Have you ever thought about the qualifications of people who are chosen by God? 1 Peter 2:4 says of Christ, “As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious…” Notice the contrast. Rejected by men; chosen by God. This is what Paul wants to tell the church in his letter to the Corinthians. Nobody in Corinth thought much of you, he says, they dismissed you as “nobodies.”
But God took note of you, and took you in. God’s actions are never without purpose. He always acts for His own glory. Why would he choose these people? In 1 Corinthians 1:27-29, Paul writes, “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”
Do you want to know why God chose you? Because, as He chooses, God wants someone who is foolish, weak and lowly –just to show what a great God He is. In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” That is an amazing image! Take a few moments to envision it.
Imagine your life is a broken down, old clay pot. No, it is not that expensive crystal vase that makes a certain “ping” noise. Nor is it that ornate piece of china that has a pure gold edge to it. It is not even some ancient piece of pottery that has great value. You are just an old clay pot of no particular value. But inside that pot is a treasure of infinite worth– a treasure worth more than the combined fortunes of the world’s richest men and women.
It is priceless. This is the picture of who you are as a believer. God is using you – the old clay pot – to showcase His treasure. As well, according to 1 Corinthians 1:29, God wants to make sure that no flesh, no human being made of finite flesh and bone, would be able to boast in the presence of God.
This news can be either super encouraging or super discouraging. Imagine a 13-year-old girl in high school trying to share her faith with her classmates. Sometimes she wonders if she has anything to say. But deep inside she believes that God has placed her in school, next to these classmates, to be God’s representative. She is an ambassador of the eternal God to her classmates and friends.
But she comes to a conclusion: “I can’t do it! I am a nobody!” Then she hears the voice of God telling her, “That is why I chose you, so that when I work through you, everyone will know that the power was mine – not yours.” That is incredibly encouraging. Now, contrast that with a 50-year old high-powered businessman who cannot imagine that anything gets done without him. To him, this news from God is discouraging. It all depends on your perspective.
What are the qualifications of the people God chooses can now be answered. God chooses people who understand themselves to be nobodies, but are completely convinced that there is a power in their lives that can only be explained by God’s presence, the treasure of Himself. These are people who will boast in the Lord.
APPLICATION: Do you believe that the only “treasure” you possess is the salvation that you have in Jesus Christ? Let us strive to be content that we are no more than clay pots. Let us be fully confident that within us there is a treasure so vast and so rich – this is the power of the message of the cross!
GOD IS USING YOU – THE OLD CLAY POT– TO SHOWCASE HIS TREASURE.
Dr. John Neufeld
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