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Jars of Clay

Feeling weak?
Broken?
Useless?
Frustrated you can’t keep doing what you used to do?
Everything hurts and you wonder how you got old so quickly? Because you aren’t that old.
All you do is go from one doctor’s appointment to another, but they fix nothing!

Corinthians answers why.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2 Corinthians 4:7.

Let me tell you the secret.
We are just jars of clay.
Consider a jar of clay.
Prior to plastic or stainless steel, there was the humble clay jar.
Used everywhere—from kitchen for water and cooking, to the bathroom (though they didn’t have that room back then, they used a jar for night time needs)—
the clay jar was possessed by everyone.
It was common.

Not only did everyone have several, but they used it every day (and night, for that nighttime sip or visit.)
But because they were made from clay (essentially special dirt), they were perishable, easily broken, fragile.
In spite of care, they would break.
They weren’t meant to throw around (unlike those Tupperware bowls you can’t destroy even when they have spaghetti stains microwaved in them.)
Once the clay jars did break, the shards and pieces were useless.
There was no putting it back together for a useful,  water sealed jar again.

These jars of clay are our bodies.
The first man, Adam, was made from dirt.
He was perfect in every way.
And God’s been making each one of us, like clay jars, ever since.

Clay jars are made by hand.
There’s no mass production of them.
Each one is carefully formed by the Potter.
It’s a process. Not done without time and effort.

Before the clay can even be worked, it must be pressed and pounded to remove the impurities.
If you want to explore how the clay was obtained from the dirt and prepared for use, read Empty Hands.
It's the Christmas story from a potter’s perspective and tells all that must be done to the clay to make it useable.

Feel like you’re being squeezed beyond what you can take?
The Potter’s preparing His clay.
He’s not satisfied until it is just right.
It’s the Potter, not the clay, Who decides what the clay must be.

Jeremiah reminds us that in Jeremiah 18:4
And the vessel he (the potter) was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand,
and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.
 


Matthew mentioned the Potter’s field. Matthew 27:10.
What do you expect to find in a Potter’s field?
Pieces of clay jars discarded because they broke and are useless to the Potter’s needs.
The Potter determines the clay jar’s worth.

It’s not about preserving the clay jar.
It’s not even about making that clay jar as attractive as it can be.
Or even how long the clay jar should be used.
It’s all about what the clay jar holds.

What does the clay jar hold?
Look at the verse before stating we are jars of clay.

For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6.

God makes us jars of clay to hold His light.
What does His light do?

Shine the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Remember when Moses spent forty days on Mount Sinai with God? 
When he returned, the people couldn’t look at him because his face shone too much. See Exodus 34:29-35.
Moses had been with God.
Everyone could tell.
Can anyone tell you have?

When Isaiah saw just the glory of God, he fell to his knees and said, “Woe is me.” Isaiah 6:5.
Isaiah recognized he was just a jar of clay.

When Jesus came to earth, He reflected the Father’s love that He drew children to Him.
He had to tell his disciples, Suffer the little children to come to me. Matthew 19:14.
He didn’t have to tell of His love, He showed it.

But it was still veiled.
Because man could not look at God’s glory without perishing.

When Jesus rose from the dead, He fulfilled everything His Father had requested.
He returned to heaven—and God glorified Him. Colossians 1 explains this.
Note verse 19, For it pleased the Father that in Him (Christ) should all fulness dwell.
Jesus now reflects the glory of God.

That’s what God put into our jars of clay.
When we recognize our frailty, our sin, our brokenness, and accept His Son’s saving work on the cross that paid the cost for our sin,
we receive that face of Jesus reflecting the glory of God into our jars of clay.

We don’t need more hair spray or toothpaste, more style or fancy clothes.
We can’t improve on God’s glory.
We don't need anything else.
God provides it all.

It’s uncomprehensible that God would desire to put His glory into jars of clay!
But He has.

God provides a treasure for our fragile bodies to hold.
But not to hold and keep hidden, but to show.

Show what? 

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2 Corinthians 4:7.

God makes us jars of clay—fragile, helpless, breakable—to show His power.

As we acknowledge our weakness and submit to the Potter’s Hands, God shows His strength.
As we spend time with God, Christ’s glory reflects through us.

Too often, we think it’s about the jar of clay.
Heal me, God, I hurt.
Fix me, God, I can’t do what I used to do.
These bodies, like jars of clay, aging quicker than anyone every told me, are not what it’s about.
It’s about God’s power and glory.
It’s about God.

It’s not about us.
It’s all about God.

Feeling weak?
Broken?
Useless?
Good! 

That’s what the Potter’s been trying to show you.
So you’ll spend some time with Him.
And as you spend that time, His glory will shine through you.


How have you been a jar of clay and used by God?
 

