But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
2 Corinthians 4:7-10
Remember when getting up in the morning was easy? I don’t mean easy as in easy to leave a warm bed, I mean easy physically. Those of us who are getting a little older know what I mean. We sit up on the side of the bed, put our feet on the floor, and as we get up and start to walk, the pain in our bodies starts to tell us that we are fragile creatures. We aren’t conquering the world anymore, we are trying to move slowly so we don’t throw our back out by reaching too high for a coffee cup.
“These jars of clay we live in were meant to astonish us and humble us.”
I don’t despise my older age, I totally embrace it. I stopped trying to be superwoman many years ago. These jars of clay we live in were meant to astonish us and humble us. My body housed and birthed three human beings, it has cooked countless meals for family and friends, it has exercised, and it has hugged hurting people. The greatest thing my body has ever done or ever will do is be a house that God lives in.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?
1 Corinthians 6:19
“God meant for our aging and deteriorating bodies to show the world that we have a power inside of us that is unstoppable and totally beautiful.”
As a Christian, I have astonishing power inside of me that my frail and aging body can’t diminish. Women often fight aging and think of it as something negative. It is not. God meant for our aging and deteriorating bodies to show the world that we have a power inside of us that is unstoppable and totally beautiful. A wrinkled and weak body that is full of the power of God is one of the most beautiful sights this fallen world will ever behold.
Of course that scripture is not just for older people, it is for all people. I don’t care how young and strong anyone is, we are all just a car wreck away from dead or ugly. We are fragile. We are susceptible to death, disease, disfigurement, and many other things that can change our lives in a second. In Paul’s day, to be a Christian often meant being flogged, imprisoned, shunned, or stoned. He wasn’t preaching health and wealth like many in America. The inner life was preached as abundant, the outer life was preached as wasting away. Oh how times have changed. Too many Americans have swallowed the prosperity gospel hook, line, and sinker.
“He wants us to focus on what really matters. Our bodies matter, but not in the way we think. Our bodies carry Jesus to a lost and dying world.”
God wants each of us to live in this harsh world and let it have its way… with our outer life. He wants us to focus on what really matters. Our bodies matter, but not in the way we think. Our bodies carry Jesus to a lost and dying world. We focus on so much stupid stuff when it comes to our bodies. We have surgeries that stretch our faces out so people won’t think we are old. We have parts sucked out and other parts plumped up. We obsess over our bodies and often hate this magnificent gift God gave us to live in.
Paul said something profound. He said this body is to be used for one reason… to manifest the life of Jesus.
The word manifest fires me up!
definition: to make visible, make clear, make known; to become apparent (“graspable”)
“Our bodies are the vehicle God will use to make Jesus Christ known to a world desperate for hope.”
Our bodies are the vehicle God will use to make Jesus Christ known to a world desperate for hope. We should care for and love our bodies for that reason alone.
“How we carry ourselves expresses what’s going on in our minds. Our bodies take up a certain amount of space, our attitudes can fill a building.”
I exercise several times a week. You would never know it by looking at me. I weigh too much, I love pizza, and I’m not given to obsessing over what I look like. Yet, I think I’m beautiful. Why? It is because I carry the life and death of my Jesus in this jar of clay. I get to experience His Presence, His love, His joy, and His peace in my mind. However, my body is the vehicle that carries all those wonderful things to others. There’s a reason for the phrase “body language.” How we carry ourselves expresses what’s going on in our minds. Our bodies take up a certain amount of space, our attitudes can fill a building.
“Through me (and you) Jesus becomes “graspable” to people who may never experience Him. Every single place we set our foot becomes holy ground and God walks in when we walk in.”
I go to places everyday and get the high honor and privilege of letting His life flow through this body out to a hurting and dying world… one person at a time. Through me (and you) Jesus becomes “graspable” to people who may never experience Him. Every single place we set our foot becomes holy ground and God walks in when we walk in. Who knew the grocery store could become the Holy of Holies?
“God meant for this dark world to make us shine so bright that people would know the power we have inside of us belongs to God, not us.”
People may treat us terribly, but they can’t put the light of Jesus Christ out inside of us. It’s not possible. God meant for this dark world to make us shine so bright that people would know the power we have inside of us belongs to God, not us.
When we understand who we are and what our bodies carry around, we are rich (even if we are poor). We understand that we have both life and death in us. We don’t have to fight death, we embrace it. As we get weaker and weaker physically, we can let God shine brighter and brighter.
People value physical strength and beauty. God values a body and mind given over to Him for His glory.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
If we will look at this beautiful vehicle God has given us to share His manifest presence with the world, we will all love ourselves the right way. God wants to reach this world with His love before He brings it to its fiery end. Will you be the one who takes this treasure to His world? Will you be the one who stops obsessing over the body He gave you and starts using it for its real purpose?
“Every single day God gives us an opportunity to let everyone around us know what He is like.”
People don’t care what we look like, they care how we make them feel. Every single day God gives us an opportunity to let everyone around us know what He is like. That truth blows me away and gives me purpose beyond my wildest imagination. It doesn’t cost us anything and we don’t have to be the smartest people on the planet, we just have to give ourselves to Him. He does the rest.