25 Aug. 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

25 Aug. We are like clay jars holding spiritual treasure

"This is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts by letting us know the glory of God that is in the face of Jesus."

"We have this treasure from God, but we are like clay jars that hold the treasure. This shows that the great power is from God, not from us."

"We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living. We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed. We carry the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the life of Jesus can also be seen in our bodies."

"We are alive, but for Jesus we are always in danger of death so that the life of Jesus can be seen in our bodies that die. So death is working in us, but life is working in you..."

"God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead, and we know that God will also raise us with Jesus. God will bring us together with you, and we will stand before him..."

"So we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day. We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles."

"We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we cannot see. What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last for ever."

          (2 Corinthians 4:7-18)



Paul wrote this letter in 56AD shortly after he had passed his 50th birthday, and he was beginning to 'feel his age'. He had suffered hardship, floggings and imprisonment, and had been almost constantly on the move from place to place for the last 20 years. He was very aware (unlike most of us in the western world today) how life hangs on a fine thread, and how any day could bring the transition from life to death.

So, while he celebrates the fact that God has made "his light shine in our hearts" (2 Corinthians 4:6), he reminds the believers in Corinth that life is fragile – like a common clay pot that can easily be broken into pieces. So while "we have this treasure from God... we are like clay jars that hold the treasure." (2 Corinthians 4:7)

Paul does not give up hope, however. He may be persecuted and hurt; he may be in danger of death; but when death comes, “we know that God will also raise us with Jesus… and we will stand before him” (2 Corinthians 4:14).

So Paul advises the believers to concentrate on eternal life, not just their present life. Our physical bodies will inevitably become older and weaker, but God renews his Holy Spirit within us every day. And today's troubles are nothing compared with the eternal glory that God holds in store for us.

Paul concludes, “What we see will last for only a short time, but what we cannot see will last for ever” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

The photo shows a collection of 1st century 'clay jars' - jugs and amphorae - in the Vatican Museum, Rome.

You can read more from Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/1…/christs-victory-parade

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