From Trash to Treasure

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

The trash man’s house sits atop a steep street in a poor Bogota neighborhood. Not one thing about it looks special. Yet the unassuming abode in Colombia’s capital is home to a free library of 25,000 books—discarded literature that Jose Alberto Gutierrez collected to share with poor children in his community.

Local kids crowd into the house during weekend “library hours.” Prowling through every room, each packed with books, the children recognize the humble home as more than Señor Jose’s house—it’s a priceless treasury.

The same is true for every follower of Christ. We’re made of humble clay—marred by cracks and easily broken. But we’re entrusted by God as a home for His empowering Spirit, who enables us to carry the good news of Christ into a hurting, broken world. It’s a big job for ordinary, fragile people.

“We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7), the apostle Paul told his congregation in the ancient city of Corinth. They were a cross section of people from across this region, so many might have been tempted to “go around preaching about [them]selves,” Paul said (v. 5 nlt).

Instead, Paul said, tell others about the priceless One living inside of us. It’s Him and His all-surpassing power that turns our ordinary lives into a priceless treasury.

What does it mean to you that you have a treasure, the Holy Spirit, inside you? How is it comforting to know that He enables us to share the good news?

Jesus, fill up my ordinary life with the power of Your Spirit.

INSIGHT

Paul’s writing style often consists of long sentences where it can be difficult to connect his initial point with his final one. In today’s passage, he writes about the blessing of God’s light shining in our hearts and states that He made that light shine (2 Corinthians 4:6). The purpose of God’s light shining is so we may see His glory in the face of Jesus. What is the light, and how does God make it shine in us? In this passage, Paul doesn’t elaborate on those specifics. In the preceding verse (v. 4), however, he says that the light is the light of the gospel. God reveals the gospel (the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus) to our hearts.

J.R. Hudberg

By |2019-07-26T13:46:19-04:00August 2nd, 2019|