Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Jars Of Clay

II Corinthians 4: 7-10 (NIV)  "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."

How can we be hard pressed but not crushed?  How can we be perplexed but not in despair?  How can we be persecuted but not abandoned?  How can we be struck down but not destroyed?  These are comparisons that Paul is making between the natural and the spiritual.  With God's all-surpassing power in us we may be under pressure from the world, but in the spiritual realm, we are not crushed.  We may be perplexed by the world, but in the spiritual realm, we do not despair.  We may be persecuted by the world, but in the spiritual realm, we are not alone.  We may be struck down by the world, but in the spiritual realm, we are not destroyed.

Our problem as Christians come when we live fully in this natural realm, putting our hope and trust in man and man's systems, or when we are relying upon our own strength to deal with life.  Paul reminds us that we are merely clay vessels, made of dirt and easily broken.  It's what's inside our vessels that carries us through.

Paul says that we carry inside us the death of Jesus (the only Son of God crucified for us) so that the life of Jesus (His resurrection power) may pour out of us.  If we only have human strength, human answers, human love, human power, human compassion, then we have little to nothing to draw from nor pour out to anyone else.  If we have God's strength, God's answers, God's love, God's power, God's compassion, then we have everything we need, plus more to pour out to others.

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