Summer has just begun and on my patio there is an assortment of blooming plants Ė all of them glorious and colorful with the blossoms tumbling over the sides of their pots. The perfect flowers are in stark contrast to the pots they live in. The containers of the healthiest plants are very plain--even drab. The simple clay pots are old and worn. With years of use, the pots have become stained and chipped, but the flowers planted in them each successive year seem to thrive even more.
There have been years when Iíve tried planting my flowers in new decorative planters. Iíve found elegantly designed ceramic and glass containers in which to start my flower garden. However, those years my flowers turned out to be less than spectacular. Not receiving the aeration and drainage they required, the plants struggled. Still, it didnít really matter because the pots were beautiful to look at. Visitors admired the attractive design of the containers and seemed not to notice the puny blooms within.
Sharing the gospel can be compared to my efforts at container gardening. Just as simple, fragile clay pots produce the best flowers, a simple, humble believer is the best container for the truth of the gospel. The message of Jesus Christ is glorious in itself. It is eternal. It is salvation. It is life changing. Believers certainly donít need to dress up the message. God doesnít need beautiful containers, fancy dress and practiced speeches to sell His message of life. Simple, heart felt truth produces glorious results. He uses normal people like you and me. Many times, we try to clean up the vessel. All this does is to detract from the all important message. While Iím focusing on myself the message will be puny. As much as I would like to hide the soiled and chipped person that I am, without Jesus, that is my testimony. It is in that fallen person that the seed of the gospel was planted, took hold and began to grow. It is in that sad life that a miracle has bloomed.
Donít misunderstand. I believe that beautiful churches, lovely music, great speakers have their place in worship and in teaching. Many have made a decision to receive Christ in just such a setting. But, the individual believer who is humble and truthful, delivers the message best. Share your own simple story, truthfully and lovingly. The resulting blooms may be far more glorious that any ornate, stained glass window.
2 Corinthians 4:7 tells us that we have our treasure in jars of clay to show that the power belongs to Jesus, not to us.