Episode #153. Today we’ll read 2 Corinthians chapter 4 together. Paul has much to say about the glory of Christ, compares us to clay jars that hold treasure, and challenges to focus on what is unseen.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #153. Today we’ll read 2nd Corinthians chapter 4 together: Paul has much to say about the glory of Christ; compares us to clay jars that hold treasure; and challenges us to focus on what is unseen.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
As promised, I want to round out yesterday’s chat about the ABCs of Salvation by sharing an equally fun way to explain the Gospel. Now you may think this is only for kids, but I’ve had plenty of conversations, as you have too probably, about Christ with adults where this would fit right in. Sometimes it just needs to be broken down into its simplest form.
This was developed by the good folks at Lifeway Kids’ Ministries and is called The Gospel God’s Plan For Me or sometimes God’s Plan for Us. If you’ll go to Lifting Her Voice.com, you’ll find links for verses that go along with each section. It goes like this:
The Gospel – God’s Plan For Me
God Provided: But wait. There’s also good news! God sent His Son Jesus, the perfect solution to our sin problem, to rescue us from the punishment we deserve. That’s something that we, as sinners, could never earn on our own. Jesus alone saves us. John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9
Jesus Gives: Jesus lived a perfect life, died on a cross for our sins, and rose again. Because Jesus gave up His life for us, we can be welcomed into God’s family now, and for all eternity. That’s the best gift ever! Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2:8-9
We Respond: How can we respond to this gift? Believe in your heart that Jesus alone saves you through what He has already done on the cross. Repent, turning from self and sin to Jesus. Tell God and others that your faith is in Jesus. John 14:6; Romans 10:9-10, 13
There’s a link in the transcript at Lifting Her Voice.com to a little poster that you can use in your Sunday school class, at home, or to carry with you in preparation for the next time God brings someone across your path who needs to hear the Gospel simply delivered.
2 Corinthians Chapter 4
The Light of the Gospel
Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up. Instead, we have renounced secret and shameful things, not acting deceitfully or distorting the word of God, but commending ourselves before God to everyone’s conscience by an open display of the truth. But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake. For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
Treasure in Clay Jars
Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body.
For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’s sake, so that Jesus’s life may also be displayed in our mortal flesh. So then, death is at work in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak. For we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you. Indeed, everything is for your benefit so that, as grace extends through more and more people, it may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
We are indeed clay jars, aren’t we? We crack and get broken; we chip and sometimes fall apart. And in these earthen vessels, God has chosen to hide His precious treasure – the knowledge of the Gospel of Christ. Why? Don’t you shake your head and wonder sometimes? He could have made us differently – He knew Adam and Eve would choose to go their own way. For that matter, He could change us now. He made us in His own image, but He gave us choice. Clay jars. So that His power could be displayed in us and His life may be displayed in us. What an incredible gift!
Indeed, our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. Let’s pray.
Father God, help us to remember this today. Help us not to be like, as James tells us, people who look at themselves in a mirror and then turn around and immediately forget what we look like. Help us to remember today that we are afflicted by this mortality and yet, because of Jesus, we are not destroyed. Finally, Lord, would You bring someone across our path today who needs to hear these words; who needs to know about the treasure? Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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