Shining Through Cracked Pots

2 Cor 4:7-12


If you had  to describe yourself  as some type of Drinking Vessel – what would you be ? Lady: Crystal Wine goblet – nice engraving

A)Piece of Fine China: Guy – Coffee Mug / A & W Root Beer Mug


B) What about if you had to describe yourself as some sort of Pot or Vase / Guy- 32 Gallon Stone Container – Hold anything

1)Lady: Exquisite Vase w/ nice Shape & Beautiful Designs on the out side


C) Now when talking about People : we know that it is not what is on the outside that matters / but what is on the inside that matters



I heard about an experiment conducted to test the nutritional value of a certain breakfast cereal. One group of rats had been fed the breakfast cereal; another group had been fed the box the cereal came in ( it was ground up, of course). Sadly, the rats who ate the container were healthier than those who ate the cereal.


D) When talking about a Christian - There is a marked difference between the “container” & the “contents.”

1) Because Jesus is Living in our Hearts


E) Here in 2 Cor Ch.4 Paul likens believers to earthen Vessels or Clay Pots – or that Jesus Lives in & gets to shine thru   Rd.v.3-12


Now Paul mentioned  in ch.3 that those who were living under the OC had their eyes Veiled -

A)They didn’t understand that everything was pointing to Jesus

 But then Paul says end of v.16 that the veil is taken away in Christ


B) And here in Ch.4 he mentions that Satan has actually Blinded the eyes of those who don’t believe / Many types of Blinders that Satan puts on peoples eyes –[ we will discuss that a bit on Wed night as we look at Ch.3 & 4

C) One such Blinder is Religion –Paul Knew of very Well …….

1) Paul was so Zealous concerning his religious convictions that he was going to single-handedly – destroy the message of Christ


D) Until Ironically Paul’s eyes were opened thru being Blinded – by the Light of JC on his way to Damascus { Brighter than the Sun & Noon time


E) Having initially been brought to an awareness of Jesus by a light which shone so bright that it stopped him in his tracks,

1)   Paul, in the text before us today, shares how the Lord seeks to have His Light – Emulate from our Lives


F) There are  3 things I want us to consider today:

1)  three important understandings for anyone who desires to shine brightly for Jesus in these dark days which seem to engulf our culture . . .


1st His Light Received By us  v.6,7

6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.


A) Here Paul is likening the Believer in Jesus to an Earthen Vessel or a Clay Pot { Not very Flattering


B) Although some have a little finer clay than others, perhaps. Some clay can be made into beautiful, fragile & Delicate chinaware, 

1) Beautiful but delicate / it cracks easily. Some of you have cracked already!


C) Others are more rough and rugged. They are made of adobe mud, baked in the sun (half-baked sometimes, perhaps).

1) But this is our humanity. We are nothing but clay pots.


D) But This is a great Picture to use because  A clay pot, or earthen vessel, is made to hold something

1) Because it is basic to our humanity is that we are not designed to operate on our own. We were made to hold someone/& that someone is God himself.



And this is  the amazing thing: By His Spirit, God places the Treasure of His Son into the clay pots of our lives

A)This is like placing the Hope diamond in a Glad trash bag.


B) I mean it is only logical that if someone has a thing of beauty and value, he would have a gold-covered box, or something exquisite to contain it.


C) Therefore, it’s a mystery indeed as to why God would place the Treasure of His Son in clay pots like us

1)     until we realize that God does this so that the excellency of the Treasure would be that much more brilliant..


D) Like a Diamond on Black Velvet – God places His Son in Us -


So first of all we need to understand that God’s light has been placed into to us – by the HS

A)As in the creation of God – when he declared let there be light so too in that tremendous moment when we were born of the spirit of God, the light dawned & shined into our hearts .


B) It shone not merely as an influence, not only as a doctrine or a creed but it shone in our hearts as a REVELATION of the person of Jesus Christ –

1)   Suddenly we saw him for who He was & ourselves in Light of Him. The Blinders were Lifted & our hearts were Enlightened


C)  Like Paul we had say who are you Lord & what do you want me to do!!!!!


2nd Thing to note is once we have received God’s Light – Received His Soon it is God’s Desire that His Light be Reflected From us

A)Jn 8:12 I am the light of the world  But Then Jesus said to His Disciples in Matt 5:14 & to you and me, ‘You are the light of the world.’


B) Was He confused? Are there two lights? No. Think of it this way: Jesus is the Sun, the source of light.

1)   We are like the moon. Moon has no light in & of itself -/ the light that it gives off is merely a reflection of the Sun 


C) We live in dark times. Yet as we walk with Jesus, we reflect His light.


Now Sometimes the moon light is not seen all the way – ˝ moon / Quarter moon – Sometimes not seen at all. 

A)The reason for that is because the earth has come between the sun and the moon. Dims it’s light


B) In other words, when the world gets in the way, the ‘ministry’ of the moon can no longer be seen.


C) Same thing is true about you and me? We are to be the light of the world, 1) but the degree to which we allow the pleasures, pursuits, & passions of the world to creep into our lives will be the degree to which the Light is Seen


D) But On the other hand, if we look at Jesus without allowing the world to creep in, great will be His reflection in our lives.

1)   That is why Paul tells us Ch.3:18 to behold the Lord with an open face — No Distractions / No Veils


E) To put anything which gets between us and JESUS out of our lives. 


