Readings for Today
Verses for the Day
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
The apostle Paul continues to show the humility of a man who was shown mercy and is merely responding to God's call to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. In Corinth there was a big temptation for pride and arrogance, because of the culture they lived in. Paul wants to make it abundantly clear that they do not preach themselves, but Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Paul makes the famous statement, "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." In those days, treasures were hidden in everyday, earthen clay pots, so that nobody would think anything was valuable in them. Paul says we are like these clay pots, though there is nothing particularly valuable on the outside, inside we hold the treasure of the Gospel. In fact, you may even state we are "cracked pots". But the cracks on the outside let out some of the light on the inside, in spite of our weaknesses.
Though we are not perfect and have many cracks, if we can keep the focus on Christ and not ourselves, we can be effective ministers of the gospel. After all, then it will be abundantly clear that those we preach to are trusting in Christ alone, not mere mortals.
How can God use even your failures and frailties to show the power of the Gospel? Why do think Paul is so concerned that all of the focus be on Christ, and not us? What happens when we start thinking we are responsible for people's salvation? The problem is if someone becomes saved we take credit for it, but if they reject the gospel, we feel like failures, or that it was something in our delivery that caused the breakdown.
May we be like Paul and remember we are merely earthen vessels, God uses to shine the light of Christ into the world. If we get this straight, we can eliminate a world of confusion both for those we are trying to reach and what it means to be an effective, albeit "cracked pot" for Jesus!