Monday, June 12, 2017

June 12 - 2 Corinthians 4

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Corinthians 4. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Paul begins by reminding us that God's word is truth. But, sadly, Satan has prevented many unbelievers from coming to faith in Jesus.
  • Paul then compares our bodies to jars of clay. Clay was a common substance used to hold ordinary household things. It was similar to a cardboard box. Paul goes on to say that we hold great treasure in these jars of clay! Most people hold treasure in a very secure place. But Paul is explaining that God uses ordinary people like us to hold and represent the most valuable treasure on earth - the good news of God's forgiveness. The immortal God shares His message of love through our weak and vulnerable bodies.
  • We can continue living for Jesus without losing heart. Even though our bodies may eventually waste away, God renews us every day. Our troubles may seem big in this world, but we should not lose hope. For the unseen world is greater than what we can see.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Just as God is light, there is also darkness in the world fighting against him. Satan does not want our friends and family to know God.
  • The troubles we face in life are usually silly, like rush hour traffic or no wi-fi service. But maybe you have faced harder circumstances like abuse, cancer, or loss of family. And some of our brothers and sisters in Christ are facing persecution for their faith right now. No matter the situation, Paul reminds us that our troubles are "light and momentary" in the grand scheme of things. 
  • Regardless of our troubles, we are all mortal. We all have weak bodies that will fail eventually. That is why Paul says we should fix our eyes on Jesus, knowing that there is a future glory awaiting us that far outweighs all our problems in this life.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Do you think of yourself as someone carrying around a treasure? You are! Everywhere you go you represent Jesus and his powerful message of love and forgiveness. No "treasure" is greater. What implications should this have for your life?
  • Is your glass half full or half empty? Do you tend to see the negative or the positive in difficult situations? We all go through troubled times of varying degrees. But Jesus wants us to keep our eyes on him and not on our circumstances when bad things happen. We know that there is more than this life ahead of us. How could you better have this kind of attitude?