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Terracotta Treasures

Tim Arakawa


Tim Arakawa

Endocrinologist in Tamuning, Guam



  • May 23, 2009
    10:00 AM
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morning out how I'm going to miss saying that CU every Sabbath and that was with Ms. before most likely my second to last Sabbath here eleven oh and as I reflected back over the last ten years you can believe that I'm just so amazed at what God has done in a while if you know that it's been a blessing and an honor to be a part of God 's work in Loma Linda amen I also let you know that the title is changed from what is put in the bulletin and the title of the sermon today is terra-cotta treasure to regard as for prayer dear father in heaven we are humbled and honored to play a part in your work and we just ask that as humble servants you would fill us with your Holy Spirit after you would still need with your Holy Spirit this morning in Jesus name we pray amen look around you for a moment and look at the this hall filled with people when I first came to Loma Linda in nineteen ninety nine I have to admit that for someone who was searching for for place to to really study the Bible for someone who was seeking a deeper spiritual relationship with with Jesus the the Limited they were there but there is nothing like Ivanhoe and what a blessing it is now in the past seven years to see how the Holy Spirit has moved on this campus how the Holy Spirit has moved in this community of people all ages but especially young people and now we are seeing young people and people of all ages who are excited about doing God 's work they are becoming serious about their faith they get a Bible study preaching going door-to-door doing evangelism I believe that we are seeing a revival of primitive godliness here Loma Linda and were saying that in Southern California or CNET in North America and were seeing that in the whole world some of you may be visiting and I just wanted to briefly mentions of the things that are going on give you an idea of what God is doing in Loma Linda first of all there is a restoration that if you are familiar with restoration it's a student run evangelistic efforts that is conducted on this campus every year and it has impacted probably thousands of students over the course of the seven years that it's been in existence and even restoration like events are happening on other seven Devens campuses in North America praise God of course added hope it's a Sabbath school of the Loma Linda University church and is still burdened hall where you're sitting today to capacity every single sound I was also starting across the country praise God we have the Desai ministry the design history is a nonprofit organization that was started here at the fourth many of the ministries only hear the local area but again across United States in fact many of the youth conferences that you been hearing about are supported by the design ministry one of those you conferences in Southwestern conference and this is it an annual event it's a retreat that is the house and its accessible hundreds of people every year and finally there's audio verse some of you might be listening to the sermon on audio verse and audio versus the website offers free sermon downloads and online on the Internet currently as of May two thousand nine there are over eighteen thousand unique visitors every month that downloading eighty thousand MP3s totaling over three terabytes of data from over a hundred and forty countries praise the Lord but more exciting then any of these organizations to meet is the fact that God would choose to use us in his work and what excites me is that God is using ordinary people to do extraordinary things and many times he works with white with it people of many ages especially young people young people they don't have much experience right and another thing the people I have is money we usually have for an young people are also they are usually in school for this one training and yet God somehow uses ordinary normal average people that God many times use of people who just seem qualified traffic don't seem to like there up to the task at least in the world but today we are going to see that God delights to take unworthy people and use them in his work but many times got takes those who are the least adequate and ask them to do some extraordinary things for him if you think about it God doesn't even the fact I'll even use human beings is amazing isn't it this is the God who all he needs to do is speak a word and something can exist out of nothing this is the God who had thousands upon thousands millions of angels that he can have to do his bidding is done this is a God that is it it takes in add objects even the stones can cry out this God has not chosen to use any of those methods were thousands more that he knows he's chosen to use you and he chosen to use me if you think you look back in history you think of all the amazing leaders and God 's work find that the majority of them did not feel sufficient for the task that God gave them a look at a few examples this morning with me to exodus chapter four Exodus chapter four this is the story of Moses probably one of the greatest leaders in the history of God 's people the man who led Israel out of Egypt through the wilderness he spoke face-to-face with God and this is how he felt when God asked him to to be a leader verse ten exits for verse ten and Moses said unto the Lord O my lord I am not eloquent neither heretofore nor since I spoken unto thy servant but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue evidently Moses had some problem with the speech that made it difficult for him to be articulate in front of logic the people