Bible League: Living His WordBut we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
Christians have something that is very valuable. Indeed, Christians have a treasure. What is the treasure? The Apostle Paul described it this way: "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (II Corinthians 4:6). Just as God's material light shines in the darkness, so God's spiritual light, which is the life of Christ Jesus (John 1:4-5), shines in our souls so that those in spiritual darkness may see. This light is, as Paul refers to it in our verse for today, a "surpassing power" that enables us to shine the new life of Christ into every area of life, both for our own benefit and for those to whom we minister.
As Paul points out, however, we have this treasure in jars of clay. That is, although the very light and life of Christ Jesus shines in our souls, our souls are contained in bodily vessels that are weak and fragile. They are vessels that are subject to pressures, perplexities, and persecutions (II Corinthians 4:8). The contrast could not be greater. On the one hand, there is life and light, and on the other hand there is difficulty and trouble. In this dispensation we minister the life and light that is within our souls, but through bodily jars of clay that suffer things despite the treasure.
Why is this so? Why do we still suffer when we have such power within us? Our verse says the reason is that everyone needs to know that the source of the power is God and not us. After all, if everything always went well, if everything was always light and life, then people might believe that it was just us, that it was just the way we are. When the light and life come through a broken vessel, however, it's difficult for people to make this mistake. Thus, we are allowed to suffer pressures, perplexities, and persecutions, even while the light and life we have within our soul shines new life into every area of life.
We have an incredibly valuable treasure within us. But it's all God. It's not us. Our trouble and difficulty make that plain for everyone to see.
Bible in a YearOld Testament Reading
Isaiah 45, 46, 47
Isaiah 45 -- God Calls Cyrus
Isaiah 46 -- The Idols of Babylon
Isaiah 47 -- God's Judgment upon Babylon and Chaldea
New Testament Reading
Colossians 3 -- Put On the New Self; Instructions for Christian Families
Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily DevotionBut even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles.
Because God was guiding his ministry, Paul wasn't doing anything that God hadn't already planned and given him power to do. Similarly, God told Jeremiah that God had called him, even before he was born, to do special work for God.
God knows you intimately as well, and he chose you to be his even before you were born. He wants you to draw close to him and to fulfill the purpose he has for your life.
Morning and Evening by SpurgeonRomans 8:30 Whom he did predestinate, them he also called.
In the second epistle to Timothy, first chapter, and ninth verse, are these words--"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling." Now, here is a touchstone by which we may try our calling. It is "an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace." This calling forbids all trust in our own doings, and conducts us to Christ alone for salvation, but it afterwards purges us from dead works to serve the living and true God. As he that hath called you is holy, so must you be holy. If you are living in sin, you are not called, but if you are truly Christ's, you can say, "Nothing pains me so much as sin; I desire to be rid of it; Lord, help me to be holy." Is this the panting of thy heart? Is this the tenor of thy life towards God, and his divine will? Again, in Philippians, 3:13, 14, we are told of "The high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Is then your calling a high calling? Has it ennobled your heart, and set it upon heavenly things? Has it elevated your hopes, your tastes, your desires? Has it upraised the constant tenor of your life, so that you spend it with God and for God? Another test we find in Hebrews 3:1--"Partakers of the heavenly calling." Heavenly calling means a call from heaven. If man alone call thee, thou art uncalled. Is thy calling of God? Is it a call to heaven as well as from heaven? Unless thou art a stranger here, and heaven thy home, thou hast not been called with a heavenly calling; for those who have been so called, declare that they look for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God, and they themselves are strangers and pilgrims upon the earth. Is thy calling thus holy, high, heavenly? Then, beloved, thou hast been called of God, for such is the calling wherewith God doth call his people.
Daily Light on the Daily PathMatthew 6:9 "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Exodus 34:14 -- for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God--
Exodus 15:11 "Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?
Revelation 4:8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME."
1 Chronicles 16:29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him; Worship the LORD in holy array.
Isaiah 6:1-3,5 In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. • Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. • And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory." • Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."
Job 42:5,6 "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; • Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes."
1 John 1:7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Hebrews 12:10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
Hebrews 10:19,22 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, • let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit //www.lockman.org.
New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit //www.lockman.org.