Scripture: II Corinthians 4

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READ and STUDY the WORD

Treasures In Jars Of Clay

II Corinthians 4:1-18 (WEB) Therefore seeing we have this ministry, even as we obtained mercy, we don’t faint. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. Even if our Good News is veiled, it is veiled in those who are dying, in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the Good News of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn on them. For we don’t preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake, seeing it is God who said, “Light will shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  But we have this treasure in clay vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the putting to death of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death works in us, but life in you. 13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to that which is written, “I believed, and therefore I spoke.” We also believe, and therefore we also speak; 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the grace, being multiplied through the many, may cause the thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.  16 Therefore we don’t faint, but though our outward person is decaying, yet our inward person is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory, 18 while we don’t look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Questions and Answers:

1. What have Paul, and those ministering with him, done and not done (II Corinthians 4:1-2)? Paul, and those traveling with him, have renounced the hidden things of shame. They are not walking in craftiness.  They are not handling the word of God deceitfully.  They are commending themselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 

2. In whom is the Good News veiled and by whom are they blinded and why (II Corinthians 4:3-4)? The Good News is veiled in those who are dying.  The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that the light of the Good News of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn on them. 

3. Who was preached by Paul (II Corinthians 4:5a)? Christ Jesus.

4. To the believers in Corinth, who did Paul say he and those traveling with him were (II Corinthians 4:5b)? Paul said they were the Corinthians’ servants for Jesus’ sake.

5. Who has shone light in our hearts and why has He done this (II Corinthians 4:6)? God has shone light in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

HEAR the WORD

II Corinthians 4:7-12 But we have this treasure in clay vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the putting to death of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death works in us, but life in you.

II Corinthians 4:13-18 13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to that which is written, “I believed, and therefore I spoke.” We also believe, and therefore we also speak; 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the grace, being multiplied through the many, may cause the thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.  16 Therefore we don’t faint, but though our outward person is decaying, yet our inward person is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory, 18 while we don’t look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

MEDITATE on the WORD

Ponder the above passages.  My Bible notes for II Corinthians 4:7-12: The supremely valuable message of salvation in Jesus Christ has been entrusted by God to frail and fallible human beings (jars of clay).  Paul’s focus, however, was not on the perishable container but on its priceless contents – God’s power dwelling in us.  Though we are weak, God uses us to spread His Good News, and He gives us power to do His work.  Knowing that the power is His, not ours, should keep us from pride and motivate us to keep daily contact with God, our power source.  Our responsibility is to let people see God through us. My Bible noted for II Corinthians 4:13-18: Paul had faced sufferings, trials, and distress as he preached the Good News.  But he knew that they would one day be over and he would obtain God’s rest and rewards. 

MEMORIZE the WORD

II Corinthians 4:7 (NIV) But we have this treasure (the message of salvation) in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

II Corinthians 4:18 (NIV) So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

LOVE and LIVE the WORD

As we face great troubles, it’s easy to focus on the pain rather than on our ultimate goal. But we must focus on the reward for our faith and the joy that lasts forever.

TEACH and SHARE the WORD

Though we may face many trials here, we have assurance of eternal life, when all suffering will end and all sorrow will cease.

PRAY the WORD

Lord, I pray we will not lose heart (II Corinthians 4:1).  Lord, I pray we will stay far from secret and shameful ways.  I pray we will not be deceptive. I pray we will not distort Your Word (II Corinthians 4:2a).  Lord, I pray we will set forth the truth plainly and thereby commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in Your sight (II Corinthians 4:2b).  I pray we will indeed preach Jesus Christ as Lord (II Corinthians 4:5). Lord, thank You for shining Your message into our heart (II Corinthians 4:6).  Lord, thank You for giving us Your all-surpassing power (II Corinthians 4:7).  Lord, I pray Your life will shine through us (II Corinthians 4:10).  Lord, I pray Your life will be revealed in our mortal body (II Corinthians 4:11).  Lord, I pray we will look forward to You raising us from the dead just as You did our Savior, Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 4:14).  Lord, thank You for renewing us day by day (II Corinthians 4:16).  Lord, I pray we will fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (II Corinthians 4:18).  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.

ENCOURAGEMENT

“May you and I fix our eyes on heaven.” <>< Dona