and he felt insufficient for the task let's start the first annual chapter nine this is the story of another leader in this leader was the first king of Israel now he wasn't always a great leader but when he was dependent upon the Lord when he was humble guy could use it and God did choose him first Samuel chapter nine verse twenty one is false response to being called and Saul answered and said Pentagon high attention might of the smallest of the tribes of Israel and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin wherefore then also me what song is saying here is all the twelve tribes of Israel I'm from the smallest tribe Benjamin and all the families that compose the tribe of Benjamin I find it from the smallest tribe of the lease and release family of the tribe why would God choose but look at another example in judges chapter six this is the story of another man who is called to free God 's people from their oppressors the Midianites his name was Gideon one of the most amazing leaders one of the most amazing battles that we ever read about the Bible but when she was called he also still felt inadequate verse fifteen of judges chapter six XT Gideon said to him all my Lord wherewith shall I save Israel behold my family is what poor and Manasseh and I am the least in my father 's house once again God chooses someone who is the lease and only that poor can you identify what that some of us can item to get back on the history of the Senate Baptist Church many of the pioneers of our church also felt this way did you know that William Miller waited in years to preach the message I got it had given him why because he felt untrained in a prepared to give the message eight years and Ellen White instrumental part of this the establishment of the seven database even she when she was called by God felt inadequate when he reads you what she wrote in first testimonies page sixty two she said my health was so poor that I was in constant bodily suffering and to all appearance and a short time to live I was but seventeen years of age small and frail I'm used to society and Ashley so timid and retiring it was painful for me to meet strangers I prayed earnestly for several days and far into the night of this burden might be removed from me and laid upon someone more capable of bearing even the great apostle Paul felt this way now like to turn to our web team tax is found in second transients chapter four and verse seven Paul writes up a significant here describing himself describing the apostles in second printing etc. for verse seven Paul writes but we have this treasure in earthen vessels operate their earth and vessels what a earth and vessels in one sense it is common everyday objects for Israelites keep they would be wet Tupperware is for us today just pottery that was used for common purposes such as that storing things like the oil liquids wine the paid great issues that they would drink grain sometimes they would store valuables in these claims are these clay containers the Greek word for earthen actually has its roots in the word terra-cotta and night with terra-cotta that a type of clay baked clay it is semi- fired at the Clay it's very common to those areas is nothing special about it in fact to be honest it were terra-cotta has an application of frail and pottery is by nature breakable and fragile what an apt description of the human vessel is enough this this description I have often felt as an earthen vessel and perhaps you have as well and in a very humble way I would like to share just a small part of my own story as an earthen vessel and perhaps you might be able to identify before I tell you how I came to Loma Linda I just like to mention a few things to help you understand what kind of person I one of the things that I fear the most or makes me the most nervous believer not his standing in front of a group of people a large group of people and speaking out when I was younger I it was one of I dreaded it and one of the reasons why was because I had a similar problem with Moses your speech pathologist you understand I had a stuttering problem others of different types of stuttering but one of the title stuttering is is where you get a block and you can't say certain words are sound I have that is very difficult for me to Bessie when I was nervous to speak our troubles with with with start with W and Nino in different continents etc. and so because of that I had a great fear of public speaking and it doesn't fully left me but God is good I also had very little leadership experience in fact I hardly held any leadership positions at all until I get a little and I because class pastor one year that's about it and to be honest when I first get a little and I was still growing spiritually not what you would say is a great candidate to be a director about hope accordingly I do say this because some of you may feel the same way how can God use me I'm not ready I'm not sufficient after the story goes that I was planning I had just graduated from college and I was trying to decide where to go for medical school and to be honest so you may not know this but I have not plan to matriculate at Loma Linda University after two weeks of deliberation try to decide where to go I decided to accept a slot in the MD PhD program at a prominent school on the East Coast and apartment lined up with roommates I had chosen a laboratory research laboratory was going to do more likely biology on the with cancer research him about the buy my plane ticket to Boston when both make a long story short until the strong conviction from the Lord that I was not supposed to go to Boston but to Loma Linda had no idea why to be honest Loma Linda summer program for MD PhD program already started I was late so I packed