But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:7
LET IT GLOW
In my kitchen, there is a variety of containers made from various materials-plastic, metal, wooden, glass, china. There is a beautiful clear crystal candy dish and picher, hand cut from Yugoslavia, which my husband brought back from a mission trip to Bosnia. Those would be considered the most valuable of all. However, to me, the most valuable container, is an old, yellow glass bowl in which my mother often made homemade biscuits, cookies, and cakes. While the outside of the bowl is deteriorating in attractiveness, it still holds value to me. So it is with us. Our bodies are aging and losing strength (verse 16). It is when we allow God to fill us with His Spirit and renew our inner self that people will see a treasure of immeasurable worth, as God does.
Our key scripture uses the term "earthen vessels."
In the Liberty Bible Commentary, Falwell stated:An earthenware jar is a brittle one. It depicts humanity in its weakness. The gospel is not a product of human genius or clever intellect. Yet it resides in men of clay, that the excellence of the power may be of God, and not of us. (verse 7)
In Romans 7:18, Paul reminds us "For I know that in me(that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing."
Kruse said," God chose to put His light and glory in the everyday dishes, not in the fine china."
"Who's worthy to be a "container" for God's light and glory? We are all just clay pots holding an unspeakably great treasure! Why does God put such a great treasure in such weak vessels? So the greatness of the power may be of God and not of us.
In the story of Gideon, it was the breaking of vessels that made the light shine forth and bring victory to God's people. (Judges 7:20) In the rest of the chapter, Paul will show how God "breaks" His clay pots so the excellence of the power may be of God and not us, "David Guzik said in his commentary.
Blackaby states in Experiencing God Day-By-Day:"Knowing God and having Him reside within you is a treasure of infinite value. Your relationship with God places an immeasurable value on your life. The treasures of God's wisdom and knowledge are available to you through Christ (Col.2:2-3). His love now fills you. His incomprehensible peace surrounds your heart and mind (Phil.4:7). When Jesus dwells in your life, everything available to Christ dwells within you (Eph. 3:19).
The contents of the earthen vessels, not the containers themselves, were of great value. The jars would become chipped and broken and would deteriorate over time, but nobody thought of the jar-they were interested in its contents. Paul noted that our great possession is that which God has placed within us. When people focus on us they see a frail, imperfect, and deteriorating vessel. Nothing that comes from our flesh is worthy of praise.
Don't focus on outward appearances and phusical strength, for those deteriorate. Rather, allow the Holy Spirti to convince you of the infinite treasure that is within you because of God's presence."
I am only like an everyday dish, made of clay, that wants the Lord to use for His glory.
How about you?
LET IT GROW
Verses 8-10 say,"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."
A.W.Tozer is quoted having said,"It's doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply."
An unknown person once said,"When God wants to do an impossible task, He takes an impossible person and crushes him."
I looked up the meaning of some of the words in the above verses in the King James Dictionary:
troubled-disturbed, agitated, afflicted
distressed-suffering great pain or torture, harassed
persecuted-harassed by troubles or punishments unjustly inflicted
forsaken-deserted, left, abandoned
cast down-to throw down, fling or send; to drive from
destroyed-demolished, ruined, devoured swept away
So I thought that by inserting the definitions into the passage, it would better help me understand. Fill in your name if you are feeling this way.
Linda is disturbed or agitated everywhere she turns, but not tortured; Linda is embarrassed or puzzled by this situation, but not hopeless; Linda is harassed by troubles unjustly inflicted, but not deserted; Linda is being driven from what she wants or desires; but not demolished, ruined.
Why? Maybe because of someone else's sins, things are happening to me; maybe my witness upsets someone and they want to get rid of it. Who knows why things happen? The Lord Who is Sovereign does. But because of Jesus living in me, I have hope that this situation will turn out for my good and His glory. I just keep trusting my Lord as I walk along. (Isn't there a song that says that?)
What little I suffer for the Lord in comparison to what Paul suffered!
Verse 17 tells us, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
LET IT GO
Realize although I'm made of clay, God is working to make me fine china.
Be encouraged that this too shall pass, endure with faith in Jesus.
Wishing you a very happy New Year as we continue to travel on this country road of faith together.