The Bible isn’t like search engines which when you need something, in a turning of page, or a click counterpart in Google, you’ll find what you need or what you search for.
Prayerful and careful study, with enthusiasm and focus would yield a rich experience. The Bible is like a barren land, quite a boring book, with no illustrations and trivial stuff. But underneath the barren land is a vast threshold of treasures! It takes time, patience and perseverance to search for the gem. Digging deep in the Scriptures is a remarkable experience!
I praise God for this awesome, week-long exceptional experience. But it wasn’t only digging in a sense. It’s digging, and upon finding a reservoir, do marinating. Quite weird, from digging to cooking! But that’s how special it was!
MARINATING on 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 is a new Bible study technique which I found so priceless. For the past week, from September 11 (night time) til yesterday, September 17, we had a unified activity with my DREAMiCM (DREAM International Creative Ministries) friends (leadership team).
For seven days, as I soaked myself in the marinating sauce of the verses, I noticed that the daily impressions were special, focusing on my daily need. However, the spice of God’s love remained the same. It just became more flavorful and it savored my life as days passed by. It was actually my first time to do this marinating, and I appreciate the great impression channeled thru Kuya Anthony Stanyer (Director of DREAMiCM) to initiate this.
On the culmination, we’re encouraged to share our individual introspection. I considered blogging mine.
v.7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
During Apostle Paul‘s time, pottery was very common and he used it’s analogy for the brethren to easily relate. The kinds of vessel vary somehow. There are expensive jars made of special shell shards or designed with precious gems and other embellishments.
But instead of jars made of glass, crystal of other kind, we’re likened to jars of clay because we are vulnerable, fragile and plain. But we are considered treasures despite of our quality, because through our sinful propensity, God’s beauty and glory could be magnified through Jesus Christ, The Potter.
God in His wisdom and loving kindness oftentimes break us more when we’re already broken with sin and it’s consequences; because He doesn’t want to just repair us. As a Wise Potter, He wants to mold us anew. He makes us new vessels, strengthened in his special oven.
The fiery flames of the Potter’s oven are enumerated in the succeeding texts:
v.8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
v.9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
v.10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
v.11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.
v.12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
I love the irony of the verses. Reminds me of my favorite quotation from Sketches from the life of Paul p.300:
“The triumph of Christian faith is to SUFFER, and be STRONG;
to SUBMIT, and thus CONQUER;
to be KILLED all day long, and yet to LIVE;
to BEAR the CROSS, and thus WIN the CROWN of IMMORTAL GLORY.”
I’ve got my reflections summed up with this:
SIN = distraction = destruction
LOVE = redemption = restoration
I came with this because I dug Philippians 2:5-11, 12-15 first, thus prepared me for marinating. It is great to know more the nature of the Potter!
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”
I applied what we learned during our LEVEL-UP Bible study/sharing; how to use the 4 lenses in Bible Study. And I can attest that it’s best to seek for spiritual discernment, following the chronological order: Theology, Christology, Missiology and Eschatology.
For my dear fellow DREAMiCM leaders who did the marinating, I believe God has tremendously blessed you too! And with the knowledge about the lenses, you would identify what specific lenses I used. Let’s talk more about it later. Happy Midweek! 🙂
Here are some related blogs that were posted with the same inspiration from 2 Corinthians 4:7-12. (click the links to read more about the article)
Philippine-wide Youth Summit “CLAY” @ Baguio City
The STAFF were mostly DREAM International Creative Ministries leaders and members, tapped by SSD Youth Director; worked closely with NPUC and CLC Youth Directors, respectively.
CLAY (Preparation for Youth Summit 2013)
In the Potter’s Hand (my old poem, the longest poem I’ve written during devotional)
© 2013 LAF
Note: Photo is owned by the author. The other picture is from another Bookworm/Blogger friend, Jenyve Ibanez http://seongyosa.wordpress.com/. This blog has a copyright . The photos and article should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.