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Friday, May 21, 2010

Old order Mennonite children riding in "pickup"
Yesterday we came up behind these Mennonite children riding in the back of a horse-drawn pick-up truck.  Many of us recall the thrill of riding in the back of a pick-up truck when we were children but for these kids it's just the way they got home from school.
(Actually I still enjoy riding in the back of a pick-up!)

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"Jars Of Clay"

"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).

Clay flower pot with pansiesThe planting season in our area is fully underway and Brooksyne is sowing seeds, potting flowers, transplanting plants and doing all the things busy gardeners do in the late spring, including the dreaded job of weeding, as she has already done this morning. As I take a look out the window of our office I see pots of all sizes and colors; made of plastic, metal, porcelain, wood and clay. The vast majority of her pots are plastic but she still uses clay pots.  They have certain advantages over plastic pots and also have the authentic appearance of clay in this era when the artificial often replaces the authentic. Clay pots of course are mostly composed of clay minerals taken directly from the ground itself.

Today's verse uses a powerful image in describing our physical bodies: "We have this treasure in jars of clay." The treasure spoken of in this context is the knowledge of Christ and of the ministry of the gospel of life.   Incredibly, God stores this divine treasure in "jars of clay" (the KJV says, "earthen vessels.")  What an interesting description of the outer man formed from the dust of the ground.  The image is that of frailty and temporality.  God often allows the vessel to be chipped and broken, that the excellency of the treasure contained, and of the power which that treasure has, may be all His.  Later in the chapter Paul expresses assurance that "though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16).

I sure am blessed by the phrase, "to show this all-surpassing power" in the daily text.  Consider God's steady, dependable and ever adequate power. It never wanes and is not in short supply. It is always adequate and sufficient for any critical situation we may face. This power "is from God and not from us."

Let us rejoice in God's marvelous provision of all-surpassing power stored up and released in our lives today.  Peter writes, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness" (2 Peter 1:3).  Even though there may be shortages and interruptions of electrical power and other sources of this world's power, we can be assured that God's power is all-surpassing and far exceeds that of all earthbound power. What a joy and peace today to rest in His all-powerful love and care!

Remember this important truth today, Fellow Believer, in regard to whatever you are dealing with.  God is at work in the lives of His people all around the world to advance His glory for "the grace that is reaching more and more people is causing thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God" (2 Corinthians 4:15).  May He work His power in each of our lives today, in these "jars of clay"!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, it is an irrefutable spiritual truth that the human spirit is renewed and empowered day by day because Christ has chosen to store His treasure within us, His earthen jars of clay.  It is because this treasure is stored within us that we do not lose hope or give up our faith when adversity strikes.  Instead we show that this all-surpassing gift is from You and not of our own making. We are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us, empowers us, and sustains us!  Praise be to God!  Amen.

Village Farm Market
Yesterday we stopped by the Village Farm Market east of Ephrata Pennsylvania and of course Brooksyne managed to find a couple of flowers to add to her spring plantings!  They also have delicious baked goods as samples which I enjoyed.  We took a photo at this very spot last fall.

Purple petunias
Purple Petunias

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

2 Corinthians 4:7-10  Video  We are participating in a project to compile the world's first video online Bible, which is a series of video clips from Christians all over the world. In seeking for a song today that relates to the Scripture text this came up with the verse being read by Joni Earekson Tada! You'll enjoy seeing her expression as she reads and will be touched by knowing that she truly knows the full meaning of this passage through her frail health challenges. You also can participate in this project. See here.

"His Divine Power"  Video  2 Peter 1:3 set to music and sang acapella by Acapella.

"A Tale Of Two Pots"  Video  

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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