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Grace Lutheran Church Weekly Devotion - 2 Corinthians 4:5–12

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2 Corinthians 4:5–12

What we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12So death is at work in us, but life in you.

PROMO Faith - Grace Lutheran Church - Cheyenne Wells - Diane Harms

We have heard the claim “if you are a child of God, you will be healthy, wealthy, and above all, happy.  If you are not, it is because your faith is lacking.  We recognize this as the theology of glory, yet the prosperity gospel is hiding within us.  When things are tough, we ask, “Why me?”  But when we are blessed, do we ask, “Why me Lord?  What have I ever done to deserve the love and kindness You have shown me?” Or are we tempted to say, “Look at me!  Look what I have accomplished!”  That is why challenges in our lives can and often do create a crisis of faith, all because our perspective is coming from our own desires and not from God’s teaching. 

Christian life is often not easy.  Even in the early church, people struggled with the idea of suffering as Christians.  St. Paul was arrested, beaten, imprisoned, and run out of town.  His critics used his suffering to discount his ministry saying, “This affliction surely must be God’s judgment against him.”  So, Paul addressed them by saying, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” even being given over to death (8-9, 11).  By using the word “we” Paul is talking about all of us.  We are all jars of clay, easily broken when afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, struck down, or given over to death.  This is the human condition under which we are born, it is the result of sin.  

God created people out of the dust, the clay, of the earth.  So, for our salvation, Jesus took on the clay of our bodies.  Just as we suffer afflictions, temptations, and death, Christ faced them all for us and more.  Jesus’ vessel of clay was crushed in your stead.  He went to the cross, He was buried in a tomb in the earth, but death could not hold Him and He rose from the darkness of the grave to bring to light the knowledge of God’s glory and power.  With the surpassing power that belongs to God, Christ transforms the cracked, broken, crushed, clay vessels we are into precious jars of beauty and honor, perfect and holy.  

Now, unless our Lord returns first, the time will come when these vessels of clay will have served their earthly purpose.  Our bodies will die and return to the dust from which they were made.  But God who called light out of darkness, who with His own hands took the dust of the earth to make humanity, will take our dead, lifeless bodies and re-create them to a life that will never end.  But the greatest difference between this present body and the eternal one is that our new body will not be subject to sin or the consequences of sin.  In God’s new creation, we will not know affliction or suffering or death.  What is now a humble clay jar will be re-created into a vessel of beauty and honor. Our restored vessel will be filled with the presence and beauty of God--perfect and holy forever and ever.  

825 North 1st West

Cheyenne Wells, CO, 80810-0728

Sunday Service begins at 9:00AM