But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. (2 Corinthians 5:1)
This past week, I’ve been reminded how frail life is. One of our sweetest families suddenly lost their daughter. Other dear friends will see their little girl endure yet another surgery as she continues her struggle with CP. One of our faithful seniors who serves children has been in ICU battling cancer. The flu and cold outbreak has knocked the strongest among us off their feet for days. All jars of clay.
The weakness of our earthly bodies provides a teaching opportunity for children and adults about the temporary life versus the eternal.
The Bad News: Because of the curse of sin, this earthly life is temporary. The body we now have and the time in it is fleeting. The Apostle Paul describes our temporary body as a jar of clay or earthly tent. These aren’t suitable for permanent living. As much as we may try to keep our bodies safe from germs, disease and decline (and we should to a point), they still have an expiration date. That’s a big problem.
The Good News: God has solved this big problem because he loves us. He sent his own Son, Jesus Christ, to defeat the curse of sin and death’s power (Hebrews 2:14). Through faith in Christ, God gives life that will never end. By faith, we trust that someday God will swap our failing, mortal body for a completely whole and immortal one. One that will never fail.
What does that mean for us while we live in our weak, short-term housing?
- Our fragile bodies remind us not to rely on ourselves but on God. (2 Corinthians 1:8-9, 4:7)
- God has counted the number of days we will live in this earthly tent (Job 14:5, Psalm 139:16)
- We can trust him to know exactly what is best for us, because he created us for just his perfect number of days and for his perfect purpose (Psalm 139:14, Colossians 1:16)
- Every day is a gift made by God. We should thank him for every one he chooses to give us (Psalm 118:24)
- We can’t take this perishable tent or clay jar to heaven. Heaven is reserved for the imperishable. (2 Corinthians 5:4)
- By faith in Jesus, we can know that we have a new, forever body awaiting us with God (2 Corinthians 5:1)
- Because of Jesus, we can look forward confidently to the day we trade our failing body for our forever unfailing one (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)
- Our goal should be to please God with every numbered day he gives (2 Corinthians 5:9, Psalm 90:12)
The Bible says that our earthly life is like a mist that appears for a little while and then it’s gone (James 4:14). Teach your kids that our hope is not in this temporary life but in the life that lasts forever in Jesus.