|7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. (2Corinthians4:7-10)|
I am busy doing some home DIY. First I started by preparing the walls. I scraped off all of the loose paint and filled the cracks that had begun to show. In one area I found a crack that looked a little bit larger than the rest. I prodded and a piece of plaster came loose. I kept prodding and more plaster came loose. I got stuck in with a chisel and a hammer and when I was done I had exposed brickwork about one by three meters wide. It had been just holding on until I arrived and started to prod a bit.
At first glance my wall seemed fine. But below the surface there was trouble that needed sorting out. Our lives are the same. We need to sort out the inside of our lives so that people see who we really are. We can try to cover up the real person inside but eventually the cracks begin to show. When God is alive in our inside lives it will be evident in what we do and say. It shows that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
A National Geographic article powerfully illustrated this for me. A photo journalist had gone to document some of the families who had lost fathers and brothers and sons to an attack on a village by ISIS terrorists. The journalist was not a Christian but those who had lost their relatives were. He had thought he would be met with people in deep sorrow and despair because of their loss. When he was asked "What surprised you most?" this is what he wrote: "I would expect people would feel very angry and calling for hatred and revenge and attacks, but many of them were very happy. They said their sons and brothers and husbands were martyrs now. They were the sons of Jesus. God had used them to spread knowledge of Christianity, like sacrifices." These people knew and lived Jesus Christ. They were sad but not crushed, not in despair, not abandoned, not destroyed.
Do our lives reflect Jesus Christ and his death?
Are our lives signposts pointing to Christ?
Is his life revealed in our bodies?
Do people ask why we are different?
Our lives need to be signposts pointing to Jesus.
Brian Smith - Minister at The Hillcrest Presbyterian Church in Hillcrest, Kwazulu Natal. I love Jesus. I like to mountain bike, I make and build using any medium and I am a geek.