|“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.” 2 Corinthians 4v6-14
Treasure, trials and transformation
In the 9am service on Sunday, Pastor Steve opened up some thoughts around 2 Corinthians 4. Specifically looking at the treasure that we carry in jars of clay (verse 7). This weekly devotion intends to dig into some of these verses and provide areas for reflection, meditation and prayer for the week ahead.
Isaiah 6 v 3 sees the angels around the throne of heaven calling out: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’” We see here that while the holiness of God is distinct from His glory, it is clearly linked. The holiness of God is His infinite perfection and fundamental in His nature and character. The glory of God is His character displayed. Another way to put it is, God’s glory is the beauty of His holiness.
This in itself is an amazing concept, but the truth continues in that we are carriers of His incredible glory. How can this be? How can we, human beings made from dust, be carriers of His immense glory? The only way it is possible to carry God’s glory is to be like him. As we grow in discipleship then we can start to display Him and His glory.
Often we see the glory of God as being something that is available to be experienced, perhaps during a worship service or when prayed for. Whilst we can and do experience the manifest glory of God in those moments, this is very limiting for God, to be contained within an hour or two a week. God wants us to carry His glory with us into our week and into every area of our lives. Too often people come together, feel God; however nothing changes once they have left.
In order to carry His presence, we need to develop His character through discipleship; read the word of God, be accountable, meditate and apply His word. This is the journey to real Christian maturity; not just looking intense during worship songs. No, real maturity is when people look at you and say; “that person reminds me of Jesus”.
That is the goal of gospel living; Adam and Eve didn’t need a worship service, they were always in the presence of God. We need to get back to that place spiritually, where we carry the presence of God into every area of this world. We were built and filled for purpose, created for good works and the glory of God is revealed through discipled Christians being more and more like Christ.
1. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty! Take a moment to wonder at the sight that presented itself to Isaiah around the throne of God. The majesty of God enthroned above the earth.
2. How does the holiness of God make you feel? Are you drawn to Him or do you turn away when you consider your own heart? Isaiah had the same tension, however, God always provides atonement (Isaiah 6v7). Receive the righteousness of God through Christ today, so that you can stand in His presence, clean and whole.
1. “the whole earth is full of His glory!” As you look out into the earth today, where do you see the glory of God manifest? Start with your home and with your workplace. Where do you see the glory of God today?
2. If the glory of God is the displayed beauty of His holiness, take time to search for the holiness of God. His beauty, perhaps hidden in the mundane actions and conversations of your day, is available for you to behold and access.
1. As pentecostals we love a good worship, encounter service. Often it is these moments when we “experience” the manifest presence of God in various ways. Take a moment to wonder at what your world would look like if you were to carry that transforming presence of God into everyday.
2. Pause and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you those areas of your life where He wants to bring transformation. Now spend some time, privately in His presence and allow Him to reveal His plans and new design for those areas.
1. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” Since the world was formed, our bodies are but dust, jars of clay available for His purposes. Paul shows us that the focus is always meant to be on the treasure inside rather than the clay-pot. Rejoice now in the fact that regardless of your outer shell, God has placed His goodness and glory inside of you.
2. If we are but clay-pots and He is so holy, how can we carry His glory to a broken world? He calls us to a life of discipleship, of continued transformation. How is that going for you? Listen to God’s heart for you in terms of discipleship and Christian maturity. Recommit yourself to listening to His word and applying it at every opportunity.
1. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” Pastor Steve showed us how, to get to the real goodness inside of a fruit, it needs to be squeezed. Allow that truth to settle in your heart as you reflect on areas of your life that are currently being squeezed. Whilst God isn’t causing harm, He will ensure that good fruit comes from any persecution or pressing.
2. God always seeks to produce good things in our lives. As we conclude this week’s reflections, remind yourself of what He has been saying to you through His word. Re-read 2 Corinthians 4 & Isaiah 6 and meditate on the truths of His word; most importantly apply them to your life daily.
Read the Bible in a Year
Monday : Isaiah 3-4; Galatians 6
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