Treasure in clay jars!
Scripture reading for August 30th: 2nd Corinthians 4:1-12
Paul’s encouraging words about transformation by the Holy Spirit could have brought some spiritual pride. Paul wanted none of that in his life or the Corinthians! This ‘glory transformation’ was a gift to each believer because of God’s mercy. Paul preached the straight Gospel of Jesus Christ as Lord with no underlying motives of gain or manipulation. He appealed to men’s consciences in the power of the Holy Spirit seeking their salvation and transformation.
There were some who would not believe. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2nd Corinthians 4:4) The Light of the World is Jesus Christ. The god of this world is the prince of darkness who blinds men to Christ’s glory. Men loved darkness, but God sent His greatest Light in His Son!
“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 be revealed in our body.” (2nd Corinthians 4:7-10) God has placed His Holy Spirit in us as this fragrance of life. Our human bodies are like jars of clay, fragile and breakable. Our life as ministers here on earth can bring lots of physical buffeting. It certainly did to Paul, but he understood the nature of his physical body. It was just a container of the glory of Christ! Christ’s glory was revealed to a greater degree as the troubles and pressures came.
Paul learned to walk by faith and not by sight. He knew that if he focused on the troubles and trials, he would be easily discouraged. He focused on the unseen world of the Spirit that was eternal, and not on his ‘clay pot’. This is a secret for our success as well. We have a wonderful treasure in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is able to renew us day by day, using the troubles we face to bring ever-increasing glory! Soon our jar of clay will be transformed into a glorious body! Hallelujah!