Battered and Bruised

Today’s Truth
2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV) “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 

Friend To Friend
The speaker came out onto the stage. He pulled out a one-hundred dollar bill.

“Who would like this one-hundred dollar bill?” he asked.

Hands shot up all around the room.

Then he crumpled the paper, threw it on the floor and ground the dirt into it with his foot.  Holding up the dirty, crumpled and tattered money, he then asked, “Now, who wants this one-hundred dollar bill?”

The same hands went into the air.

“And that is why God still wants you,” he continued. “You may be battered and bruised. You may be tattered and torn. You may be crumpled and creased but that does not change your value to God any more than what I have done changes the value of this one-hundred dollar bill.  You are still precious and valuable to the God who chose you, redeemed you, and loves you as His own.”

“He knows how we are formed; he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). God understands that we are fatally flawed creatures, yet deems us immeasurably valuable no matter how crumpled and soiled we are.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). In Paul’s day, it was customary to store treasure in clay jars. The common container disguised its contents and didn’t draw attention to the treasure within. You and I might not look like much on the outside. We may appear as common as jars of clay, but inside are hidden incredible treasures. Inside these old cracked pots reside the most incredible treasure of all – Jesus Christ.  And that makes us valuable.

In Louisa May Alcott’s book, Little Women, she includes a conversation from Mrs. March to her three girls, Meg, Jo, and Amy. “I only care what you think of yourself. If you feel your value lies in being merely decorative, I fear that someday you might find yourself believing that’s all you really are. Time erodes all such beauty. But what it cannot diminish is the wonderful workings of your mind – your humor, your kindness, and your moral courage. These are things I so cherish in you.”

Our culture places an ungodly amount of significance on a woman’s appearance. Outward trappings of appearance are simply … trappings but God sees us as simple jars of clay containing valuable treasure and that makes us beautiful to Him.

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, even though I am battered and bruised, I know that I am still valuable to You. Thank You for loving me so much that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to die for my sins. Thank You for making a way for me to have eternal life through Jesus’ sacrifice. Thank You for seeing me as Your priceless treasure.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
Don’t you love the teacher’s illustration of the crumpled dollar bill? Today, consider using that illustration with a friend or a child who feels knocked down by life.

Today’s devotion was taken from Sharon’s book, If you feel battered and bruised by life, if you have been believing lies that you are worthless, then join Sharon in learning to see yourself as God sees you – a valuable treasure – as a chosen, dearly loved child of the King.

3 Responses to Battered and Bruised

  1. Catrinia December 1, 2009 at 3:05 am #

    Hi,
    I thoroughly enjoyed this article. I have felt battered and bruised for a long time and have hid it from family and friends for a while as well. But I am soo tired and want a release from the weight of it all. I know with God’s help, it will happen.
    May God Bless you for being a blessing.

  2. Joyce December 1, 2009 at 5:16 am #

    Sharon, Your devotion today was so meaningful. I will print it and send it to my daughter who is about to be released from serving eight years in prison. She is battered, bruised, and ill from living a very hard life, but I know she is still alive to fulfill God’s purpose for her life. I know your words will touch her heart as they did mine.

  3. Elizabeth December 3, 2009 at 1:41 am #

    Wow… this couldn’t have come at a better time…but then again, its always His timing so I shouldn’t be surprized.
    The last month has been particularly tough for me. I recently moved into my first apartment, so money is very tight. I dont even have enough money to get my furniture out of lay away for the holidays 🙁 And I also ended a relationship with a man I loved very much but just felt it wasn’t healthy or God centered. Today, feeling very battered, beaten, torn, lonely and unloved more than ever, I just wanted to throw the towel in. I’ve made a bunch of mistakes and was questioning whether God would still love me. When I got home tonight, I figured I’d go check my emails to see if anyone “loved me”, and then I saw this devotional. “Battered and bruised?? Hmmm, that’s me today” I said to myself and read it. I must confess, I haven’t made the time recently to get into His word as much as I know I should, and I know I’m paying for it. But this devotional really opened my eyes tonight… helping me to realize that even when I make mistakes (even big ones) and get all battered, broken and dirty, God still loves me. I’m not the prettiest on the outside… much like the jars of clay, but I am filled with the most beautiful light of Jesus! Sometimes the dirt of this world clouds my eyes to see that, but the cleansing tears of relief in knowing I am always loved by my mighty King, helped me to see clear again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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