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Outwardly Perishing, Inwardly Renewing

Once again, I passed my annual physical exam, but not without one interesting exchange between doctor and patient. “Doctor”, I said, “I used to be able to go full speed ahead for days and even weeks, and while I still come home refreshed, it now takes me several days to get over every ministry experience or trip.” As I expected, the answer had to do with age. It reminded me of 2 Corinthians 4:16, “Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” Paul’s reference to the “outward man” related to the body, the flesh, the human conditions of life, while the “inward man”, was a reference to our moral and spiritual being. The outward is “perishing.” One commentary says, “Grows old; becomes weak and feeble; loses its vigor and elasticity under the many trials which we endure.” Lest someone think this begins in old age, medical research shows that parts of our bodies begin to deteriorate
as early as age twenty. Whereby then is the inner man renewed? By the power of God; by the energy of the Holy Spirit, and this is accomplished “day by day.” So whatever your age, wake up every morning with expectation that, regardless of the condition of your body, your spirit is being renewed. After an early trial in her life, Carolina Berg grew up to become Sweden’s most celebrated author of Gospel hymns. Among other hymns, she wrote:
“Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.”

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