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C E L E B R AT E T H E G I F T O F G O D I N YO U, T H E H O P E O F G L O RY !
z written within us, water for a desperately thirsty people, grain and food supplies, manna from heaven for the hungry. We are but clay, but that which we house is eternal, powerful able to transform lives and give help, hope and health to those that draw from us.
in earthen vessels that the excellence of power would be of God and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7
We have this Treasure
CLAY POTS HOLD PRICELESS ITEMS!
Whether unearthing pottery from a shipwreck, laden with gold, digging up jars of clay sealed to protect wine or oil, excavating, plowing the ﬁelds only to ﬁnd a hidden pot full of coin or ﬁnding vessels housing holy writ in caves, the result is the same. The antiquity and rarity of the object being housed makes the vessel holding it priceless as well. Jesus in us, the hope of glory, will eventually give us new bodies equal to the splendor of that which it contains. Until then the glory of God is veiled in human ﬂesh, cracked and ﬂawed, earthen vessels. We are to hold the letters of God
We as people are fascinated with ﬁnding Treasure, Watching Movies like ‘National Treasure’ or ‘Indiana Jones Series’ excite the imagination and stir up a sense of thrill.
Do we realize that we, as Christians, house a unfathomable treasure? nnn
Where do we find Treasure Today?
Shipwrecks Archeological dig sites Mining Tunnels Caves, jungles Museums
Attics Garage Sales Storage Facilities Pawn Shops Thrift Stores At someone’s Curb
WHAT IS an EARTHEN VESSEL? CLAY - Shaped on a potters wheel First excavated, then Moistened/ BEATEN/ Worked - to remove sand & debris SPUN - molded by pressure inside and out - then fired once - painted, fired twice Book of JEREMIAH - God likens His people to Clay in the potters hand, That sounds nice but the process - not easy - are we willing to endure it? to be a vessel of honor one that will contain this treasure, we MuST! interestingly - TEMP’s 1800 - pottery - Utilitarian 2700 - Porcelain - fine china THESE FACTS/Processes - and gives both a rebuke and an encouragement... Are we willing to perserve, or have we been fighting against/refusing pressure - heat? There is a scripture that I never liked or understood...Many are called few are chosen - UNFAIR....but is it really....How many of us have ever done a sport? How many of us have gone to the top? Superbowl, Olympics? WHAT DOES IT TAKE to --> get to the top of a sport? We must QUALIFY........go through a GAUNTLET.......Discipline, perseverance, pressure, endurance, corrections, training, submission, humility, suffered anguish and losses only to come back and succeed, because willing to learn from mistakes, take correction and understand authority? It takes submission of whole life, purpose and will focused on ONE prize! In the military, you can be either Honorably discharged, or dishonorably discharged.... God has purchased us at a GREAT PRICE - HIS SON - 1 Cor 6 19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Clay in the Potters Hand
ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's
• HE HUMBLED HIMSELF - became as one of us in our sin marred world to understand our pressures and pains.... • to DIE for us, to BREAK the hold of sin & death, • ROSE from the dead to SET US FREE from the entrapments of this world • Gave us HIS HOLY SPIRIT Soooooooo THAT WE MIGHT have POWER to LIVE IN HIM, FOR HIM WE HAVE THIS TREASURE IN these earthen vessels so that the excellency of POWER might be of GOD and NOT US!
• What an Incredible privilege we have to house the Spirit of God! Let us LIVE every moment with that TRUTH in the forefront of our understanding, as AMBASSADORS of a GREAT KING with a message and ministry of RECONCILIATION to a lost and desperate WORLD!
While Watching shows like STORAGE WARS, AMERICAN Pickers, Buried Treasures with KENO Brothers or ANTIQUE ROAD SHOW you see how someone who got a gift handed down, or found at a sale somewhere brings in a bowl they think is worthless and the dog eats out of only to have it appraised to ﬁnd out it’s worth thousands of dollars. BRUTUS ain’t eating out of that ANYMORE! Often OUR own ESTIMATION - based solely on our own experiences makes us: - UNDISCERNING -- UNTRAINED. - Do not Recognize or Perceive VALUE - SOMEONE With AUTHORITY says its VALUABLE = - HOW MUCH MORE GOD VIEWS US - The value of a $100 bill is the same regardless of is age...or condition. Whether Crisp and new or wrinkled, soiled, crumpled it It’s worth does not change, because someone with authority (Federal Reserve) declares its value and can at any time redeem it. It’s value is based on something other than itself. It’s no different for us! OUR Value in God’s eyes is immeasurable, NOT because we have any worth....BUT BECAUSE HE PRoCLAIMED that it is in THESE EARTHEN VESSELS he wants to see the GLORY OF HIS SON CONTAINED!
