Daily D – 2 Corinthians 4:6-7
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. 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 4:6-7 (NLT)
A church leadership team I am working with on a vision planning process became uncomfortable with the long-range vision we were writing. They felt like it was too perfect, too pretty of a picture. They felt like it made them sound like they were better than they are or could be. They felt like it put them in the role of redeemer when only Jesus should occupy that place.
This strategic halt created deep reflection which led to the inclusion of imagery from these verses to more clearly develop the polaroid of their present and future state.
We are not the light of the world. Jesus in us shining through us is the light of the world. We are fallible and frail like easily broken clay jars. We can contain the richest of treasures, but it is the treasure that makes the jar valuable and not the other way around.
This truth is an important reminder. It is easy for religious personalities to fall into the trap of thinking they are more special and important than they are. Some seem to confuse the container with the treasure within. Again, people need more of Jesus, what we contain, than us. We shine with his light, not our own.
Here is the test. When people walk away from us, are they more impressed with us, or with Jesus?
It is also important to remember Jesus’ words about hiding the light under bushel baskets. Don’t do that. If Jesus lives in you, he should shine through. He ought to be heard with every word. He ought to be seen in how we serve. He ought to be experienced when we wrap an arm around another to extend comfort. He ought to be known in what we say yes to and to what we say no.
People who live in united experienced and expression of Jesus create cultures of compassion, healing, and kingdom progress. They build better worlds. That is a vision worth signing off on.
I will make sure it is Jesus who shines through me.
Our Father, there is a song called Shine, Jesus Shine that expresses my heart’s desire. More of you, less of me. More of your beauty may others see. In this fragile clay, it is you I want on display. Amen.
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Jeremiah 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.