The Tale of the Teacup©

1Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

 Illustration heard during a message preached at First Baptist Church, McAllen, TX by Dr. Morgan Browning

Pat was a pleasant woman who lived in a small brick house, content with her simple lifestyle. However, through the years, she developed quite an eye for antiques. She especially admired antique china teacups. These were special treasures to her. 
One day, as she strolled by a window full of china, something caught her eye.  Upon entering the store, she was drawn to a little teacup sitting on the shelf.  "May I see that?" she asked the clerk.  "In all my years, I have never seen a teacup as beautiful as that.”
As she reached for the handle, the little teacup spoke, "You don't understand, I have not always been a teacup.  There was a time when I was just muddy clay.  My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, "Leave me alone!"  He just smiled and nodded and said, "Not yet."
Then I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spinning around and around and around. 
I said, "I’m getting dizzy.. STOP!"  He just looked, smiled, and nodded and said, "Not yet."
Then he put me in an oven and I had never felt such heat.  I wondered why he wanted to do this to me.  I yelled and knocked on the door and seeing him through the oven window, I could read his lips saying, “Not yet."
Finally, the oven door opened and he put me on the shelf.  I began to cool.  “There, that is better,” I said. Then suddenly, he brushed me and painted me all over and the fumes were horrible.  I cried and said, "Stop it."  But he only nodded and said, "Not yet."
Suddenly, he put me back into the oven, but this time it was twice as hot. I thought that I would suffocate.  I cried, and pleaded and all the time, I could see him through the window, nodding, "Not yet."  It seemed there was no hope. 
I was ready to give-up, but then, the door opened and he took me out and placed me on the shelf. One hour later he handed me a mirror.  I couldn't believe it was me.  "I was so beautiful."
My Master said, “I want you to remember...
I knew it hurt when I rolled and patted you, but if I had left you as clay, you would have dried up. 
I knew when you were on the wheel (circumstances of life) that it made you dizzy, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. 
I knew it was hot in the oven but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked. 
Now, you are a finished product and you are exactly what I had in mind in the beginning and I love you.”
In awe of the story that the beautiful teacup had just told her, Pat purchased the teacup and was soon displaying it in a special place in her home. And when, from time to time, difficulties arose, she looked at that beautiful little work of art and remembered that her trials were only to make her more beautiful to her Master.
Invitation: Life will have problems with or without Jesus..
 Salvation- You, too, can have a Master who will make you in to something beautiful. Life has its problems, but with Jesus, you can become a better person through them. Won’t you trust Him as your Savior today? He loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.
Jeremiah 31:3 “..Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:..”
Jeremiah29:11  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith The LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
The pain that Jesus bore on the cross was tremendous, but He endured this suffering so that we could have eternal life..that we could be His treasure.
John 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

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