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Jars of Clay

John Collins10/31/20122 Corinthians 4 compares our bodies to "jars of clay," filled with the power of God.

Paul says that we have treasure in our jars of clay, showing that the overflowing power belongs to God and not to us.  Though we suffer many afflictions, we are not crushed.  We may be perplexed, but not driven to dispair.  We are persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed.

He says that we are always carrying the death of Jesus with us in our bodies, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.  We may be given to death for Jesus' sake, but the life of Jesus will be made manifest in our mortal flesh.  

Paul said that we have the same spirit of faith as was written, "I believed and so I spoke."  We also believe, and so we also speak.  We also believe what we speak, knowing that the One who raised Christ Jesus will also raise us also with Jesus and bring us into His presence.  He did this all for our sake, so that Grace extends to more and more people through us.  It will increase thanksgiving to God, for His glory!

Therefore, we should never be discouraged.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is renewed day by day.  Paul calls our afflictions "light momentary afflictions," that are preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.  We should look towards the glory that is unseen, not the things we can see with our eyes in this world.  The things we see around us will fade away, but the things unseen are eternal.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Have we made good use of our jars of clay?  Are they bubbling over with the Spirit, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or are we spreading some other gospel?  Are we spreading it to many, many others in thanksgiving to God, or are we bottling up our jar of clay with a lid?  Are we looking to the unseen?