Life-Giving Encouragement: Jars of Clay
By Sharon W. Betters
But we have this treasure (the gospel) in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. -2 Corinthians 4:7
For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. -Deuteronomy 7:6
Clay pots. This is what we are. We are not made of silver or gold or even brass. We are fragile and when pressures of life crash down we crack. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it?
Yet if we belong to Jesus there is hope and reason to celebrate in this description. Paul says the clay pot is the perfect container for the priceless treasure of Jesus. This is counter-intuitive in our culture. Our western culture measures value by physical beauty and strength, charismatic personalities, confident communication, elegant presence, all outward characteristics. God measures our value by the treasure of Jesus that resides in our clay pots.
We will fall apart. We will fail. The treasure in us, Jesus, shines even brighter when we do. God, our Life-Giver who said, “Let there be light” when all was dark, is the light our personal darkness cannot quench. When Jesus resides in us, He is the treasure that strengthens us when we are hard-pressed on every side. He is Wisdom when we do not know what to do. He is the Lifter of our heads when we are struck down. Circumstances will not crush us no matter how cracked and chipped our clay pot. The treasure in our clay pot is ours because of the cross, the cross Jesus took on Himself so we would not have to hang there.
These truths should compel us to offer to others this exponential, unexplainable, priceless treasure, the treasure of knowing Jesus. Don’t assume your hurting Christian friend doesn’t need to be reminded this priceless treasure resides in her “clay pot”. I taught Bible studies for over twenty-five years before our son died. Some of my friends stayed away from me because they thought I already knew the truth, what good could they do by repeating it? Yet, I needed faithful friends to speak truth into my broken heart. The ultimate truth that held me tightly was in me was the priceless treasure of Jesus. He would never leave me, no matter how cracked and crushed my clay pot.
We have the privilege of sharing a message of eternal hope through life-giving encouragement. Do you need this message today? What friend needs to know the cracks in their clay pot are windows that give others a glimpse into the glorious treasure of Jesus who resides in them?
Focus your heart on the priceless treasure of salvation, purchased for you by Jesus. Personalize and write out in your journal Today’s Treasure, i.e. “Sharon has the treasure (the Gospel) in jars of clay…”
Ask the Lord if there is a friend who needs to see her name written in this passage today.
Dear Jesus, how can we say thanks for Your sacrifice and the gift of salvation? Help us soak in the truth of Your presence in our clay pots.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sharon W. Betters is author of Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness, and co-author of Treasures of Faith. She is Director of Resource Development and co-founder of MARKINC.org, a nonprofit organization that offers help and hope to hurting people. Sharon enjoys quality time with her husband, children, and fourteen grandchildren.
For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.