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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"The Clay that Counts for Something"

May 11, 2005

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We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

Clay, as the expression “feet of clay” indicates, is a material not as permanent and precious as gold, silver, bronze, or other metals. Yet much can be done with it, depending on the artist or artisan who works with it.

Often mentioned in the Bible is the potter, a follower of an ancient craft and the creator of vessels, both artistic and practical. Saint Paul asks: “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:21). The apostle’s point is this: We cannot dictate to God, nor quarrel with Him, for the way He has made us.

Human beings, on the physical side, are creatures of clay, for they are the descendants of Adam, whose body God formed from the dust of the ground. To bodies of clay God added living souls, minds that think, hearts that love. These talents of mind and spirit God, the divine Potter, did not distribute to each in the same quantity and quality. As Creator He reserves the right to provide us with personal gifts as He wills. The result is that God created a human race for multiple, mutual service.

We know that clay has many uses. Known as kaolin in China, it is used for exquisite chinaware, for pottery, and for porcelain. But it is also used in rubber, plastics, textiles, paper, pencils, insulation, medicine, paints, and so forth. How versatile it is! And so are human beings because God has so variously endowed them.

This principle of varied usefulness especially applies to Christians, who are the eyes, ears, tongue, hands, feet, and other members of the body of Christ. By serving one another, they serve Christ, who, by His shed blood, redeemed them.

Should we despise common clay? Not for a minute, for look what God has done with it and still does!

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord God, for the talents and opportunities You have given me to serve my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at

Today's Bible Readings: 2 Samuel 8-9    Psalms 60    John 2

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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