Scripture Reading: Micah 1:1-4:13 / 2 Corinthians 4:1-18 / Psalm 104:31-35
Paul uses the term “jars of clay” to describe the life of a Christian. A clay jar is not a valuable or prized vessel but a common jar used in many menial and labor intensive tasks. It is used at times to transport water but never used to hold expensive perfume. It is a vessel used by servants, not by kings. It is ordinary and plain, without beautiful and elaborate decorations.
Our lives are like the clay jars…seemingly common and unappealing yet we are not insignificant or useless. We may not look like much on the “outside” but the value is on the “inside”. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) It is not about us but about Him. We have the presence and the power of an all-sufficient God living in us!
When clay was properly mixed with water, it could be molded into a vessel of any form or size. Clay jars were formed with thick walls and wide rims. When the vessel was dried and hardened, it had considerable strength and was quite durable. They were designed to withstand the rugged conditions of everyday life. We have been designed in the same way.
God adds His grace and mercy into our lives, molding us into a vessel to hold His glory. He takes us through the fire of life’s trials to develop purity and strength within us. We are not made by the hands of man but fashioned by His divine care, compassion and wisdom. He equips us for His use and prepares us for His glory.
We become His living testimony of strength and power. As Paul wrote, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (4:8,9) God empowers us to bear up under a pressing, perplexing and persecuting world. We are not crushed, overwhelmed by despair, abandoned by God or destroyed.
Our lives take the abuse and attacks of the world yet God uses that to display His remarkable strength and purpose. God is still in the business of making jars of clay so do not let the world define you. They may see you as an ordinary clay jar but God sees you as a vessel to be used and filled with His glory!