relationships as
transformed ones so that they can be close knit and honest with each other.

Text:  Jer 18:1-6


Intro:
1.  Waterbed with leak.  Man took mattress outside, overfill to find leak
	a.  It began to roll down hill, he couldnít stop it.  Landed in thorn bush
	b.  It full of holes, disgusted, man threw away and got new regular bed
	c.  Following morning, puddle of water in bed
	d.  Upstairs drain had a leak
2.  In order to fix the problem, must locate the the source
3.  Israel had a serious problem that needed to be fixed
	a.  Speaking of fixing, heart surgeon and mechanic freinds since kids
	b.  One day, mechanic asked surgeon -
		- We do basically the same thing, I fix valves, check for leaks
		- I get the engine purring and running smoothly
		- Why do you get the big bucks?
	c.  Surgeon said - I repair engine while it is still running
		- If it stops, may take an act of God to get it running again
4.  Israel had a serious heart problem
	a.  Jer 4:4 - Circumcise heart
	b.  Jer 17:9- Heart is deceitful
	c.  It was going to take an act of God to fix
	d.  God was going to take them to the Potterís house
		- What we learn ...

I.  He created us (18:1-2)
	A.  Picture the scene
		a.  Potterís wheel, seat, hands, clay, oven
		b.  Fires the vessels, solidify and strengthen them
	B.  God did this in the Garden
		1.  Created and molded Adam and Even
			a.  What were they like??
				- Bigger question than did they have a belly?
			b.  Were they like Children?
				- Kingdom belongs to those like children
				- Innocent, no selfish ambition
				- Eyes in wonder as explore Godís creation
			c.  Perfect bodies in a perfect place - Contentment
		2.  Did this make God smile as he watched?
	C.  ILL:  One day at park with kids when little
		1.  With friends, playing at pool, then park
		2.  Lunch, laughing, playing, it was good day
		3.  We smiled as we played and watched kids play
		4.  It was delightful
	D.  God looked at his creation
		1.  Was very good, so he rested and enjoyed/delighted in it
		2.  But didnít stay that way
			a.  After we were finished, kids got in the car
			b.  Sudden change, became possessed!
			c.  Fighting, arguing, whining
			d.  What happened to kids we had at park?

II.  God had to re-create us (18:4)
	A.  Why?  It was spoiled.
		1.  Maybe lost itís shape, image, a hole, leak, crack, warped
		2.  Wasnít right, so he had to re-form it
	B.  This is an act of grace or judgement?  I say grace.
		1.  Does not say - Threw it out and started with a new lump
			a.  God could have said - Iím starting over
			b.  Rainbow reminds us that he doesnít do that
		2.  Instead of starting over, he will transform his creation
		3.  (Jer 31:31-34)
			a.  Not destroy, but make a new covenant
			b.  Will transform covenant AND the people
				- Write it on their hearts
				- They didnít have it on their hearts before - Dt 6:6
				- Now God will write it on the heart
		4.  God didnít throw away his creation
	C.  ILL:  Statue of David, Michelangelo
		1.  Ugly twisted rock sat in quarry a long time, rejected
		2.  But the sculptor did not discard it
		3.  Transformed it, into a masterpiece
	D.  Thatís what God did with us
		1.  Didnít scrap us
		2.  Had to work us over
		3.  Re-created a masterpiece

III.  God has the right to do this (18:5-6)
	A.  He is God, the master sculptor, we are the subject
		1.  He has the right to mold us
		2.  Lump of clay does not stand up in defiance - Why are you 
		     making me like this?
		3.  God knows what he is doing - Clayís job is to submit
	B.  (Eph 4) - Speaks of Godís molding
		1.  (v.17-19) - Lump is spoiled, need transformation
		2.  (v. 20-24) - New self created in righteousness and holiness
			a.  Renewed in your mind - Need a new heart
			b.  Not an outward change, but inward
				- Not just church attendance, clean clothes, etc.
			c.  Put on the new self, reflection of inner change
	C.  ILL:  Songs we sing
		1.  Change my heart O God
		2.  Have thine Own Way
	D.  We need to have attitude of willingness
		1.  He is the potter, we are the clay
		2.  He knows what he is doing

Concl:
1.  Are you clay, or a brick?
	a.  If clay, let God mold you, submit to his hands
	b.  If feel like brick, not hopeless
		- Submit to God, let him soften you
		- Sometimes he has to take hammer and chisel
		- But he will make a masterpiece, if you let him
2.  What does this mean here and now?
	a.  Can draw many personal lessons
3.  Focus on Eph 4:25
	a. Transformation includes transformed relationships
	b. We are family now
4.  Speak TRUTH to one another
	a. Not just about teaching Sound doctrine
	b. Rationale - We are members of each other
	c. What Paul is getting at - BE HONEST with each other
		- Foundation of good marriage, and family relationships
	d.  Okay to be Angry ... Be honest
		- But donít sin - by lashing out to hurt, revenge, etc.
		- Donít let sun Go down on wrath
		- Donít put it off
5.  You are a thing of beauty
	a.  You are Godís masterpiece
	b.  People now see a reflection of Godís vision in you
	c.  Thatís why we live this way
6.  Have you been put on Potterís Wheel?reflect God