Bible Society of South Africa
3 April 2024Xanthe Hancox

Focus your faith on Him – Day 7

Treasures in jars of clay

Bible text(s)

7Yet we who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us. 8We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; 9there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed. 10At all times we carry in our mortal bodies the death of Jesus, so that his life also may be seen in our bodies.

2 Corinthians 4:7-10GNBOpen in Bible reader

When this letter was written, clay pots were the Tupperware of the world. They were easy to buy, easy to break and used to hold everything from water and food, to money and jewels. Paul compares our lives to clay pots, saying that we’re not only common earthenware containers, but we’re chipped and cracked. However, although we might be fragile, the treasure we hold is precious beyond compare.

God places a precious treasure in these fragile “jars of clay”. Why? So that others will see and experience the treasure of Christ, rather than being impressed with us. Our lives are not made of reinforced concrete, stainless steel, or silver or gold so that we can take the credit for our success in this world. Instead, they are made up of common clay, earthenware, so that the glory of God in our lives is plainly evident.

What happens when a clay pot gets jostled around, bumped or cracked? The contents spill out. And when a fragile human being who is filled with Christ is “hard pressed”, “perplexed”, “persecuted” or “struck down”? Jesus, his life, death and resurrection, comes spilling out!

The jostling and battering in our lives is not because God has abandoned us, it is because we are trusted messengers of his glory. God permits the battering and breaking process to go on in our lives, but that is all part of Christian growth. It’s good to be a clay pot.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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