Summary: God formed us, shaped us, like a master potter. Do we trust Him? When He directs our path, do we make excuses why we can’t do it, or do we walk boldly along that path in faith? God didn’t create you to be the centerpiece on a display shelf… He created you as a clay pot to be useful for His kingdom!
*** NOTE - Both a brief Children's Sermon and a full Adult sermon are included ***
[Bring 2 empty glass jars]
Take a look at these two jars… they’re just plain jars. What’s inside? Nothing… they’re empty inside. What are they made of? Glass… What would happen if I dropped this jar on the floor? It would break… This jar is not very strong. People are like this jar… When we do not have Jesus, we are empty inside. But what happens when I put something inside?
[pour coins into 1 jar, leaving the other empty]
Now I have some treasure! This is still just a glass jar, but now it has treasure inside! Did the jar make the treasure? No! I put the treasure into the jar. When you believe in Jesus, then there is treasure inside of you too! That treasure is Jesus Christ… God wants us to share this treasure with other people… He wants us to share Jesus everywhere we go. Let me share some of my treasure with you…
[give coins to the children].
ADULT SERMON - INTRODUCTION
This morning, we’re going to talk about jars… except the jars will be made out of clay… like a clay pot... [put an old clay pot on a stool on stage]… even more fragile and weak than these two glass jars… very easy to break.
Please turn in your Bibles to 2 Corinthians 4:5-7…
5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Verse 7 will be our main verse this morning… We’re going to look at 3 things from verse 7 today…
1. THE GOSPEL IS PRICELESS
First, it says, “we have this treasure”… So, what is the treasure this verse is talking about? Is it like the coins I put in the jar? No, the treasure from verse 7 is far more valuable! The verses just before verse 7 tell us what this treasure is… It is Jesus Christ!
Let’s see how this treasure is described in Matthew 13:44-46…
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.
46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is this treasure of incredible value. Take a look at how the Apostle Paul describes it in Philippians 3:8-9…
8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ
9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
[hold up jar of coins]
Just like this jar of coins… The jar is NOT the treasure… What has been put INSIDE the jar is the treasure… The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the treasure… a treasure that is worth any price to obtain!
And this is a treasure that God has trusted to us… but He did not trust us with this treasure so we can hang on to it selfishly… God has trusted us with the Gospel so we can freely share it with other people. If I share the coins in this jar, I will eventually run out of coins… But the treasure of the Gospel is not like that… You can share and share and share, and never run out!
2. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WEAK
If we look back at our main verse… verse 7… it says that we have this treasure in “jars of clay”. This is referring to US… WE are the jars of clay. This is describing plain, ordinary pots made out of clay. Isaiah 64:8 says, “We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
A jar or pot is designed and created to hold or contain something. When a jar is empty, it is not being useful… it is not fulfilling the reason it was made.