The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947 by bedouins searching for their sheep in a cave on the side of a cliff
at Qumran along the shore of the Dead Sea. This was the GREATEST Find and treasure this Century, perhaps even this millennium had found. The scrolls of skin and copper were the hebraic scriptures and dated around 70 AD to the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by Titus the Son of the Roman Emperor. This was a significant find because the oldest manuscripts currently on hand were from 1000 AD. This verified the veracity, authenticity and accuracy of the scriptures as we had them. THE FOCUS of the find was the SCRIPTURES - HOLY WRIT - The Eternal WORD of GOD But whats so wonderful for us, is that the POTTERY that contained them is made priceless by virtue of it’s CONTENT - regardless of its condition or appearance. IF THAT ISNT a living example of this scripture - the vessels contained, and kept safe for 2000 years documents that proved to verify the authority of scripture as we currently had it... THOSE SCROLLS ARE PRICELESS! INVALUABLE ! a RESOURCE TO THE WORLD! THEY ARE THE FOCUS - THOSE SCROLLS ARE the most precious and glorious find! TRUE TREASURE!!!! and BECAUSE of the VALUE OF those SCROLLS -
Greatest Treasure this Generation
THEIR CONTAINERS are PRICELESS too!!!!!
We TOO are like those vessels, weather and time worn, but containing the precious, eternal Word of God, a message and greatest treasure to the world of our day. The Word of God written on Tablets of Flesh, we are LIVING EPISTLES!
So Let YOUR Light Shine Before Men
REMEMBER THE BOWL that the dog, BRUTUS, ATE OUT OF.......? ONCE someone of Authority Stated the incredible value of it, what do you think the owners would then do? TAKE EVERY PRECAUTION - to TAKE CARE • invest energy, to protect it INSURANCE POLICY - learn the history of it.... • • • • Place it in a location of honor... THEY RECognize their RESPONSIBILITY SHARE the STORY of it with those they love....so they too could see its value... THEY become an ambassador of its glory each time they share....
IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN GOD’S PURPOSE TO DWELL IN THE MIDST OF HIS PEOPLE
WE ARE CALLED AMBASSADORS of Reconciliation, we are called LIVING EPISTLES the Word of GOD WRitten on our hearts, tablets of flesh, not stone... Flesh that has been GOD BREATHED - and brought to life with HIS SPIRIT.... • Do we live as if we recognize the incredible value/glory of God that resides within us? DO WE HIDE it from others? Undiscerning, ashamed, insecure? • Do we disregard HIM, disrespect HIM, discredit HIM with our lives, our actions, our attitude, our agendas? • Do we truly CONSIDER the IMMEASURABLE VALUE of what CHrist DID and take appropriate measures to guard, discipline and protect the REPUTATION of GOD, in our everyday lives - at work, at home, with our kids, our families, our neighbors our friends - or even the person behind the counter? • Do we take the responsibility of being an AMBASSADOR or VESSEL of HONOR SERIOUSLY, AT ALL COST to ourselves, or are we expecting some of the GLORY/ GLAMOR to be our own? • How many have discounted the GLORY of GOD within us because we feel so NORMAL, PLAIN lives/exterior Utilitarian pottery? • How many of us have refused the HANDS of POTTER to mold us? • to Place us in the FIRE, once or twice, To BEAT/WORK the raw clay of our lives and mold us HIS WAY instead of our way, humbling us, where we have become, DRY, hardened, or have debris that needs to be removed? BE ENCOURAGED - THE MERCIES of GOD are NEW EVERY MORNING - IT IS TIME TO SHINE - Lift up your head - and Move forward in the things That YOU KNOW God has for you, Submit
IT’s TIME to