Treasure in Jars of Clay

His Light breaks through into our darkness; it is dark no more

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011                                               www.holyspiritpress.org    www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

As Christians we can experience pressure to strive for perfection. Sometimes it is due to how we were raised; sometimes it is mis-placed zeal to please or be more pleasing to our King!  Of course, the truth is God does not expect perfection from us.  If perfection – consistent, never-failing obedience to exactly what He asks of us – were possible, there would have been no need for Jesus.  We are asked to seek to be perfect, not to stress about it!

2 Corinthians 3 and 4 supply a beautiful picture of this by illustrating how God created the relationship between Him and us to be and why:

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit….5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  6 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. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Cor. 3:17-18, 2 Cor. 4:5-7 NIV)

This passage helps us understand: yes, God uses us as He used Jesus.  Through us He desires to reveal Himself to the world.  His Spirit dwells within us as believers and thus we become the lamp which carries and shines forth the Light of the World, Who is Truth.

And yet, God describes those of us in whom He puts His Light as jars of clay.  Consider the concept of a jar made of clay which was formed to shine forth light.  Initially it seems an oxymoron – like an impossible opposite.  Any useful clay pot is unable to shine forth light which is placed inside it because the pot is made to hold in that which it contains perfectly and hidden from view. Clay is not see-through!  But in His infinite wisdom views usefulness differently.

Clay is a good analogy for how God made us. Clay is fragile and breakable.  By the world’s standards, a jar made from clay which is imperfect is a complete disappointment and unsuitable for use; it is destined to be dashed into the junk heap in so many useless shards.   Yet, it is only through the clay pot which is flawed (and each of us are!), that Light can shine.  God delights to shine His perfect Light through our “cracks”!  So God shines through cracked pots!!! (LOL, NOT necessarily “crackpots”)

The reason, God chooses to shine through our imperfections is as 2 Cor 4:7 states: so people will see God and not us.  If we were perfect, how would they see God at work in our lives and desire Him for themselves?

How blessed are we that God loves us infinitely as we are!  How blessed are we that God’s focus is the heart!  How blessed are we that forgiveness is ever-ready for us whenever we turn and ask, and that He forgives, then forgets forever.  How blessed are we to be used by the King as His chosen ambassadors in our imperfection, even as we strive to reflect Him more for His glory.

Selah! (Pause and calmly think of that!)  END

UPCOMING DEVOTION:  TENDING KINGDOM FINANCIAL CROPS

Remember to view the new song, “One Nation Under God” on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d593RguxQI8&feature=share  Share the link!  Let’s let everyone know that the USA is and remains one nation under God and be encouraged in how God values every individual.

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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