I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what matters...to Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Faith
Find more articles about faith here:
Take Every Thought
Jars of Clay
What Do Your Words Reveal about Your Heart?
How Do You Get Strong Faith?
Too Busy for God's Word?
How Do You Think Like Jesus?
Reflections from a Mom
Pain—What's It Good For?
Why Marry?
Consider the Robin
One Life Who Made a Difference
What Day Are You Living In?
Interrupted by God
Is Jesus Really the Answer to Everything?
Are You Beat Up?
What's Your Hurry?
Are You a Manipulator?
Are You Salty?
Are You Condemned?
Trying to Understand?
Do You Expect Answers to Your Prayers?
Do You Eat Your Stress?
Need Focus?
Going through Trouble?
Immanuel—God with Us
Looking for a Relationship?
When God Says, "No!"
What Do You Do with Left-Overs?
How Great Is Your God?
Are You Needy?
How Do You See Sin?
What Do Your Words Mean?
Is Evil Overwhelming You?
Those Aha Moments
Is Your Soul Happy?
Are You Ignored?
Looking for the God Moment
Do You Know Truth from Almost Truth?
I Believe in Jesus—What Now?
Do You Have Your "Son"-Glasses On?
Less Is More
Singing His Praise
Are You Trying To Do It All?
What Do You Do with All These Prayer Requests?
Have a Problem?
Do You Know How to Pray?
Looking for God in Every Moment
Are You Receptive to God's Blessings?
Tell the Senate: Mothers Aren't Birthing People
Is Your Life Complicated?
How Do We Fight Evil?
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Giving Up or Taking Away
the Bible is simple
Are You a Dripping Faucet?
What's Your Testimony?
The Final Move
Be Careful What You Wish For!
Are Your Prayers Answered?
I Choose Joy
What Have You Learned from Your Hardship?
Who Are You Trying to Change?
What's Your Five-Year Plan?
The Danger of "Aloneness"
My Colors
Are You a Whiner?
Are Your Works Approved?
Do You Think You're Stressed?
Is Your Soul Feeling Ragged?
God Speaks to the Heart of the King
What about the Details?
Have You Felt the Long-Suffering of God?
How Does God Lead You?
Do You Have Enough?
Don't Carry More than You Need
Cast the Seed
God Is Faithful
Are You Deceived?
Are You Essential?
Are You Safe?
Are You Tired of the Same Old Thing?
Does the World Make Sense?
Have You Seen God's Majesty?
Do You Feel Judged?
If You Only Had One More Day To Live
Are You Understood?
Do You Long for the Word of God?
Slow Down and Smell the Dead Leaves
Are You Hospitable?
Our Heritage Is Bought by Blood
Are You Disturbed?
Are You Depressed?
I Did It My Way
Finding the Simple Life with Meaning
The Simple Life
Do You Have the Right Words?
Did Your Dream Die?
On the Other Side of the Fence
Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence
Confessions of a Desperate Mom
Saving for Tomorrow
A Wedding Remembered
Who Will Stand in the Gap?
Are You a Protector or a Ruler?
Who Are You?
Are You an Image Bearer or a Wad of Cells?
Are You a Watchman?
Where Do You Find Meaning?
The Lamb of God as Told by a Scribe
What Love Is This?
Remember: The Symbols of Passover Explained
Tea and Rest
Do You Have Peace?
What Makes a Marriage Work?
When Life Is Awful
Are You Strong Enough?
Rules
Seasons
Be Faithful through Suffering
Do You Know the Word?
Wake Up! Strengthen What Remains
Are You Spit in God's Mouth?
Is Jezebel in Your Midst?
Do You Stand Against Satan Himself?
Are You Tired of Being a Mom?
What in the World Is Happening?
It's Not My Story
How Would Your Faith Compare?
Are You Sinking?
Are You a Rule Follower?
Useful for Him
An Intimate Moment with Mary
The Worldview that Makes the
   Underclass

Thoughts to Ponder
What Does It Take To Know the
    Heart of God?

See the Story in the Stars
Do the Scriptures Burn You?
Being in His Presence
Contentment: It's Not for the Timid
How Secure Are You?
How Do You Respond To Stupid People?
The Earthworm Is My Hero
Heart Issues or Issues of the Heart
Things Aren't Always What They Seem
More faith articles are found here:
alt
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Or here:
alt
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Articles on Suffering can be found  here, 
alt
under Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Special Days
Remember: The Symbols of 
   Passover Explained
    

Aug 12, 2017 The Heavens Declare the Glory of God
July 4th, Freedom
What Is an American Soldier?
Valentine's Day: A Day of Love?
Memorial Day-A Day To Remember
Veterans' Day-To Honor Our Men
Fall Colors
First Thanksgiving Day
    Proclamation

Christmas: Stories behind the Songs
Christmas: Stories behind the Songs, part 2

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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