1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart,

2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.

6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

 

A recent commercial for a Volkswagen SUV seeks to tout the remarkable amount of interior space of the vehicle by showing a couple frantically trying to fill their car with their most treasured items as an asteroid plummets toward earth. 

It’s humorous to see them begin with some of life’s most precious things, yet realizing they have more room, they grab more ridiculous and even worthless things. And just how safe are these things in a vehicle under threat by an asteroid?!

Regardless of what you think is actually valuable in your life, we can agree that the place we keep our valuables reflects how valuable they are to us. 

If we have something in a safety deposit box in a vault at the bank, it’s probably pretty valuable. If it’s in the junk drawer of your kitchen, it may be worthless. The value of the item is reflected in the value of what keeps it.

With this in mind, reflect on the truth that we as Christians have the great treasure of the gospel inside of the very frail and weak vessel of ourselves. The very light of the gospel—the hope of the world—is carried about in the world in once darkened, frail vessels. 

Paul’s metaphor in this passage is meant to show how the greatness of the treasure outshines the greatness of the messenger. Because we are all broken, weak, and frail people, when someone believes in the gospel, we can know that it’s not because of our greatness as the carrier but because of the greatness of the treasure inside us. In this way, God is glorified through the weakness of His people.

 

  • What specific forms of ministry has God called you to do? How does that calling and the promise of the Spirit’s empowerment help you stay faithful to the task even in times of discouragement?
  • Why do you think we so quickly fall back into masking our weaknesses or focusing on ourselves instead of others? How do these things affect our witness?
  • Thank the Father for showing His strength through our weakness. Confess where you have tried to cover your weakness and avoid neediness for Him. Ask for boldness in proclaiming the gospel, remembering that it is God’s power that brings true change.