Morning, October 11
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Bible League: Living His Word
But 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 Year
Old 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

Colossians 3 -- Put On the New Self; Instructions for Christian Families


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
But 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 Spurgeon
Lamentations 3:41  Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

The act of prayer teaches us our unworthiness, which is a very salutary lesson for such proud beings as we are. If God gave us favors without constraining us to pray for them we should never know how poor we are, but a true prayer is an inventory of wants, a catalogue of necessities, a revelation of hidden poverty. While it is an application to divine wealth, it is a confession of human emptiness. The most healthy state of a Christian is to be always empty in self and constantly depending upon the Lord for supplies; to be always poor in self and rich in Jesus; weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits; and hence the use of prayer, because, while it adores God, it lays the creature where it should be, in the very dust. Prayer is in itself, apart from the answer which it brings, a great benefit to the Christian. As the runner gains strength for the race by daily exercise, so for the great race of life we acquire energy by the hallowed labor of prayer. Prayer plumes the wings of God's young eaglets, that they may learn to mount above the clouds. Prayer girds the loins of God's warriors, and sends them forth to combat with their sinews braced and their muscles firm. An earnest pleader cometh out of his closet, even as the sun ariseth from the chambers of the east, rejoicing like a strong man to run his race. Prayer is that uplifted hand of Moses which routs the Amalekites more than the sword of Joshua; it is the arrow shot from the chamber of the prophet foreboding defeat to the Syrians. Prayer girds human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the peace of God. We know not what prayer cannot do! We thank thee, great God, for the mercy-seat, a choice proof of thy marvellous lovingkindness. Help us to use it aright throughout this day!

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Psalm 22:11  Be not far from me, for trouble is near; For there is none to help.

Psalm 13:1,2  For the choir director. A Psalm of David. How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? • How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

Psalm 27:9  Do not hide Your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!

Psalm 91:15  "He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.

Psalm 145:18,19  The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. • He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.

John 14:18  "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Matthew 28:20  teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Psalm 46:1  For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

Psalm 62:1  For the choir director; according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation.

Psalm 62:5  My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him.

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Evening October 10
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