March 02, 2009


Jeremiah 18:1-6

“Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.”
Jeremiah 18:6


God is like a potter, and we are like clay. In his work of spiritual formation, God constantly molds and shapes us. This can be a slow process of gradual growth. Or, at times, an encounter with the living Christ through his Word will infuse us with grace that moves us quickly to a new level of devotion and commitment. At other times, the potter must break the pot and start over again because the clay has become hard and dried up.

Each of these types of spiritual formation shows a different way God deals with us. If I can no longer be molded, I need to repent and experience the shattering grace of God’s love. If I’ve reached a spiritual plateau, I need to discover by God’s Spirit undeveloped areas of my personality or giftedness that need his powerful touch. And if I’m gradually growing, I need simply to rejoice and increase my thanksgiving.

What concrete ways do we see the Potter at work in our lives? A new biblical perspective might have to be developed, new directions set, moral values instilled, old habits broken, positive attitudes fostered, deeper commitments chosen and cherished, a family reunited, emotional hurts healed, a serious crisis resolved, spiritual gifts utilized, and new ministries started.

As God shapes you and me, the whole world around us is transformed.

Creator and molder of the world, we are like clay in your hands. Refashion each one of us into your likeness until we are vessels that are useful to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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