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Treasure in Earthen Vessels

May 16, 2018


Treasure in Earthen Vessels

I’ve been thinking  about some of the special Christians  in my life,  who have influenced me  in some way or another.     Amongst them all,  there are some  that seem extra special.     There was my Grandmother  when she went blind  and would tell me Bible stories  as I described pictures  in her family Bible.     There was Danny,  a Down’s Syndrome young man  in my Vacation Bible School class,  who was a real missionary  by his whole joyous attitude.     There was Lena,  a quiet,  elderly German woman,  who witnessed  with thoughtfulness.     Yes,  a person can witness Christ  in their lives  with their thoughtfulness.

Treasured is an old Norwegian pastor,  who always combined Old and New Testament references  in the same sermon,  because he saw the eternal connection  of all of God’s word.     Very special was a war veteran,  who became deaf  in a war injury.     He learned to read lips  and married a lady,  who was born deaf.     They loved to share God’s word  in a way  that could be described  as infectious  with happiness.     And then,  there was a special college roommate,  who often had me over  for weekends  on her family farm.     She was quiet,  and yet she glowed  with kindness  in her cheerful ways.

All of these  were ordinary,  every day people.     What made them special  is that they were Christians,  who shared their faith  by just being themselves.     Each had challenges  in life  that could have kept them  from sharing God’s word  and their faith.     But,  none of them would have ever thought  of not sharing God’s love  at each opportunity presented  to them.     And so,  they were true witnesses  of how the love of God  can and does work  in the lives  of people — ordinary people.

Each suffered  in some way or another,  but did not consider their suffering something  that should dominate their faith  or life.     So,  with their suffering,  they rejoiced  in our Savior  and admitted  that some day in heaven,  their joy would be made full  and their suffering come  to an end.     In that way,  they were all agreeing  with the apostle Paul  in 2 Corinthians 4:7,  when he said,

But we have this treasure  in earthen vessels,  that the surpassing greatness  of the power  may be of God  and not from ourselves;  we are afflicted  in every way,  but not crushed;  perplexed,  but not despairing;  persecuted,  but not forsaken;  struck down,  but not destroyed;  always carrying about  in the body  the dying of Jesus,  that the life of Jesus also  may be manifested  in our body.

No matter what sorts of trials  and afflictions  we are to face  in this world,  we can live in joy,  because there is much more to life  than our troubles.     Heaven is our home  and that is where  we are headed.     We have wonderful things  to look forward to  and do not need  to dwell  on the temporary things  of this world.

We carry the treasure  of our joy of salvation  in earthly bodies  that will have to die some day.     Our earthly bodies  might have to suffer  in many ways,  but they are the means  we are able to use  to share the love of God  with others.     God lets others see us  carrying our faith  in these afflicted bodies  so that others can see  that we simply don’t have any power  in or of ourselves.     All our power  to believe  and share God’s word comes  from God Himself.     And so,  all the glory belongs  to God  because He can do wonderful things  in our “earthen vessels”.

Whatever our earthly condition,  let us glorify our Savior  with our whole lives  as we look forward  to our heavenly home  and say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  thank You  for supporting each of us  and strengthening us  day by day  to live for You.”



A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods


Pray for our country.


This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30


Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1


How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4


Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13


Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1


Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3


Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12






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