Transformed for a Purpose
Transformed by God
Play Dough, any color.
Remove play dough from the package and hold it up.)
What do you use if for?
Is it good to just leave as is?”
What would happen if I just left it here? (Place on table or pulpit.)
“If I just leave it and come back to it later can I still play with it very easily?
How about if I do this? (Roll it into a ball.) Hey, now we could play catch with it!
How about this?” (Push your thumb down through the middle and squeeze the sides to form a cup shape.)
“What is it now? How about this? (Squeeze near the bottom to make more of a vase shape)
“What is it now? How about this? (Flatten and stretch it out more to create more of a bowl shape)
“Hey, this is fun! What is it now?”
Hey, I’ve got a question for you. Did this clay do anything to talk me into using it? Did it do anything to tell me how to shape it?
You know, I could have just left the clay in the can, all sealed up. Do you think that’s a good idea? You know, even in a sealed up container, this clay would have eventually dried up. Then, it wouldn’t have been any good to anybody. (As you are saying this, put the clay back in the container.)
“You know, we could say that, “by grace,” (take the clay out again) “I saved this clay, not because of anything it did. It is my gift to it. But, I didn’t take it out just to let it sit. I took it out, or saved it from being wasted, to make it useful. (Roll it into a ball again as you say this.) “We could say that this clay was “TRANSFORMED,” from being useless, to useful. Transformed is a fancy word for “CHANGED.”
This is just Play Dough, I know, but real potters do this all the time with real clay to make useful things for others to enjoy. You know, real clay is just fancy mud, but potters can take that mud and shape it, like I did with this, and bake it and make beautiful pottery, all from fancy mud!
You and I and all people are a lot like this clay. The Bible says that “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living thing.” In other words we’re fancy mud too! God takes us and saves us from wasting our lives and changes us, into something useful, not because of anything we did, so we deserve to be picked up, but because he loves us and cares about us. And, just as I kind of knew ahead of time what I wanted to do with this clay, or a potter knows what he wants to do with fancy mud, God has ideas too about how He wants us to look and what job He wants us to do for Him. When we say, “YES,” to His plans for us, we make Him happy and we are happy too because we are doing what we were made to do.