Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Treasure Within

Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International The Treasure Within

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed."
2 Corinthians 4:7-9, NIV

New covenant servants (followers of Jesus) are ‘earthen vessels’ (ordinary clay pots). Yet, in the container of their redeemed humanity dwells ‘this treasure’ (the Son of God Himself). This fact is reason enough to entirely trust and glorify the treasure within (Jesus) and not the vessels (you and me): ‘that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.’ According to Romans 8:11 and 1 Corinthians 3:16 God dwells within us through His Holy Spirit, with all His glory and power.

And God has also set up a process that magnifies this treasure within. This process involves the everyday pressures of life, which come from all sides. ‘We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed.’ As His treasured possession God Himself will keep us and sustain us, as it is written in Isaiah 43:1-2. Clay pots can’t withstand much pressure, but the treasure within us (Jesus) is able to keep us from being crushed or smashed. ‘Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus’ (2 Timothy 2:1)

The process involves us going through many troubles. ‘We are troubled but not in despair.’ We face challenging circumstances, difficult decisions and impossible issues, but our wonderful Counsellor protects us from hopelessness. For Him nothing is impossible and He can enable us to tackle and overcome every hurdle, even the ones the enemy puts on our way. Our God is able to do this, because in Him ‘are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (Colossians 2:3).

Persecutions are included in the process: ‘persecuted, but not forsaken’. People accuse us, misunderstand us, or lie about us. Still, we know we’re not abandoned by our Lord who lives within us. For He Himself has promised us in Hebrews 13:5, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’. Even catastrophes are a part of the process, magnifying the treasure within us: ‘struck down, but not destroyed.’ Circumstantial upheavals and overwhelming heartaches occur, but the Lord strengthens our soul and our spirit, so we don`t `tip over` under the weight of circumstances. Whether we’re going through the dark valley, or whether the enemy is pressing in, Jesus is with us to comfort and to protect us (Psalm 23).

At times life comes at us like an overpowering military tank, ready to flatten us. There’s no natural hope. Clay pots can’t handle tanks. Yet, as the dust clears, the flower pot of our lives can remain intact if we’re trusting in the able and faithful One who lives in our hearts. And where the enemy’s been able to crush us, or to even break us, Jesus is able to restore us, as a potter restoring a clay pot. There’s no attacking tank that can overcome the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world’ (1 John 4:4).

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You’re my indwelling treasure. You live within me, with all Your glory and power. When pressures, troubles, persecutions, or catastrophes come my way, teach me to trust in You, and not to lean on my own understanding. You’re far bigger than any of my circumstances and you’re able to make a way through any of them. When I’m weak You’re strong. When others ask how I’m sustained through these difficulties, remind me to give all glory and honour to You. In Your name I pray, Amen.

Today's Writer : Andreas Hefti Andreas Hefti leads the work of Ellel Ministries in Germany. In 1998 Andreas did the 9 Week School with Ellel Ministries in Glyndley Manor and then joined the team at Ellel Grange. He was responsible for setting up the German Modular School for discipleship, healing and deliverance in 2003. Since 2008 he has led the work in Altensteig, Germany (Black Forest). He married Ria in 2011 and it’s their hearts’ desire to prepare the Body of Jesus for the coming days, and to be the Bride of Jesus.

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