Back to Reach • Devotion #3: A Jar

About 16 years ago, when I came to know Christ, I was so thrilled about the things of God I wanted to serve Him with my life in any way I could. I started serving at my local church, helping with tech and music. I was studying music at U of M Flint and decided to transfer to a Bible college. I wanted to learn more about the Bible and someday hoped to be in full-time ministry. A few years went by, and college was not helping my desire to study the Bible. It just did not interest me like I had thought it would. Eventually there came an opportunity to be in full-time ministry, and I was as excited for that as when I first started serving in the Church. I loved to be busy for the Lord. However, year after year, I was more drained, exhausted, stressed, anxious, and depressed. I struggled to find the desire I once had and wondered why I was even in ministry. 

Through many people God brought into my life, and hearing the Gospel preached, He revealed what my problem was. I had left the glory and wonder of the Gospel. I left the cross as if it were just where I started in my faith, and I would move on without the needed growth. Through being broken down to nothing is when I realized how glorious the Gospel is.

Paul wrote, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). 

I was a shattered jar, and all I had left was that beautiful treasure that was inside. In my brokenness, it shone brighter than it ever had before. I recall my years as a believer when I spent time thinking I had to serve in Church and live life a certain way to be worthy of the grace I received. However, God does not need my works or anything from me as the best of my works are as filthy rags. He wants us to see that the power belongs to Him. He is the one who saves, who transforms, who renews, and who sanctifies. It is all by His power alone. 

Romans 5:6-11 adds, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” 

I am weak, broken, and sinful. I need the Gospel every day, every hour, with every breath I take. Christ died for me while I was dead in my sins. He came and lived a perfect life to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law that I could never obtain. He willingly went to the cross for me and bore all my sins, past, present, and future, so I could be justified by His blood. He bore the wrath of God that was upon me, and I am now reconciled and at peace with God, clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Oh, how much I rejoice in this good news. 

You can easily force yourself to do the Church vision (I have done it for years). We reach by going to events, gather by going to gatherings, and grow by being in a Growth Community. However, you will never truly live out the Great Commission without the Gospel being the engine that drives you and gives you a deep burning desire to live for Christ. With the Gospel at the heart of your actions, reach becomes brokenness over the lost, gather becomes a desperate desire to be with believers to praise the One who saved you, and grow becomes a daily dependency on growing in the knowledge of the Word of God. My friend, never leave that cross and never forget the power of the Gospel that saved your soul.

Office: 8393 E. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442 | 248.328.0490 |

Copyright © 2016 The River Church. All Rights Reserved.