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Grant

Grant Email gheckel@whfbc.org

Thoughts on 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 View Comments Comments (1)
May 21, 2014 at 4:28pm

 I have some bad news.  Recently I found a silver hair in my beard.  After further extensive investigation I determined that, since it was still attached to my chin, it indeed was my own.  Thoughts began to race through my head:  “Is this the only one or are there more?  Being gray is bad enough but will they begin falling out on their own?  My forehead is looking bigger, could my hair line be receding as well?”  Then only weeks later, while playing with my nephews and nieces, my back went out and I was crippled by pain for five to six days.  The reality was upon me.  I, though relatively young, am getting old. 
 

There is no other way around it.  All of us face the reality of age; another day, another month, another year, another decade.  Life, by God’s grace, moves on.  However, we can feel the ever present affects of sin in our world in our very bones, our organs, and in the wrinkles on our faces.  And even as the years pass by are given an instruction by Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:16 to not lose heart, to not be discourage and saddened.  “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” What a beautiful reminder and promise that Paul brings to our attention.  Realizing that our bodies,and beards, are growing old and weak we are told that our spirits are being renewed, refreshed, restored day by day by our Father in heaven.  He is at work carrying us along throughout our lives.

 

Life has many ups and downs that sway between the two extremes.  Paul explains our lives and all that we experience as a “light momentary affliction” in verse17.  When I think about the experiences of life, some of the things that come to mind are anything but “light.”  I think about cancer, loss of a loved one,divorce, trauma, loss of property, bankruptcy, a wayward child, and the list goes on of things that are anything but “light.”  How could Paul say that the presence of a debilitating and persistent illness is “light” or the loss of a spouse is a“light momentary affliction”?  How can he say that his own imprisonment and eventual martyrdom for the sake of the Gospel is “light”?

 

He can say that it is light and momentary only because it is “preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient,but the things that are unseen are eternal.”  Our life experiences are only “light and momentary” when they set against the completed work of Jesus on the cross.  What Jesus accomplished on the cross gives us hope that pain will end, that the broken will be restored, that justice will be done and that death will be no more!  As believers we must live our lives with our eyes on Christ.  We must keep our hearts fixed on him who is eternal as we walk through a world that is passing away. 

 
Paul instructs us in Colossians3:1-4:  “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears,then you also will appear with him in glory.”  Gray hairs will abound, bodies will ache, and hearts will mourn but through it all we have the promise that Jesus is enough,his sacrifice was sufficient, and his victory is permanent.

Our Time...God's Will

Sunday, November 10, 2013 View Comments Comments (0)
November 10, 2013 at 9:13pm

Where does the time go?  According to extensive web research conducted by myself over a 5 minute time period I have discovered where some of our time goes.  The average person in an life of average length spends roughly 11yrs 4mo at work, 3,000hrs shaving, 11yrs in front of the television, 4yrs 4mo eating, 115 days laughing, and 5 months complaining.  So where does our time go?  Everywhere!  Time passes in the blink of an eye.  Even the idea of "present" time has to remain fluid.  As soon as it happens, or I think it,  it no longer remains the "present" but has now gone on to be in the "past."

Paul says in Ephesians 5:15-17, "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." The warning Paul gives us about the use of our time is very clear.  We can be unwise how we spend the days that God graces us with and we need to be careful because "the days are evil."  Unfortunately, throughout my life I have experienced how easy it is to waste time being unproductive and it is equally easy to find unhealthy activities that would like nothing better than to have a piece of my time.  This is why Paul encourages all of us to be wise.  God, through his love and grace, blesses us each with a limited amount of time on Earth and we are told to be good stewards of that time.  So, who sharpens you like iron?  Invest in that relationship.  What activities cause you to stumble?  Flee them.  What drives you closer to the Father?  Pursue that.  As new creations we are called to be wise with our time so lets put the gospel into practice and renew how we spend our time.

Finally... Did verse 17 resonate with you?  Here it is again: "... understand what the will of The Lord is."  Time, viewed through our eyes, is very limited.  I see 24 hours a day and that means 8hrs of sleep, 9hrs of work, and the rest of the day is broken down into eating, getting ready and various other little activities.  But God has a will and a plan for our time that exceeds hours, minutes, months, years and extends into eternity.  God has plans to use his children in ways that they could never imagine or expect.  Abraham never thought he would be used to father a nation, Andrew and Peter never planned to be more than fishermen, Paul never expected to be used by the Messiah (who's followers he was persecuting), and I never thought Jesus, God incarnate, would be wounded and nailed to a tree for me.  In the words of Paul himself, "Oh, the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways!"

Time?  It's fleeting.  Trust him and his will.  He doesn't work through our strength to accomplish his plans but he works by his own power through our weaknesses to accomplish a greater purpose.  Trust the God that gave you life and conquered death and the grave through his son Jesus Christ.  Pursue His will for your time and you will be satisfied.