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 ESV)
As Sherry and I sat around today with some new missionary friends I was reminded of the fact that God has entrusted his gospel in weak vessels. It’s not that my friends were appearing weak, by no means…although they are….it’s that I was reminded that as a jar of clay my view of the gospel and missions can be so weak. I can forget that Jesus is the great shepherd who will bring in his sheep.
“And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.”John 10:16
But he does this using his people who are very weak in order to show us that the power belongs to God and not us. Jesus is our good shepherd who leads us in how we are to love on and share his good news with the world. We are to learn the culture and ask questions about how to best communicate the good news in that culture. We are to be learners of the Word and of the World. We are to learn the Word so we can best love the World with the gospel. We are to pray. We are to trust. We are to acknowledge our weakness and his strength.
As we seek to share Jesus with others we will clearly see that we are weak and need a shepherd who we can trust to lead. It’s not always a tidy set of methods that best produce fruit, but it is the power of God through his gospel, his timing, his process, his power.
I was encouraged to not only believe in the power of the gospel to see souls saved, but to trust in the Lord of salvation to do it. Being results oriented can easily cause us to shuck evangelism down into tidy categories of what works and what does not. In doing this we can unfortunately depend on our clay-bilities instead of depending on the surpassing power that belongs to God.