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From the President, ABC District – Jesus is our Priceless Treasure

August 17, 2018 No Comment

By Glenn Schaeffer

Rev. Dr. Glenn E. Schaeffer

“We do not preach ourselves, but we preach Jesus Christ as Lord” (2 Corinthians 4:5) writes St. Paul—and for good reason! Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is the Saviour of the world! Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus is the Bridge between God and us. Jesus is our Priceless Treasure.

  • In our bondage, Jesus is our Freedom.
  • In our blindness, Jesus is our Vision.
  • In our hunger, Jesus is the Bread of Life.
  • In our searching, Jesus is our Answer.
  • In our quest for love and acceptance, Jesus is our Suitor and Beloved.
  • In our weakness, Jesus is our Power.
  • In our storms, Jesus is our Anchor.
  • In our worry, Jesus is our Peace.
  • In our despair Jesus is our Joy.
  • In our guilt, Jesus is our Advocate.
  • In our defeat, Jesus is our Victory.
  • In our grief, Jesus is our Hope.

Yes, we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord—and not ourselves. And why would we want to preach or promote ourselves? We can save no one from God’s judgement. We are separated from God. We are shackled in sin. We are blind. We are weak. We are powerless to overcome Satan and death.

For good, sound, biblical reasons, we do not preach ourselves, but instead proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord! As one preacher said, “I have only one sermon: ‘Come, sinners, and look on Christ.’”

Do you want to hear something that is mysterious, nonsensical, but nevertheless true for so many people in this world, including for you and me? God places treasure in “jars of clay.”

Jesus was a treasure in a “jar of clay.” Jesus was born in human flesh. And yet, in Jesus, all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form! Despite being God in the flesh, Jesus was subject to hunger, weariness, grief, death. Jesus was “cracked”—“broken”—even “shattered”—on the cross. Like a broken, useless, clay pot, He was discarded to the dump—to death. But He rose from the dead!

We are broken, chipped, cracked pots. And yet our Lord places priceless treasure in us! For example:

Jesus lives in us! St. Paul’s statement is true for all believers in Christ, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me!” (Galatians 2:20), as does His love, forgiveness, mercy, peace, and joy! Jesus’ love, mercy, peace, and joy flow from us into the lives of others as we interact with them on a daily basis.

The Spirit of the Lord lives in us. St. Paul explains, “We are the temple of the Spirit of the Lord! Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honour God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This means the fruit of the Spirit abides in us too: joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—faith, hope, love.

Despite having these treasures within us, we are still “clay pots.” St. Paul describes his life as a follower of Jesus this way: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

There is nothing soft about our life with God. The call to serve our Lord is not for wimps! Who of us isn’t like a clay pot—chipped and broken? Are we not hard-pressed, but not crushed? Are we not perplexed, but not despairing? Are we not ridiculed, even ostracized, for our faith in Jesus, but not abandoned? We may be plagued by illness, broken relationships, depression, anxiety, and death, but we are not destroyed. Why? Because of Jesus and what He accomplished for us by His life, death, resurrection and ascension!

“Therefore, we do not lose heart,” St. Paul writes. “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

To Jesus Christ, our Lord, be all the glory, honour, and praise!

Rev. Dr. Glenn Schaeffer is president of the ABC District of Lutheran Church–Canada