my bags within a few hours I found was on the road to Loma Linda I do know why came but I came in faith knowing that God had called and although I did not feel prepared for whatever it was that God had in store I determined on that right down to Loma Linda that whatever God would ever door got opened I was that through that door well to shorten the story during my third year here so when asked to run for religious as president of the student Association and again remember I was I was not a good leadership candidate in fact I was terrified even thinking about doing this job to be responsible for for the spiritual lives of thousands of students having a fear of speaking in public not having any leadership experience whatsoever in my life I was terrified I was still growing spiritually but then I remembered my commitment to the Lord when I first came to Loma Linda but I would but I would do what got asked to do as I said that the position in spite of myself that was the year the restoration started and now you've heard about the many things that God has done through not just me but all of God earthen vessels here at Loma Linda looking back though I'm still very humbled to think that go to think of what I might have been if I had come a little and the number one and number two what I still have without the Lord after let's go back to our first and second Corinthians four in verse seven because Earth and vessels by themselves which is Tupperware right and so something needs to be in the earth and vessels look at this again for seven we have this treasure in earthen muscles what is this treasure and thought about that the Treasurer Alexi found in the verse before the three verse six together for God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shine in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ over the lighting here but it we could just focus on a few parts let's go through this for God who commanded the light to shine in the darkness what is Paul referring to hear creation the God who speaks and create something out of nothing the creator God who can re-create in you he he is the one who shines in our hearts and what is you want to sign our hearts the light of the knowledge of what the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ God wants to place his glory in you a priceless treasure in earthen vessels if we look briefly at chapter three verse eighteen go back a few verses we find that as we meditate and as we behold his glory of God that changes us into his image and that is truly a treasure to make another verse found in Colossians chapter one verse twenty seven here in this verse which is familiar to many of us is another description of what is called let's read together verse twenty seven of Colossians chapter one Paul writes to whom God would make known what is the riches of what the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles what is that glory Christ in you the hope of glory do we not just read that in our previous text that God wants to place his glory in us they glory that's down in the face of Jesus Christ he wants a place in our hearts to give us the hope of glory this is the message of righteousness by faith this is the message of how a salvation of how God wants to place his love his grace and each one of your lives and transform you into a new person so that you are not just invest you are a terra-cotta treasure for the Lord why would God put such a valuable treasure into such a nondescript worthless container and thought about that before why would he do that let's go back to second printing is chapter four and read the rest of the verse but start for the beginning again think again Chapter four verse seven says but we have this treasure in earthen vessels why that the excellency of the power may be of who God and not of us you see if God uses the most talented and he uses the wealthiest people entity uses the most prestigious the most powerful people didn't they might be tempted what that somehow they contributed to the value of the treasure but if God uses the least qualified but once you feel their insufficiency then God will get all the glory if I were to summarize my sermon in attacks Paul says that well in first Corinthian 's turn at leader first Redskins chapter one starting in verse twenties X one light of all we talked about this morning think about that as we read starting verse twenty six Paul says for ye see your calling brethren how that not many wise men after the flesh not many mighty not many noble are called but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty and base things of the world and things which are despised hath God chosen J and things which are not to bring to not instead are that no flesh should work glory in his presence but of him are ye in Christ Jesus who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and faith vacation and redemption that according as it is written he had glorious finish it with me let him glory in the Lord if the contrast between the earthen vessel and the amazing treasure that gives the glory to God I'd like to tell you a story of a treasure treasure story Juma was beginning to get nervous some of his goats were climbing to high up the cliff he decided to climb the face of the cliff himself to bring them back little did you men know as he began his climb on that January day in nineteen forty seven at those straying goats would eventually involve him in what is now called the greatest archaeological discovery of the twenty century thoughts were far from his mind we thought to small openings in one of the thousands of caves that adopt those barren cliffs overlooking the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea he threw a rock into one of the openings the