Categories
Uncategorized

Treasure in Plain View

It was a day-long retreat inside the prison, and seated at our table were seven of us—six residents and me—amid a room of 125. The focus of the day was forgiveness and restoration, an always welcome topic and particularly so where the environment itself reminds us daily of our need for both. As we took turns sharing, a remarkable commonality emerged—the ripple effect of a transformed life. One man had asked forgiveness from his son for the man’s poor life choices; the son refused at first, but seeing over a period of several years a true change in his father, he not only forgave him, but became a believer, as well. Another shared a similar experience with his ex-wife with whom he remains friends today: it took years for her to accept the change in him, and but seeing his consistent growth and transformation, she now finds herself contemplating the gospel for her own life. Still another spoke of those who recognized in him a humility where arrogance once dominated. None of these men had set out to change anyone; rather it was God who worked through their testimonies of forgiveness and the witness of their transformed lives. Moreover, it took time for others to accept the forgiveness, restoration, and change in once-hardened souls.

We can take courage from these men, for sometimes we question whether our lives make a Kingdom difference at all. And at times our Christian witness seems to us an overwhelming burden to carry alone. Yet even our witness is God’s work in and through us, for as Paul explained to the early church, God “made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”1 And God has willed to display this glory through an undeserving yet much loved us, for in Paul’s words, God has placed His “treasure in jars of clay.”2 Such wisdom! And how humbling.

Then may we “live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness,”3 that God would shine through us and be glorified before others, for this “pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”4 For people search for God, and He is most clearly visible in lives transformed—yours and mine. It may take time, but His work will be done through us. He will see to it. We can rest in this.

Father, how beautiful and how humbling that You would advance Your Kingdom through Your people. Shine in our hearts, that others would see You glorified through Your treasure in us, your jars of clay. Amen.

1 2 Corinthians 4:6
2 2 Corinthians 4:7
3 1 Timothy 2:2
4 1 Timothy 2:3-4

2 replies on “Treasure in Plain View”

Paul,

Thank you for the reminder why God keeps us on earth once we become believers. I so much long to be with our King but trust in scripture just as Paul wrote “ For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

I appreciate you and your ministry. Keep up the good fight!

In Him, sw

Sent from my iPhone

>

Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s