A potter must be able to centre the clay. For 19 years of my life my life spun off centre, I was doing my own thing I was brought up in Nelson, Lancashire to Irish parents and there was one great love in my life it was football. And I used to play nearly every day. I didn't have much thought about God until I got to the age of 12. And my friend Simon was killed on his motorbike on his birthday. That really shook me and rocked me on the inside. But my life really was off centre and if you see this clay now, that's off centre. It's not spinning properly so I've got to centre it.
Well my life became centred in the things of God. The Lord Jesus was to bring my life on centre, make something good of it. When I was about 13 I ended up at Blackpool FC then I went to Bradford FC and I thought my chances of being a professional footballer had gone completely until the age of 17. And a scout from Manchester City invited me down there at Maine Road Manchester. I went along, and I didn't get in the first team I got to youth level and I enjoyed playing. But while I was there something very big was happening on the inside and the big thing was that my life seemed very empty, it seemed pointless. I didn't really know where it was going. It didn't have a lot of purpose, a bit like a piece of clay spinning out of control. Well I eventually took some A-Levels. Past those and went off to teacher training college to be a sports teacher.
And while I was there I'd been to a youth meeting and that night first God was to bring my life on centre and transform me, but secondly he was to make me into the person or start the process of what he wanted me to be. I didn't realise that Jesus died for me. I thought I had to be good, but no the Bible says by grace are you saved. So I cried out, I was sat on my bed and I cried out about 22:15 "God if you're there please forgive me and live within me." And wonder of wonders he began to take control of my life. He began to make something good of it. He forgave all my past all my sins were washed away. And he gave me his peace and he gave me his joy. And he gave me purpose and my life took on new meaning. And I began to understand why did Jesus ever die on the cross. He died instead of me. He died in my place, in football terms we'd say he was a substitute.
And he died in my place and just like me making this piece of clay into something nice now he's taking my life and I used to steal and I don't want to steal anymore because he's changing me on the inside. Being a Christian means that you've got purpose and meaning. And it also means you've got eternal life, it means that Jesus gives you hope in the most dire of circumstances. When we allow him to do it, he shapes our lives to make something wonderful. And here you'll see a bulbous shape pot coming and one day when I make it to heaven by trusting him God will have completed his work in my life and Christ will be my treasure.
When a potter finishes his piece of clay and finishes his work he puts the clay in an oven called a kiln and he glazes it and sometimes I use a pure white glaze. That pure white glaze covers all the infirmities in the clay. And when I became a Christian, Jesus and His righteousness became mine because the blood of Jesus on the cross forgave me for all my sins. What I've got to do here is remove the water out of the pot and then I've got to just finish it off, tidy up ready to take off the wheel and get it ready for use. And one of the things I can do is that can decorate it at the end, again God taking something very ordinary, ordinary clay, just everyday clay, and then making something beautiful of it. And see what we can do with this. Thanks for watching.