So the Light of Jesus is received by us – when we are Born again and His Spirit comes to live in our hearts

A)2ndly – His light is Reflected from us as we behold him / keep our eyes on Him – Walk w/ Jesus/  not letting the world – come between

3rd thing that we see here is that The Lord’s Light is Revealed thru us sometimes the most thru times of Brokenness & Suffering

V. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed--


A)Here we see the Weakness of the Pot – but also the Power of God


B)Notice the weakness of the "pot" Paul says "We are hard pressed; we are at Perplexed or at our wit's end, we are persecuted, we are knocked down."

1) On the other hand, notice the Power of God "We are not Crushed ; we are not in despair, we are never forsaken or abandoned & we are never destroyed – never knocked out."


C) What Paul is saying is that whenever we go through hard times, there is opportunity for God’s Power  to shine forth thru the breaking of the vessel . . 1) So God allows us to be Broken in order for the light of His Son to be More Clearly Seen


Think of the Story of Gideon { Judges 7

A)The Midianites had invaded Israel/  charged oppressive taxes and plundered their cities,/ Constantly provoking Israel 


B) Until God called a reluctant Gideon to deliver His people.

1) So Gideon blew the trumpet and called men to march with him into battle against the Midianites. Thirty-two thousand men responded.


C) Now there were 145,000 Midianites / Gideon thought - ‘There are 145,000 Midianites, and only 32,000 of us. I don’t like the odds,’

1) ‘Neither do I,’ said God. ‘There’s too many of you.’


D) So He instructed Gideon to tell anyone afraid of the battle to go home.

Twenty-two thousand walked way.

1) 10,000 is still to many – Take them to the river - ……… 300 left

Now you can lead them into Battle the Lord said

Following the strategy given him by God, Gideon gave each man a trumpet and a torch within an earthen vessel

A) And positioned them on the hills surrounding the valley of Jezreel where the Midianites lay sleeping.


B) On a given signal, they blew their trumpets, broke the clay pots and shouted, ‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.’


C) Hearing the sound, the men of Midian stumbled out of their tents, saw the lights surrounding them,

1) and no doubt assumed that each torch represented not a single soldier, but an entire division.


D) ‘We’re surrounded by thousands!’ they cried. And in their confusion, the Midianites began attacking each other (Judges 7).


E) Thus, there was victory in the dark night because the light caused the enemy to be confused and beaten back.

1) But the light could only be seen when the earthen vessels were broken



This is why Paul could say,Yes, we are persecuted; yes, we are crushed — A)But it doesn’t bother us because through this, the light of the Lord comes flooding out of us in ways that beat back the darkness & deception of Satan.’ 


B) SO God allows us to go thru times of being Broken so that the Light of His Son can be more clearly seen thru our lives

1)   Brokenness is not Necessarily a Bad thing/ nor does it mean that we have done something wrong –


C) It is sometimes just the means of God getting out of us – what He as put into us { Or it is the means thru which he gets us going in his Direction

1)  Damian Kyle – It is simply my will being broken to God’s will – My ways being broken to God’s ways

It is Ironic that most things lose their Value once they are Broken/ less Value when they are Cracked – But not so w/ the Christian

A)God puts a Premium on Broken things – especially on Broken People


Ps 51:16-17

6 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;

You do not delight in burnt offering.  17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-- These, O God, You will not despise.


Ps 34:18

18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,

And saves such as have a contrite spirit.



Isa 57:15 15  For thus says the High and Lofty One  Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place,

With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.


B) Paul understood that It takes the weakness in order to have the strength 

1)   that is the place where we struggle. That is what we do not like.


C) We all want to see the power of God in our lives, but we want it to come out of untroubled, peaceful, calm, circumstances.

1)   We want to move through life protected from all the dangers and all the difficulties.


D) But that is not the way that it works – Brokenness is a part of the Christian life { It is a means thru which God’s light is Revealed

1)   And we are not even permitted to choose the scene of our own martyrdom. We cannot go through this list and choose.


E) God doesn’t give us a Menu - "Well, I'll take a few afflictions, but I don't want to be knocked down."   We get what God sends. Whatever he wills

1) But we are never Destroyed / Never  Knocked out { that is the Point

Christians can get cancer, Christians can have financial collapse, Christians can go through difficulties, family separations, divorce,

A)We are not hidden from Life – we like anyone else encounter problems of every sort. But we don’t go thru it ALONE


B) In spite of all they do, no matter how close to the Lord they walk, they can have these difficulties

1)   because out of them God wants to demonstrate His Strength / His Power / His Peace in our lives as we look to Him


C) He wants to demonstrate that there is an obvious love and joy and peace about your life that can never be explained in terms of you,

1) but always must be explained only in terms of God at work in you.


Paul Understood this / he went thru horrendous suffering 2 Cor 11 / He was a Cracked Pot that the light of Jesus Christ was shinning thru

A)Which is why he would say : v.10

10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.


B) Notice that the "life of Jesus" always rests upon the "death of Jesus."

1) We must have, in our experience, the "death of Jesus" in order to have the "life of Jesus."


C) Paul clearly understood that the More that Paul died the More that Paul was Broken the More opportunity – Jesus had to be Seen


D) The more JESUS – would be manifested thru – His Life – which would mean life to others { Unbelievers are not impressed by our Victories

1) Paul understood something – that we need to understand – that in & of Himself – he had nothing to offer to those in bondage / darkness / in need



E) But it was only Jesus in Paul – who could save / heal / could bring light to the Blind –

1) Paul realized when he was broken & Cracked  Jesus was seen More – Clearly


Are you going thru a time of Breaking ? Know this – It is God’s way of getting His will done in You / Your ways being broken to God’s ways

A)Don’t look at the circumstances but look to the Lord – allow him to Shine thru your life –


B) Beat back the Darkness of the enemy – AS Jesus is REVEALED THRU YOUR LIFE