unexpected cracking sound surprising what else could be in those remote caves but pressure he called to his cousins Kahlil and Mohammed climbed up and heard the exciting tale but it was getting late and the goats had to be gathered tomorrow they would return perhaps their days of falling to come to an end once the treasure was uncovered the youngest of the three Mohammed rose the next day before his two fellow treasure seekers and made his way to the case the cave floor was covered with debris including broken pottery along the walls to the number of narrow jars some with their Ball State covered still in place frantically Mohammed began to explore the inside of each jar but no treasure of gold was to be found only a few bundles wrapped in cloth and greenish with age returning to his cousin he related the sad news no treasure no treasure indeed those the scrolls those veteran boys removed from that dark cave that day and the days following we come to be recognized as the greatest manuscript treasure ever found the first seven manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls now initially those seven schools were found but as archaeologists continued to explore other caves in the area they eventually fan over eight hundred scrolls and thousands of manuscript fragments many manuscripts were found in there and some of them were found in their entirety like the book of Isaiah and we found that the book of Isaiah is very old medical actually to the book of Isaiah that we have nowadays once again authenticating the Bible and its translation many people are familiar with the story but there is more to the story there's a story that is about a squirrel that is often overlooked in nineteen fifty two archaeologists found a small scroll hidden in the back of one of these case however this scroll was different it was written on a leather or papyrus like the other schools had been it was made of copper and became known as the Copper scroll but over two thousand years of sitting in the back of the cave a copper had become corroded and it was so oxidized that they could not unroll the scroll to read it took four years of the date but finally scholars decided that the only way they were going to be able to read the scroll would be to cut it into long strips using a small circular saw the mother typically the party be able to read them when they finally did this and translated the scroll they found that it contained a list of treasure underground hiding places throughout Israel where perhaps the riches from the Temple Ford read you one of the entries translated of course in the cavity of the old house attribute in the chain platform sixty five bars of gold at his went down in the lists all these places of hidden treasure unfortunately all these places are gone now names have changed things are different people have looked for this treasure but they can't find it but the treasure is there just as fantastic treasure was stored in earthen vessels many many years ago on Palestine God wants to do the same thing with each one of us perhaps you feel unworthy maybe you doesn't think in your life that you regret you wish you could do over and you feel like how can God accept how can God use you is it too late to do something for God I want you to know this morning that God specializes in taking earthen vessels and turning them into terra-cotta treasures perhaps you attend out and hope here and you you feel inexperienced you feel unprepared to work for God God wants to take each one of you and use you you may feel that God are you someone like you but God our God is a God that loves to take unworthy causes people that the world would have given up on a long time ago and make than his trophies of my favorite quotes is found in the book our father cares page one twenty two and it reads what love was wonderful love was displayed by the son of God Christ takes the center from the lowest degradation and purifies refined and ennobles him by beholding Jesus as he is the center is transformed and elevated to the very summit of dignity even to his seat with Christ upon his throne I want to leave you with the stock perhaps many of you feel like Saul if you like you are the lease of the leased and to be honest this generation is probably the worst generation history of the world the most wicked the most violence the most profane generation that ever lived in your grid Nona I believe that God wants to take her than vessels from the worst of the worst generation ever lived they must take then and he wants to make them terra-cotta treasures he wants to make them trophies of what the transforming power of God can do in the life I believe that God will they will have a generation of people who are able to have that treasure inside of them the glory of God that is signing out the world showing his character and at once he does that with this he will be able to pour out his Spirit and latter rain power he will come very soon your guitar the generation you want to be a terra-cotta treasure for the Lord if you do what we stand and have a final prayer of father heaven it is away key responsibility to accept a call into your work and as human beings we realize our frailty how week and powerless we are but we thank you that you have condescended to your son to the Holy Spirit to place a treasure within us that the power that is manifested may not be glorifying to ourselves but glorifying to you help us we pray to become part of a generation that accepts the call to bring glory to your name and to spread the message to distribute the treasure into all the waiting earthen vessels in this world thank you for the privilege of serving you is our humble prayer and evening


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