We have a Treasure in a Jar of Clay

Phil Dark

An inner city high school basketball team was on its way to scrimmage a suburban private school. When the team arrived at their destination, they lost their confidence. While their opponents had special warm-up suits, the inner city team had only their playing uniforms. They had brought no fans and no band to cheer them on, and no confidence.

In the last minutes before the game when the coach called his inner city team together, he said, ”Guys, they look good, but they only look good. The question today is not who looks good on the outside, but who is strong on the inside. I know what’s inside each one of you. Now get out there and play ball.” In 2 Corinthians 4:1-7, the Apostle Paul admitted that the Christian’s life is this way. We are like fragile jars of clay. But inside is a treasure, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are three characteristics to this treasure.

The first characteristic is our greatest personal privilege. Our greatest personal privilege is to be the living link that allows the message of Christ to get through to our lost and dying world (2 Corinthians 4:1). Many Christians have returned from mission trips with the awareness that they were the living link that brought the message of Christ to an unreached people group. We can be the living link that takes the Gospel to the unreached people who live next door to us.

The second characteristic is our greatest personal challenge. The challenge is that rather than changing the message, we must communicate the powerful message which will change lives. Vance Havener said, “It is not our responsibility to make the Gospel acceptable. It is our duty to make it available.”

The third characteristic is our greatest personal experience. For the Apostle Paul, as well as us, our greatest personal experience was when we received Christ as our personal Lord and Savior (2 Corinthians 4:6). What could be better than having a personal relationship with Christ, after accepting Him as our Lord, and receiving forgiveness for our sins, and receiving the gift of eternal life?

In conclusion, we Christians are jars of clay with a treasure inside. It is a treasure that can be characterized as the greatest personal privilege, the greatest personal challenge, and the greatest personal experience. We must allow the treasure of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to command our lives! Remember 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

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