Cleansing and CallingWhat does it mean to follow God’s calling in your life?
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2 Corinthians 4:7-18
We now have this light shining in our hearts,
but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars
containing this great treasure. This makes
it clear that our great power is from God, not
from ourselves (v.7).
Her name is Mary Jane. Having married a
steelworker, she’s seen the boom and death of a
Pennsylvania steel town where they happily raised
their children. When the town no longer held any promise
for them, they moved to Florida to enjoy their latter years.
Today, though, she misses her husband even though
he’s been gone a while (she’s uncertain of exactly how
long). As she sits gracefully in her wingback chair, Mary
Jane understands why she now lives in an assisted living
center. It’s because her memory has started to fail her.
Life is incredibly fragile. The apostle Paul reminds us
of the great contrast that exists between the everlasting,
transforming power of the gospel and our frail, finite
humanity. Trials will come, with some seeming as if they
will last forever while others appear merely as a blip on the
radar of life. But this truth remains: We have but one life to
expend for Jesus before we die (Job 14:5; James 4:14).
In the busyness of life, our priorities can seem to be so
appropriate and necessary. So much so, with our to-do
lists close to our eyes, we lose perspective—unable to
see anything beyond the blurry ink on the page, much
less the white of the paper in our hand.
For the believer, though, living a full life goes far
beyond any “bucket list” of new hobbies or dream
vacations. Knowing we were made for eternity
(Ecclesiastes 3:11; 2 Corinthians 4:18) should shape our
present days so that our lives are not only transformed
(2 Corinthians 4:16-17; Romans 12:2), but transformational (vv.11-15).
Our purpose is not to live successful, happy lives. We need “to realize the
brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Then our lives
can truly be a means for others to learn about Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:13-15).
Read Psalm 116:12-14
to see the context in which we should offer
our lives as a living sacrifice.
Is your to-do list made up of things you want to
accomplish or things the Lord has called you to
do? How can we discern the difference?
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