Treasure in a Jar of Clay.

In my mind’s eye I surrender all I have to the Lord this morning. I give him back everything he has given me to live my life with. I surrender that back to him and I have a picture of myself kneeling naked before His cross.

“I hear you and receive all you have surrendered to Me. Stand up – I have taken you and clothed you with my cloak of holiness, of praise and of righteousness. You have received a new life – not the old life patched and repaired – a new life completely fresh in my holiness and in my loving presence. You are a new person – not a reconstructed figure from the past. I have created you for this experience to be part of My holy family, so cast off all your doubts, your cares and your insecurities and remind yourself of My love which surrounds you. And in all this, I will give you all you need to live in righteousness and godliness, but most of all I will give you Myself and my love. Let that thought govern your whole life “

As we turn now again to 2 Corinthians, let us start today by reminding ourselves of the melodic line which runs through this letter: “Paul’s suffering is the revelatory vehicle through which the knowledge of God – manifest in the cross of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit. His suffering, the embodiment of Christ’s crucifixion – is the very instrument that God uses to display His resurrection power. He does this in two ways: – either rescue when it is all too much to bear – or strengthening in the midst of adversity, so that God will be glorified”.

It helps to keep this in mind as we seek to unravel all Paul’s twists and turns in His arguments and speeches.

As we come now to Ch 4 we can pick up another bracket in the text which should help us follow the main thought. The phrase is: “Therefore we do not lose heart”. vv 1 and 16. As Paul continues to defend His ministry in the light of the accusations that he could not be a true apostle because of his weakness and all the trouble he has been through.

Paul’s defence is quite clear: “But we have this treasure (ie the blessing of the gospel) in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us”. vs 7 God’s power becomes blindingly obvious when we are weak and our obstacles appear insurmountable. His intervention, in whatever way, is much clearer under those circumstances.

Friends, this is a principle which is just as true today as it was then. When we are “self-sufficient” and think we have everything under control, God is unable to demonstrate His supernatural power. I, myself love to have things under control, it gives me a sense of security. However God is in the business of showing me how much I actually need Him, in every part of my life. So He knocks my feet, my security out of under me, to show how false that is. Sometimes those lessons are really painful.

Now as we read this chapter we have two things contrasted. Paul’s weakness and all his troubles, on the one hand and the brilliant blessing of the perfect gospel on the other. The two should not be confused. In the middle we have a key statement which we should not miss (v13). It is Paul’s faith which gives him the right to speak with absolute confidence of the amazing work of Jesus on the cross and being raised from the dead.

Paul will not allow the Corinthians to disparage the gospel because of all the troubles he has had and his apparent weakness. Therefore (vs 16) he is determined not to lose heart but to continue his ministry to them even though there are those who oppose him.

His summary at the close of the chapter (4:16-18), is perhaps the most revealing as to how he is feeling. This sentiment, I am sure resonates among all of our readers. We are all conscious of the wasting away of age and infirmity, but the clarion call is that we should not be measured and we should not measure ourselves by that. The reality is, if you are walking with Christ, that the inward spiritual, real you is being strengthened every day and will be that part of us which will one day experience the full joy of being in the presence of God Himself and the Lamb that was slain.

So I call on you all to heed 4 :19; “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen eternal” and not lose heart, no matter how difficult things may seem or become.

God bless till next week.

2 Replies to “Treasure in a Jar of Clay.”

  1. For God who said, Let light shine out of darkness, is the One who has shone in our hearts, ro gives the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Christ
    2 Corinthians 4 6 7 Conversion is a new creation. It is the work of rhe new covenant of the Spirit. The old veil is being taken away. Through faith the believer is now able to see the Glory of our Holy Lord in the face of Christ. The believer’ s heart is now convinced, without Christ everything is darkness, without Him i am nothing. All dominion, power and glory be to our Holy Lord forever and ever 🙏 Amen

  2. I truly believe, our Holy Lord and Father proves His great love for us by giving us the knowledge of His Glory in the Face of Christ through the power-light of the Holy Spirit. Christ Treasure above all treasuress.

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