Jeremiah 18:1-4 “The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.”
2 Timothy 2:20,21 – In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. 21If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.
God takes Jeremiah down to the potter’s house for several lessons:
a) To reveal that God is the source of our existence
b) To reveal that we are a vessel in the master’s hand
c) To show him that sin and a lack of repentance hinders God from using us
We have to realize that God has authority, and power, to structure nations as he pleases. He may get rid of us as he thinks fit; for we are like clay in the potter’s hands. As people formed in the image and likeness of God, we should live with purpose and not for the wrong things of life. We have been created for a spiritual purpose – to walk in relationship with God and seek to connect others who are still outside the fold to Him using our spheres of influence.
As market place believers, we have to realize that every company is different, and so are the people in it, their culture and demands that they place on relationships. Therefore, there is need to know the rules of engagement in discussing spirituality in the workplace. Keep in mind that people may have had a religious experience at some point in their lives, and it very well could have been negative. Therefore, we need to be relevant by finding our space of influence.
People respond best through relationships. When the credibility of any relationship grows through mutual trust, support and fellowship, the opportunities of engagement increase. Since we spend the majority of our best day hours in our sphere of influence,we need to see this as the harvest field God has planted us in.
Joseph was planted as a slave in Portiphar’s house, and later as a prisoner in the prison. Esther was planted in the king’s palace as the king’s Wife. Nehemiah was planted as a cup-bearer in the king’s palace. The truth about this is that, God has given us the mandate to spread the gospel and make disciples “as we go and do whatever we do” in the places he has planted us.
Since we are the Aroma or Christ , and the salt and the light of the world, we need to ask ourselves how are we using the God given opportunities? God has given us a sphere to influence and a call to fulfill. To do a great job as tools in the master’s hand, we need to acknowledge that we have been called to 4 things:
- Called to have a relationship with Him
- Being with God prepares us to GO – Mark 3:14 “He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach”. Matthew 4:19- “Jesus said: Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
- 1 Corinthians 7:24 – “Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to” (NASB)
- Being with Him transforms and sets us apart for his use – Acts 4:13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
- Called to remain receptive and teachable
Being with him demands consistency – Acts 17:11-12 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” NIV
Here are two major components of seen in the Berean believers:
- First, a willingness to be taught by the scripture and other leaders
- Second, a desire to develop a personal discipline to engage the word of God alone and in a small group
- Third, they showed consistency in personal development, fellowship and study as believers to prove what they were being taught to be true
- Called to know the faith they have and be able to offer a defense for it
1 Peter 3:15-16 – “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
Faith is carried from one generation to another when we:
- Embrace and become knowledgeable in the Word
- Speak boldly about our faith and confronting those who oppose it
- Demonstrate values that authenticate the kind of faith we have (gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience)
- Called to serve by discipling others
John 21:15-17– “Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these? He said to Him, Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. He said to him, Tend My lambs. He said to him again a second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? He said to Him, Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. He said to him, Shepherd My sheep. He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You. Jesus said to him, Tend My sheep.”
Jesus wants us to love Him beyond our relationships, work and possessions. For Peter, Jesus did not want to play second fiddle.
Taking your sphere of influence for God will require:
- Having a deep love and commitment to Him. That is why Jesus called them to be with Him.
- Making a clear departure from what would hold us back or stand in the way. Learn to burn the bridges of the past and their associations.
- Being obedient to the call and task God gives us. Be willing to make sacrifices.
- Identify your area / sphere of influence
- Get involved as a tool in God’s hands
- How are you making a difference in your sphere?