Wednesday, November 25, 2009
2 Cor. 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;
SKH is going to teach through this passage this coming Sunday and I have been thinking about it these last couple of days. I believe that when Paul penned these words he would have been thinking about clay pots like these in this picture.
Jars of clay are just baked mud, and that is what we are. These pots were and are very common, breakable, cheap and not necessarily very nice to look at. As in the picture, they are used for every day things, in this case kitchen work, but they also could have been made in different sizes and used for things like bed pans.
It makes more sense to hear that we are but dust when you think about us being pots. A clay pot and our earthly body are very similar in that when buried both will soon turn back to the dust, or dirt, we once were.
We are these jars of clay. The treasure of the Gospel, something very precious, is stored inside of us; common, not so nice to look at, breakable jars of clay. Can the pot say to the potter "I don't like what you made me into"? Well, all we are is a vessel to be used to carry the light of the Gospel to the world. It seems like we should look something like these pots, but have light beaming out from us. If there are cracks in us there should be light flooding from each one of those cracks.
So, in the end, what difference does it make if we are persecute, afflicted, perplexed and crushed? If the Master has many pots that He can take off the shelf to replace us with, then should we just be happy to be used while He chooses to use us? Shouldn't we be excited that we are being used for something as useful as carrying the light of the Gospel?
Then what about the results? Where will the credit go if the Gospel actually bears fruit in the lives of those around us? Can we boast in our effectiveness in sharing the Gospel? How could we if we are but clay pots? That is what Paul is trying to say, "How can I boast in anything if I am just a normal, common, fragile pot that can be replaced at any minute?"
So as I walk today I must remember that I am only a vessel that God is choosing to use to carry the Gospel. I want to be a clean vessel so that as much light as possible can get out of me into the world. I must remember that I am chosen, but not because of anything that is of value in me, but that God chose to choose me because He is gracious.