We are only the earthenware jars that hold this treasure, to make it clear that such an overwhelming power comes from God and not from us. We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted; knocked down, but never killed; always, wherever we may be, we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may always be seen in our body. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are consigned to our death every day, for the sake of Jesus, so that in our mortal flesh the life of Jesus, too, may be openly shown. So death is at work in us, but life in you.But as we have the same spirit of faith that is mentioned in scripture – I believed, and therefore I spoke – we too believe and therefore we too speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side and you with us. You see, all this is for your benefit, so that the more grace is multiplied among people, the more thanksgiving there will be, to the glory of God.
When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage, it seemed like a dream.Then was our mouth filled with laughter, on our lips there were songs.The heathens themselves said: ‘What marvels the Lord worked for them!’What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage as streams in dry land.Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap.They go out, they go out, full of tears, carrying seed for the sowing:they come back, they come back, full of song, carrying their sheaves.
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:‘Holy Father,keep those you have given me true to your name,so that they may be one like us.While I was with them,I kept those you had given me true to your name.I have watched over themand not one is lostexcept the one who chose to be lost,and this was to fulfil the scriptures.But now I am coming to youand while still in the world I say these thingsto share my joy with them to the full.I passed your word on to them,and the world hated them,because they belong to the worldno more than I belong to the world.I am not asking you to remove them from the world,but to protect them from the evil one.They do not belong to the worldany more than I belong to the world.Consecrate them in the truth;your word is truth.As you sent me into the world,I have sent them into the world,and for their sake I consecrate myselfso that they too may be consecrated in truth.’
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