The Prize Inside

(S: Scripture) Read: 2 Corinthians 4: 1-18Cracker Jack prize inside
2 Corinthians 4: 9 (NLT) We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.

(O: Observations)

  1. This was not Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. He was more forceful in this letter to encourage, teach, and urge them not to turn away from the truth.
  2. When we are at the end of our rope, we are never to give up because we are God’s precious treasures. We are just held in “perishable containers”.
  3. Paul reminds, that Satan blinds the minds so that nonbelievers can’t see God’s glorious light shining on them as His treasures. Perhaps, this is why we are “hunted down”.

(A: Application)
I recall the fun we had when my parents bought my younger sister a swing set. My brother and I were too big, but we were excited for our younger sister. My dad diligently and carefully assembled the swing set with great care and love. Then we spent hours having great fun with the large box the swing set came in. One of my fondest memories as a child was when the three of us had fun wrestling and rolling around together in that box.

Isn’t that just like children, more focused on the package than the gift inside? Possibly, that was what Paul was eluding too with the young childlike Christians in Corinth. Paul was trying to shift their paradigm of, “great gifts come in small packages”, to, “great gifts come in throw away packages.”

When reading this scripture, another saying came to mind, “As Christians the world sees us. But when Christians go through trials, the world watches us.” Nonbelievers want to see if the Christ who lives in us, is real in us. We saw it just recently when a gunman killed several Christians in a church at a prayer meeting. The world watched how Christians, in their different colored “perishable containers”, reacted with Christ like forgiveness and love. Although evil hunted down and killed those who believed, the result was that the world was able to receive a glimpse of the true prize inside.

(P: Prayer)
Loving Father. It is hard to understand the degree of love You have for everyone living on this temporary ball. Your unconditional love has never been based on what our “perishable containers” look like. LORD, please remove the fog that blinds our minds from seeing us as Your prized treasures. Help me to get up when knocked down. Help me to encourage others do the same. In Your name I pray. Amen.

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