Summary: We’re all earthen vessels – made from the dust of the earth – and some of us, are just cracked pots! But in them we carry an awesome treasure!
God’s Goodies in Cracked Pots
• Our oldest daughter, Maria, told us a wonderful story recently about a friend of hers in Lander, Wyoming who had gone out with her husband to the city dump to dispose of some larger yard trash.
• As they were ditching their junk their eye caught a rather ornate but worn old wooden bed headboard and the wife suggested they take it home and try to restore it.
• As they were loading this rather heavy and bulky item onto their truck, a cap on one of the posts came off and out began to pour dozens of old gold coins from the late 1800’s. Both legs of this old headboard had been hollowed out and filled with a fortune in gold coins.
• Amazing the valuable stuff one can find on a garbage dump! The finest of treasures in the least likely of places! Stories like that are always a great thrill and provide excellent sermon illustrations!
• Things aren’t always what they seem at first glance or just on the surface. Often one has to dig deeper or see with other eyes and from another perspective to know the truth about a person or a situation or a set of circumstances.
• That is one of the very important lessons to come out of this 2nd letter of Paul to the Corinthians. He says it a number of in different ways throughout the letter.
• In chapter 5 he writes: “From now on therefore” – ie. Now as newborn citizens of God’s Kingdom – “we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!”
• Well how did we once regard Christ solely from a human or worldly point of view? When we see Him simply as the carpenter from Nazareth – as a good man, as a great teacher, as the finest man who ever lived, as one who got tired, and thirsty and hungry and suffered and died. All true of course – but not the complete picture. Now we know that this one who came in the flesh is the Almighty Son of God – sent as the visible, tangible, human expression of the father’s love - the one through whom all that is, was made. Who is seated at God’s right hand and preparing to come again to receive to Himself for all eternity all who love Him and eagerly seek to do His will.
• What a treasure God gave us in an earthly vessel!!
• And Paul says that in the same way that we have come to have a different view of Jesus Christ, we now also view nobody else from a purely human point of view.
• To do so – to view one another from a purely human point of view would be to look at purely the outward details of our lives – the color of our skin, the language we may speak, how much or how little education we have, the size of our bank account, how high or how low we are on society’s totem pole.
• But all that really matters is whether or not a person has been reconciled with God and come to have new life through His Son. And that is now what we look for.
• Do we, do you, do I now have God’s treasure in this earthen vessel?
• And we’re all earthen vessels – made from the dust of the earth – and some of us, myself in particular, are just cracked pots!
• But it’s what’s inside the pot that matters – hallelujah! As I reflected on this passage there were at least 3 lessons God underscored for me and I share them with you:
A. REASONS TO REJOICE
B. OBSTACLES TO OVERCOME
C. REALITIES TO REINFORCE
A. REASONS TO REJOICE
1) Paul writes that God, who in the very beginning of creation, said “Let light shine out of darkness”, has now shone His light into our dark hearts so that we may behold and know His glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
2) Apart from Jesus we are in the dark about God and so are all who do not know him.
3) You see, all religions are not equal. The Christian Faith is not simply one of many different and equally valid ways in which people might come to God. Jesus said quite clearly and plainly, “I am THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life and no one comes to the Father but by me”
4) Now isn’t that a very exclusive statement to make in this age that has made tolerance of every viewpoint a supreme virtue? Yes, it is – but it is either True or False and the one who made it is either who He claimed to be – the Blessed Son of Almighty God or the greatest deceiver and liar of all time.