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Archive for August 17th, 2012

Renewed day by day

August 17th, 2012

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day … what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

We think too highly – far too highly – of material wealth and of the physical world. That we do so at all is a sign of our fallenness: we have lost the spiritual dimension God created human life to enjoy. This God-awareness was intended to be the center of our hearts, but instead, after the sin of our original parents, we have become deaf to His voice, blind to His presence, and senseless to His reasoning. We as a race have become very much like eagles crawling and scratching among the lesser things of creation when we should be soaring far above.

That we are wasting away, and are helpless to stop this, should be obvious to us, yet this truth seems to be hidden from most. As a society we make some progress here and some advancement there, all the while we are individually dying off, slipping into the grave clueless about eternity and the purpose of our own existence. Paul simply said, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers” (2 Cor. 4:4), referring to Satan. He has put the notion of eternity in our hearts (Eccl. 3:11), and there is a universal ache in the hearts of all people for something more than this life offers.

Materialism is what we call it – the worship of money, power, prestige, respect. It never satisfies the human heart, never has and never will; it is like searching after the wind and feeding on it (Eccl. 1:17). Solomon in Ecclesiastes added to this list of empty human pursuits seeking knowledge, pleasures, attempting great achievements. Not everyone spiritually blind is completely without character – many seek to earn their money honestly, through hard work, many seek to achieve great things for their nation, their family, their kinsmen, and many study to learn a trade to be of service to their fellow human being. But their end is all identical – vain, empty, meaningless, final – as Solomon realized to his horror.

Then I thought in my heart, “The fate of the fool will overtake me also, what then do I gain by being wise? I said in my heart, “This too is meaningless,” For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten. Like the fool, the wise man too must die!

Ecclesiastes 2:15-16

Some people, by the grace and call of God and their own faith, break away from this death trap of worldliness. They make a shift in their thinking – from things to God, from human opinion to God’s opinion, from selfish priorities to God’s purposes, from self-love to God’s love, from death to life. Those that do this have done through the gospel of Christ what can never be done in the flesh, what can never be achieved through financial or educational gain.

This is nothing short of a miracle of God – the greatest miracle of all – the awakening, the conversion, and the change of the human heart. And it results in an entering into a different type of thinking, of unlimited potential, of eternity, of love and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, of hope for eternity, of inward and spiritual renewal. While the body wastes away, something great and profound is happening within – the opening up of those spiritually eyes that had been blind for so long, the unstopping of those spiritual ears that had been deaf for so long, the re-sensitizing of the spiritual touch that has been numb since our birth, and the opening up of our minds to see and understand and to know God.

For the first time we see things as they really are; for the first time we grasp the emptiness of this world and the beauty of God and of Christ. It is enough some days just to realize this truth, and to meditate on its reality in our hearts. This results in a soul-satisfaction and inner peace and calm that nothing in the world can ever offer. The one whom God blesses with this realization is the wealthiest of all. The one who has it not, is the poorest of all.

Evening Devotionals