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Date: October 10

Category: Strength in God

2 Corinthians 4:16
"Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day."

Slobodan & Ljiljana KrstevskiPaul is speaking about the spiritual reality of our existence. It says here in verse 16b,"Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away." The moment we are born, our bodies begin to decay until we reach the point of death. But we can see here that the body of a person does not represent the actual person. The body is only the house where the person lives. The actual person is the inner self, the spirit. It says in verse 16c, "yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day." As people, we are primarily spiritual beings. We have a soul and we live inside a body. Even though our bodies are constantly wasting away, our spirits are constantly being renewed everyday.

But in order for our spirits to be renewed, there is something we have to do. We have to take care of it. For example, we feed our natural bodies at least three meals a day. We give our bodies water to drink. We wash our bodies; we clothe our bodies; we protect our bodies. We do all sorts of things to take care of our bodies. Yet our bodies (the outer man) are constantly decaying. Eventually our bodies will die and we will receive a glorified body (1 Corinthians 15:52). But in the same way we take care of our bodies, we need to take care of our spirits as well. Your spirit needs to be fed as well. It needs to be washed, clothed, and protected as well.

The body that you live in will experience affliction. For example, Paul experienced a lot of affliction while he was preaching the Gospel. We read about some of them in 2 Corinthians 11:23b-25, "with far more extensive and abundant labours, with far more imprisonments, [beaten] with countless stripes, and frequently [at the point of] death. Five times I received from [the hands of] the Jews forty [lashes all] but one; three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been aboard a ship wrecked at sea; a [whole] night and a day I have spent [adrift] on the deep." So Paul experienced a lot of harsh persecution throughout his ministry. But even though Paul's outer man experienced such hard affliction, he was still able to strengthen his inner man.

But how did Paul do that? Well 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, "Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting." Paul pursued after a higher goal. He sought after things that are unseen, meaning things of eternal value. Some people today only pursue after material things that are only temporal and won't last, such as a house, a car, money, or even a job. Some people pursue after those things so much that they neglect to care about others in the process. But Paul wasn't like that; he cared for others.

So the "inner self" of a person is really who the person is. We all spend a lot of time taking care of our bodies, but we all need to spend even more time taking care of the inner person because it is the inner person that is eternal. The body will eventually waste away and die, but the spirit of a person will live forever. That's why it's so important to have Jesus in your heart and have the assurance of spending eternity with Him in heaven.

But in order to stay strong spiritually, it's important to strengthen your inner self on a daily basis. You do that by reading and meditating upon the Word of God, praying to God, and spending time in His presence. That's how your spirit becomes renewed, and that's how you keep your spirit renewed even though your body may experience affliction as it decays and wastes away.

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Devotionals Categories

» After Repentance
» Divine Healing
» Faith Expressed Through Actions
» Follow God
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» Setting Goals
» Sow and Reap
» Strength in God
» The Goodness of God
» Trust in God
» Wisdom and Understanding

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