Thursday, December 04, 2008

Jars of Clay

December 4: 2 Corinthians 1-4

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 & 16-18, ESV

Jars of Clay

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

We are just "Jars of Clay" who, as Christians, carry within us the light of the Gospel. It is only through the power of God that we live faithfully to God even through times of severe persecution. Paul continually faced persecution, even to death, during his entire earthly ministry. Yet, did he complain?

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

Most Christians, especially in the western world, have not experienced any great degree of persecution. That time, however, will come to an end--and not very far into the future! As we draw nearer to the end times, the entire unbelieving world will raise their fangs against all Christians everywhere. Oh, that we, like Paul, may be found faithful!

What was Paul's secret? How did he suffer so much persecution and yet maintain his love for unbelievers and his desire to see them converted? Paul's secret is found in verses 16-18 shown above.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

We are just jars of clay, but let us pray that, like Paul, our jars of clay will shine brilliantly with the light of the Gospel. As affliction comes, pray that we will not lose heart, but will rather see that this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison!

God Bless You,
Linda

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