2 Cor 4:3-10 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
Even though they were brought out of the trash of this world, the Corinthians still needed teaching to understand what they are in Christ. We sometimes teach the sinner and preach to the saint. We should flip that. The devil blinds people’s minds so they don’t see the light of the gospel. They need preaching and the power of God. The saints need to be taught what’s inside of them so that the lost can see the light.
Jesus has changed you. He has taken you out. He has brought you out of some bad stuff and brought you into some good stuff. But, He’s not done yet!
Sometimes, you don’t realize how much has changed because you’re focused on what still needs to change. Sometimes, you forget the wonderful and beautiful that is within you because of the faults and flaws. There is treasure in you. There is goodness and value in you.
There is something inside of you that keeps you changing.
Paul is saying that you have something that will change you, that sets you free from bondage, that will free the people around you.
2 Cor 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
If you will recognize what you’ve got a hold of, people will see it. God has put treasure in you. The treasure is in the vessel—in you. You are the treasure.
For the value that Jesus saw in you, He bought the whole field, because there’s something the whole world needs that only you can bring.
There are clay pots, cracked pots, that the Lord has put the most valuable thing inside of—His Spirit. He’s put treasure inside of you and you are precious because of it. Jesus chose you to deliver that treasure.
There is a conflict and struggle inside of this flesh, flesh vs spirit.
‘We’re troubled on every side’—flesh, ‘but we’re not destroyed’—Spirit. You’re pushed into a corner, but there’s a way out. ‘We are cast down, but not destroyed.’ There is something inside of you that’s wonderful, that will shine through the cracks. Jesus uses trash to display something beautiful.
God said that Job was faithful and perfect. The devil didn’t like that and challenged God that Job would curse Him if the devil messed with him. Though he never cursed God, Job did curse the day he was born. He hit bottom. He didn’t have treasure bubbling always. He had trash coming out too. Even though there was trash there, God saw him as faithful and perfect. When the devil says one thing and God says another, it’s as if God goes back to creation and changes things.
When God speaks, even if it wasn’t true before He said it, it’s true now.
Gen 1:2-3 “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
Light came up out of the darkness. It’s like salvation. Light came to you. The knowledge of the Lord Jesus is similar to what He created out of the darkness. He didn’t just destroy darkness, He separated it from light. He made a very clear distinction.
In this earthen vessel, there might be darkness, but God has put light inside as well. That light needs to get out as well. The world needs to see the light and He’s chosen you.
You’ve called yourself trash, the devil has called you trash, but God has chosen you to put treasure into. In that process, He’s made something wonderful out of your earthen vessel.
When God gets hold of you, He puts meaning and significance and purpose into you. There is majesty in the mundane. There is value there. Even in your deformity, there is deity.
You may be full of flaws and feel worthless and without value and you get blinded and you forget that treasure that God has put there. The darkness is all there, but there is light as well. There is value and worth in you. God has chosen you!
God said, ‘Let there be Light!’ Who are you to argue with the value that He gives you? He paid for you.
When people see that the cost is lower than the value, people will buy. It’s a deal. You wouldn’t give everything you have for something worthless. Isn’t that what Jesus did for you? Don’t disagree with God.
When you bring home take-out from a restaurant, it’s usually in a 15 cent container. It’s not the container that brings value to the contents, it’s the contents that bring value to the container. It’s the steak that makes those containers valuable. It’s the pizza in the box that makes the box valuable.
Gangs and prostitution bring counterfeit value to boys and girls. What you think makes you valuable has the right to be your master. If somebody says you’re special, you’ll serve that someone. The devil will deceive you with lies.
The Lord values souls above everything else. One soul is greater than all that the world has to offer. There is treasure in the Light of the Gospel of Jesus. The knowledge and the excellency of knowing Jesus is the treasure. If you get a hold of this, you will live as someone valuable.
If you have worthlessness and shame in your mind, it will come out of your mouth and in how you live. If you change your thoughts, you will change your destiny. The Spirit of the Lord is trying to break that process of worthlessness and shame. Those cycles cause habits and being out of line. Jesus says you are more valuable than you can understand. All the junk that’s happening is to make manifest the gospel. There is treasure that is trying to shine out of me.
‘Let the weak say, I am strong.’
Why say, ‘I am strong,’ if you’re weak? Why say, ‘I am rich,’ if you’re poor? Why say, ‘It is well,’ when the mother’s son had just died? Something inside of her said, ‘All together inside of me is not in despair. It’s not over yet.’ The container may be hit, but the treasure is not! There is knowledge in this nobody. There is wisdom in this weirdo. There’s wonder in that woman. There’s goodness in that guy. Thank God for you!
Jesus chose you to save the world, to reach the world. We’re transformed into His image through His Spirit and His Word.
You are transformed but not by yourself, it’s through the treasure that God put in there. God put His Spirit and His Word in you.
Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
What makes you so valuable to the Lord?
A pair of converse tennis shoes were signed by Michael Jordan were sold for $100,000. People have paid crazy amounts of money for stuff worn and signed by Elvis. A photo of Jesse James signed by him was worth $52,000. It’s the person who signed it that gives crazy stuff crazy value.
Has the Lord touched your life and put His signature on you? Has He ever used you? Then, God would tell you, there’s value in you. Jesus says, ‘You’re worth the price.’ The treasure inside of you is worth more than all this world has to offer.
The Old Violin: The Touch of the Master’s Hand
‘Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”
From the room far back a gray-bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.
“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone”, said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand.”
“What changed its’ worth?”
Swift came the reply.
“The Touch of the Masters Hand.”
“And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.
– Myra Brooks Welch
There is value in your life and the devil is a liar!
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- What are some memories in which you felt most fulfilled, most loved, most complete?
- In what areas of your life are you insecure? Why?
- How did your view of the old violin change as you read the poem? How does your view of yourself change as you read God’s Word? What do you need to add (or change) to your thinking to realize what you’ve been given and your priceless value?
- Read 2 Cor 12:9-10. What does it mean, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee’? Look up ‘infirmities’ in the Greek: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G769&t=KJV How can you apply these verses to your life?
- What is your responsibility in applying these truths to your life? How can you better partner with Jesus’ Spirit in changing your destiny today?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!