Outwardly and Inwardly Aging

erfefI know that Christmas is still several months away but I enjoy my Christmas movies. Two movies I enjoy watching every year are Home Alone and Home Alone 2. Macaulay Culkin never ages. I know now he is probably well in his 30’s. This is true of all the old movies that we watch. When we see the actors today, we are amazed at how they have aged.

Though we all age outwardly there are many who do not mature inwardly. In Luke 2:52, Luke said concerning Jesus: “He increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Jesus not only grew physically but also spiritually. What is wisdom? Proverbs 1:7 says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” How do we describe fear? The Gospel Transformation Bible says: “It is not terror or dread or harm, but proper and worshipful regard for all that God is in His wisdom, power, holiness, mercy, and love.” Jesus grew daily in His love for His Father. The same should be true of us. As our bodies mature so should our faith.

In Proverbs 16:31 we read: “Gray hair is a crown of glory, it is gained in a righteous life.” There are many people who are old in years and yet very immature in their wisdom. When I was in a civic club in my mid-20’s most of the men were my dad’s age. As a young pastor I was amazed at their language and some of their conduct. I naively thought that people twice my age would have had more wisdom than they did. The Cornerstone Bible Commentary says: “The crown jewels of those on the righteous path are the gray hairs on their heads—their long life. This resplendent diadem reveals the superiority of wisdom over gold (Proverbs 16:16), since gold and silver cannot add one day to our life (see Matthew 6:24-27). The experience of long years is but a foretaste of the endless stretch of time that is the path of life.” In other words, the older we get in years the wiser we should be in our faith and in our life. Sometime older people know more because they have lived longer.

photo 1 (1)In 2 Corinthians 4:16 Paul said: “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” As we read in I Corinthians 15, the older we get the more conscious we become of our physical weaknesses and our human limitations. There are certain things we can no longer do and sometime the energy we had years ago is waning. However, inwardly Paul said we are being renewed day by day. How are we are being renewed? Colossians 3:10 says: “And have put on a new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator.” Romans 12:2 demands that the believers “be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” Renewal here means knowing more about Jesus and becoming more like Him.

2 Corinthians 4:18 says: “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. This verse is a commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:18 where we are to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. The apostle Paul experienced a greater Christ-likeness even though physically he was becoming progressively weaker. Peter Naylor said: “It is not a question of balance, as if the positive compensates nicely for the negative. An inner God-given strength far outstrips bodily decay, the proportions being staggeringly different.”

This we call sanctification. As we look ahead in life, I Corinthians 15:44 reminds us: “If there is a natural body, there is a spiritual body.” This means that though we now struggle with sin, the day is coming when we shall be forever done with sin and enjoy the presence of God for all eternity with a resurrected body.

See you Sunday.