Devotional Series: Treasure in Clay Jars

A stencil cutout reading "He is Risen"

Now is the Day of Salvation!

Today is Easter Sunday. On this special day we remember the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Through dying and rising again, Jesus broke the power of sin and death. He made sure the way of salvation. Thus, we might say on this day, “Now is the day of salvation!” 

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A wooden crucifix

What God Did on Good Friday

As we remember the death of Jesus on Good Friday, we rightly recall the events of his Passion. As we do, let us also remember what God, the Triune God, was doing on Good Friday. God was taking our sin off of our shoulders and bearing it for us. God was paying the penalty for sin so that we might begin a right relationship with God, and through God, with other people.

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A globe sitting on a counnter

Ambassadors for Christ

You are an ambassador of Christ. You have been authorized to bring the good news of God’s grace to those who so desperately need to hear it. So, if you seek to represent Christ well, by all means share the message. And by all means live it too! Love your neighbors and even your enemies so that, through you, people might come to know the love of God in Christ.

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The Superman emblem on an urban office building

From Enemies to Friends

What astounding good news! We who were once God’s enemies have now been made God’s friends through God’s grace in Christ.

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A red brick wall with "NEW" on it in white letters

The Christian Multiverse

As Christians, we live in a kind of multiverse. Though we affirm the painful reality of our mortality, at the same time we believe that in Christ there is a new creation. Thus we live in the tension between the old and the new, the mortal and the immortal. When we get a taste of the world to come, this gives us hope and helps us to press on in this life for God’s purposes and glory. 

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A woman's hands seen writing in a journal with a cup of coffee

Living for Christ

Today is Monday of Holy Week, a time when we remember in a special way the death of Christ and the difference it makes in our lives. One aspect of that difference appears in 2 Corinthians 5:15. There we see that because Christ died for us, we ought to live for him most of all, for his kingdom and glory, for his plans and purposes. Today we ask ourselves: For whom am I really living? 

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rapids in the middle of the forest

Riding the Rapids of Christ’s Love

Even as the banks of a river propel the water forward and direct its flow, so the love of Christ for the world can motivate us and guide our actions.

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woman happily working in coffee shop

Aiming to Please God

Whether we are at home with the Lord or away, whether we are at work or school, whether we are at church or shopping for groceries, whether we are teaching a class or sweeping a floor, whether we are writing a sermon or closing a deal, whether we’re feeding the hungry or hanging out with our friends, no matter what we are doing we make it our aim to please the Lord.

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man overlooking a foggy field

The Holy Spirit as Earnest Money

In this mortal life we will struggle and suffer. We will experience life mixed with death. But beyond physical death we will enter into the fullness of life. Our “perishable” bodies will put on “imperishability” and our “mortal” bodies will put on “immortality” (1 Cor 15:53). That sounds marvelous, but we may wonder if this is really going to happen or if it’s just wishful thinking. 2 Corinthians 5:5 shows that the Holy Spirit supplies God’s response to our wondering. The Spirit reassures us of the future we have in God. Someday we will experience life in all of its fullness and joy.

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A brightly lit tent in the middle of the woods

Groaning, Longing, and Swallowed Up

2 Corinthians talks about groaning as something human beings experience in this life. We groan with pain. We groan over sadness and injustice. But we also groan with longing. We groan as we hope for the day when God makes all things new, including us. In that time, we won’t be consumed by death. Rather, we will be swallowed up by life.

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A young girl sitting on a man's shoulders making eyeglasses with her hands

How Can I See the Unseen?

Thinking about the age to come does not make us less concerned for the world of this age. If anything, the more we reflect on the future, the more we pray for God to grant us a bit more of the future today. Plus, we can be more attentive to moments in which God’s grace is seen in the kindness of strangers. We can be more appreciative of times when God’s people seek the justice of God’s kingdom. We can be more grateful than ever for moments when God’s love penetrates our yearning hearts.

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A man standing on top of a mountain looking into Yosemite Valley with his arms outstretched in awe

The Weight of Glory

2 Corinthians 4:17 presents a striking contrast between the affliction of mortal life and the glory we will experience in God’s future. In comparison to the weightiness of our future glory, our current suffering is light. It is also temporary, whereas the glory of the future will never end. The hope of glory does not cause us to be unduly focused upon ourselves, however, because we will see our neighbors as people of glory. Thus we’ll be committed even more to treat them with justice and love.

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An older woman in a coat on a sunny day

Being Renewed as Your Body Wears Out

I don’t believe there are “seven secrets to renewing your soul.” There isn’t a magic list of things you can do for this to happen. The Holy Spirit works in each of us in distinctive and unique ways. But the example of Paul in 2 Corinthians encourages us to not lose heart as even as our bodies diminish. We turn to the Lord for help, embracing the promise of our inner nature being renewed day by day.

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A statue of Christ overlooking the city of Cusco, Peru

The Significance of Your Resurrection

Your labor is not in vain if you work for God’s purposes and glory. The work you do, whether at your office, your studio, your store, your warehouse, or your kitchen is not meaningless if it’s done for the Lord. Moreover, somehow, in the mystery of God’s providence, what you’re doing now will matter in God’s future. Of this you can have confidence because of the resurrection—the resurrection of Jesus and your own resurrection. 

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A fern where one side is dry and brown and the other side is fresh and green

Living in the Tension Between Life and Death

The Christian life involves living in the tension between death and life. While we experience hard things in this life, and while suffering is very real, we also have the life of Jesus within us. This life enables us to be resilient when hard things threaten to tear us down. Suffering helps us draw near to Jesus. It beckons us to trust God even more than we have in the past. As we do, the life of Jesus comes alive within us.

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