3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.— 2 Cor. 5:3-5 NLT
When God first made man in His image, He looked at what He had made and said “it is very good” (Gen 1:31). Decay and death were not known at this time. Then sin came into the world and things were no longer “very good”. Our bodies, along with all creation, started to deteriorate and eventually die. Jesus came into the world as a man to redeem the fallen creation and restore it to the order that had been in the garden. Jesus brought hope to a dying world. He came that we might be made “new creations”. Newness requires that we get rid of the old. We are saved when we accept Jesus and our Spirits are renewed but we remain in a fleshly body in a sinful world. The Spirit is being renewed day by day but the flesh is decaying day by day.
16 So we have no reason to despair. Despite the fact that our outer humanity is falling apart and decaying, our inner humanity is breathing in new life every day. — 2 Cor.4:16 The Voice
Our hope, the thing that makes Christianity different from anything else, is that we will one day leave these rotting, fleshly bodies and live in those heavenly bodies that God has created for each of us. Bodies that do not suffer pain and will not decay or die. God has prepared and continues to prepare us for this transition. We have a guarantee of this that lives inside of us so that we are never alone or without hope. Until the process is complete and Jesus comes again, we live hopefully and joyfully “looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith”.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Every day our natural, physical bodies are responding to the passing of time. God designed the human body to age chronologically, but until sin came into the world, the bodies did not “age”. The wasting away of our natural bodies is a result of sin. We see these outward changes and sometimes we are tempted to lose heart. But inside these old tents of clay is the real us, the us that is being renewed day by day. As we travel through our journeys here on earth, we have problems and troubles. These things are temporary and fleeting. They are as nothing compared to the eternal glory that awaits us. We must train ourselves to focus on the unseen, eternal Spiritual things. If we allow our minds to focus on the things and people around us, we will be filled with doubts and fears. When we focus on things eternal and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we can live abundant, joy-filled lives. That is what God wants us to do. As humans, we must come to the conclusion that “we cannot”, but we can allow God to do all things through us. To do that, we need to fill our minds with bible verses that encourage us and sing songs of praise all day long. Listen to the Holy Spirit and we will be encouraged and renewed minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. Then we can live in peace.
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. — John 14:26, 27 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Resurrection morning! Ain’t no grave could hold Him down!! The cross is a necessary step for Jesus to get back to His glory. He carried His cross, died to Himself for us and now He is alive forevermore! Do you see the example here? The cross Jesus asks us to bear is a necessary step for us to get to glory. We carry the cross, we die to ourselves for Jesus and we have life everlasting!! As Paul tells us we must be willing to share in the sufferings of Jesus. But wait, read the next verse. There is good news! 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.–2 Cor. 4:16-18 (NIV) When we die to ourselves and bury the flesh, we can sing along with Jesus, “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold Me Down”!!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Paul is telling us not to live like ignorant and unconverted people do. They have not been regenerated and their minds are full of darkness. They do not walk in the light of the truth of the Gospel. Why? Because they have refused to heed the call of God’s Spirit and have refused to be obedient, so their hearts and minds are closed to any move by the Spirit. Therefore, they live only to satisfy the lusts of the flesh and they participate in all kinds of sinful activity. But we know better. Why? Because we have heard and accepted the Truth. So, we walk according to God’s Spirit. That means that we stop our sinful ways that were corrupted by lust and deception. We are now a new creature and we are guided by the Spirit of God. The real “us” that is carried around in these tents of flesh is being made into God’s image. We look forward to the day when we shall see Jesus. At that time, we will be totally converted into His image. “What a wonderful change in my heart has been wrought’ I’ve been washed by the blood of the Lamb.” Hallelujah and Amen!
28 After Martha said this, she went back and talked to her sister Mary alone. Martha said, “The Teacher is here and he is asking for you.”29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to Jesus. 30 Jesus had not yet come into the town but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews were with Mary in the house, comforting her. When they saw her stand and leave quickly, they followed her, thinking she was going to the tomb to cry there. 32 But Mary went to the place where Jesus was. When she saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw Mary crying and the Jews who came with her also crying, he was upset and was deeply troubled. 34 He asked, “Where did you bury him?” “Come and see, Lord,” they said. 35 Jesus cried. 36 So the Jews said, “See how much he loved him.” 37 But some of them said, “If Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man, why couldn’t he keep Lazarus from dying?”—John 11:28-37 (NCV)
Mary made the exact same statement that Martha had made, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died”. The weeping of Mary, Martha and their friends clearly upset Jesus. So much so that Jesus began to cry. The crowd thought He was crying because Lazarus had died. Little did they realize that the death of Lazarus had nothing to do with His tears. Jesus was heartbroken because of the lack of understanding and faith displayed by these people including Mary and Martha. You can almost hear Jesus asking them the same question He asked His disciples. 17 Jesus answered, “You people have no faith, and your lives are all wrong. How long must I put up with you? How long must I continue to be patient with you? Bring the boy here.” –Matt. 17:17 (NCV)
We have to ask ourselves the question: How many times have we broken the heart of the one who loved us enough to die for us? Has our lack of faith and our disobedience caused a river of tears? But God has already forgotten all those sins and mistakes. Let each of us pledge to do the same and press forward with a renewed faith that brings gladness and joy to our Lord and Savior. It would bring joy to His heart if each of us truly “cast all our cares upon Him” and let Him carry us through every situation. His mercies are new every morning. 22 The Lord’s love never ends; his mercies never stop.
23 They are new every morning; Lord, your loyalty is great.–Lamentations 3:22,23 (NCV)
Psalm 103: 1-5 (NLT)
1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s
In Isaiah 46, God reminds us to “Remember the former things of old, for I am God and there is none else…” . Sometimes we forget who it is that has created us, redeemed us, and kept us safe and secure. We get that big swell of pride that “we” have done all of this and God has to remind us that He is the Creator and He is still in charge. In Psalm 19:13, we are reminded that one of the most troublesome areas for Christians is the “presumptuous” sins. Presuming that we know God’s plan or that we have a better plan. But here in Psalm 103, we see the proper relationship that we should have with God. We should always be in a state of prayer and praise for all the good things that God has done for us. When we focus on these things, our lives are truly filled with good things and we feel as if we could fly on eagle’s wings. Praising God brings an overflowing joy to our Spirits and causes our bodies to be renewed. Rejoice for “this is the day that the Lord has made.”