December 7, 2015
About the Devotional Series:
For five consecutive Mondays, beginning on November 23, we’ll be releasing a new Advent devotional – one for each week in Advent plus one for Christmas Day. This year’s series focus on 2 Corinthians 4:7 in which Paul declares that, “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God . . . .” The treasure of abundant life and the privilege of sharing that life with others has been poured into the “clay jars” of our lives. Each devotional will focus on a specific aspect of the “treasure” which has been poured into the “clay jars” of our lives and how that “treasure” can flow into the “clay jars” of family, friends, and neighbors. As a result of this treasure that we have received, we bless others.
Read 2 Corinthians 4:5-6
“Who are you writing this for? Are you trying to impress a professor or someone at the seminary?” The words stung, but they were right on target. My wife, my honest proofreader, had caught me.
The original version of this devotional had quotes from two commentaries. It had three points and was built on the theme of “light” (2 Corinthians 4:6) in a systematic way. I thought it was theologically accurate and a real masterpiece. She thought it had no heart. She was right.
I found myself now face-to-face with 2 Corinthians 4:5, “For we do not preach ourselves,” and I had done just that. I was writing to impress. I was preaching myself. There was no place to go but to repent, to turn and face the light of truth.
I was like the Grinch that Dr. Seuss wrote about in How the Grinch Stole Christmas! I had been scheming without my heart engaged. Attempting to discuss the Gospel, jars of clay, and light with only my mind and some resource books was missing the point. I was missing some key ideas about the treasure and the light.
We can’t capture light in a bottle. The speed of light is so fast our minds struggle to grasp it. All we can really do is enjoy light and share it. We enjoy the warmth of a sunny day. We share a flashlight with a friend to light the path while walking in the dark.
We are jars of clay and I, for one, am probably more of a “cracked pot” than most. However, we have a treasure to share (2 Corinthians 4:7). Let us not get conceited and fall prey to our own selfish whims of the presentation of this treasure. Instead, let us use this season of Advent to preach simply and pointedly, Jesus Christ as Lord (2 Corinthians 4:5). Jesus Christ, the light of the world!
Heavenly Father, forgive us when we try to preach ourselves. Let us instead proclaim Jesus Christ the Lord, the light of the world! Amen.