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God’s Shopping Bags

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)

Battle Drill Daily Devotional

God’s love is a covenantal relationship rather than a contract. Because of that he’s happy to use “everyday shopping bags” to spread his good news.

Read 2 Corinthians 4:1-18.

Gail and I have a “best” china set we were given by various friends and family members at our wedding. We still use it every Sunday and on special occasions. Do you have plates and bowls that only come out on special occasions? It’s usually because it’s better quality or better looking than our “normal” crockery.

Paul emphasises that God has not given the task of spreading his message of salvation to “the best china.” Perhaps those who are intellectually superior, or eloquent speakers, or people in positions of high authority. No, he has placed this “great treasure” in fragile, cheap, ordinary, every day clay jars.

In Paul’s day, clay pots had many uses. They were as plentiful as the plastic shopping bags we use today. They could be made cheaply, and so they would be bought and used to hold everything from food to fuel. They could be seen anywhere – at home, in window openings, near cooking fires and in the marketplaces of the world. They were so cheap that if they broke (which, as fragile vessels, could be quite often) the people wouldn’t bother to mend them, they would discard them and get another one.

Often, we can be discouraged because we are not perfect. We make mistakes. We sin. We feel inadequate. We wonder if we’re in any way effective as Jesus followers. But our imperfect humanity is no hindrance to God’s plan. In fact, he seems to revel in taking his imperfect, cheap, fragile clay jar humans and making them his best china.

Thank God today that imperfect people are often attracted to the gospel and drawn to Christ by his imperfect people. We relate more easily to someone whose fragility and imperfections aren’t hidden away.

Think It Over

Think about the following:

  • Do you feel inadequate in any areas of your life? Can you thank God for the way he has made you?

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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