Thursday, August 01, 2013
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
--2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)
The clay jars that the apostle Paul was referring to were fragile and plain-looking. You wouldn’t have chosen one of them to store your treasures in. But they were the “work horse” of Paul’s day…used to carry all sorts of things.
Paul chose this ironic image of storing treasure in plain pots on purpose. He wanted to emphasize the truth that God chooses ordinary, fragile people to do His work…to show His power and love. The fact that God uses us despite our flaws and ordinariness is a sure sign to us and to others of God’s “all-surpassing power.” What we do should leave no doubt in people’s minds that God is real, loving, and powerful.
Our youth mission trips always confirm this to me. These trips consistently put us in situations that look beyond our skill level or out of our comfort zone. Nevertheless, we are able to meaningfully serve the Lord because of His presence and power. Hearing our mission team members tell of how God works through them continues to be some of the most exciting experiences in ministry for me. Our youth get a sense of how God is willing to empower them to serve Him. That’s priceless! They get a sense of their ability to make a difference in the world. That makes faith stick.
These experiences are not reserved for our mission teams. You and I can make a difference right where we live and work by God’s power. God’s vision for the Church is that we do just that. To accomplish this, God has put the treasure of His Holy Spirit in each of us. What our God is calling you to do…you can do it! We have all we need.
I am praying that God will put some opportunities in our path in the next few months that will challenge our skills and take us out of our comfort zone. I invite you to join me in that prayer. And pray for our courage to accept these opportunities. Studies on vigorous, growing churches are consistent in showing that they are churches that reach out and serve their communities. We have this treasure of God’s presence and power. Let’s be ready to show our corner of the world the all surpassing power of God!