When you buy a nice piece of jewellery it is often tucked into a setting of black or dark coloured velvet. I think it’s designed that way so that your attention is immediately drawn to the beauty of the jewellery. If the packaging were highly decorated, it would compete with the beauty of the treasure.

It reminds me of Paul’s comments about the work of Jesus through us, when he said, “We have this treasure in jars of clay” (2 Cor. 4:7 niv). It’s easy to forget that we are the packaging and His work is the treasure. So we admire our jars of clay (ourselves), taking credit for the things we do to serve Christ. We seek to bring glory to ourselves when we’ve forgiven someone, shown mercy or given generously. The problem is, when we start seeking affirmation and praise for good deeds, we compete with the brilliance of the treasure of God working through us.

When we do things for Christ it’s not about us but about His glory. The less obvious we are, the more brilliant He becomes. Which is why Paul says the treasure has been put in jars of clay, so that God would be the one who receives glory. Besides, since when are jars of clay significant? It’s what’s inside that counts!

Let the brilliance of the treasure of Christ shine through you as you live for Him.


Joe Stowell


Our Daily Bread