Thursday, October 23, 2014

Letting the Light Shine Out

A Broken Jar

2 Cor 4:5-8

5 For we are not heralding ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, yet ourselves your slaves because of Jesus,
6 for the God Who says that, out of darkness light shall be shining, is He Who shines in our hearts, with a view to the illumination of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 Now we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the transcendence of the power may be of God and not of us.

  As believers who live on this earth, often far apart from those who are similar faith and mind; we are constantly aware of our shortcomings.  I myself am hard of hearing.  I struggle to understand my 3 year old at times.  I often find it difficult to keep up in group conversations and quickly get exhausted and eventually have to give up because I simply cannot maintain that level of focus for very long.  Oh that I would have perfect hearing!  And one day, I know I shall.

   But today, I continue to be hard of hearing and sometimes even deaf.  Why would Father do this?  Doesn't he know I could more powerfully preach his word if I could hear and jump into a conversation and powerfully express his teachings?  Doesn't he see how this binds me and slips me up?

   Even our apostle Paul struggled with these things.  In desperation he cried out to Father and he answered in 2 Corinthians 12:9

9 And He has protested to me, "Sufficient for you is My grace, for My power in infirmity is being perfected." With the greatest relish, then, will I rather be glorying in my infirmities, that the power of Christ should be tabernacling over me. 

   I have come to view myself, and all believers, as jars.  We often have cracks running down the side of us in these earthly vessels.  That's ok, because inside of us is a light - the very POWER of Christ's resurrection.  Isn't that exciting?  The very power that rose Christ from the dead now dwells in you.  In Phillipians 3:10-11 Paul writes

10 to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, conforming to His death,
11 if somehow I should be attaining to the resurrection that is out from among the dead.

  He wasn't questioning his salvation or hinting at a secret resurrection that will happen before the one mentioned in 1 Thessalonians.  He was expressing his sincere desire to appreciate the power at work within him.  The very power that rose Jesus from the dead now works within us, he desired to be conscious of it.  To live at peace, and boldly so, within the power of Christ.

   How often do we struggle to keep this in mind, while failing at every turn in these weak jars of clay we now posses?  Don't despair - just remember, your cracks are exactly what God needs to let the light shine out!

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