July 1, 2017
READ: 2 Corinthians 4:1-18
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves (v.7).
“Safe is the new risky,” the speaker remarked. He was referring to the hidden costs of failing to incorporate people of diverse perspectives and ethnicity into the workplace, such as difficulty competing in a global marketplace. But I couldn’t help but think his point echoed the radically new perspective the gospel brings—that things are not as they seem and that there’s a hidden cost to not taking risks for the sake of the gospel.
That cost can be failing to experience the power of God through the “life of Jesus” in all its fullness (2 Corinthians 4:7-11). In His mercy (v.1), God has chosen broken, ordinary people like you and me to be the “clay jars” that carry the treasure of the good news. If we live ‘safe’, comfortable lives where we never really take risks—never bringing His love into the most broken places in our communities, never standing up against the injustices our culture normalises, never trusting Him with our deepest fears—we can also miss fully tasting His love, joy and justice. We can fail to really see the “glory of God . . . in the face of Jesus” (v.6).
The gospel invites us to “never give up”, to live with courage. But sharing God’s love to a world “blinded” to it is not easy (vv.1,4). Even Paul in his deepest pain “despaired of life itself” (1:8 niv). Through his suffering, Paul came to understand more deeply the paradox that as we experience suffering, we also experience the resurrection life of Jesus (4:10) and a taste of the day when an “eternal glory” (v.17 niv)—the beauty of God’s future for creation—will be revealed for all to see. It’s in light of that reality that we can joyfully be ever-bolder witnesses to the relentless, deathdefying love of our Saviour.
365-day plan: Matthew 6:1-18
Read Matthew 13:44-52 for three more images of the value of God’s kingdom.
Into what areas of brokenness in your community or church might God be calling you to bring the love of Jesus? What steps can you take to overcome your fears about being a part of addressing these needs?