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Friday, June 7, 2013
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"Day By Day"
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16).
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.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
“Day by Day” was written by a young Swedish woman who learned early in life the all-important lesson of living each day with the conscious presence and strength of her Lord. Lina Sandell has often been called the “Fanny Crosby of Sweden” for her many contributions to gospel hymnody. From her pen flowed approximately 650 hymns which strongly influenced the waves of revival that swept the Scandinavian countries during the latter half of the nineteenth century.
At the age of twenty-six Lina had an experience that greatly influenced her life. She was accompanying her father aboard ship to the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, across Lake Vattern. The ship gave a sudden lurch and Lina’s father, a Lutheran minister, fell overboard and drowned before the eyes of his devoted daughter. Although Lina had written many hymn texts prior to this tragic experience, now more than ever poetic thoughts that expressed a tender, child-like trust in her Lord began to flow freely from her broken heart.
Ev'ry day the Lord Himself is near
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He whose Name is Counselor and Pow'r;
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As your days, your strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.
Today we want to share a word of encouragement with those who may be "losing heart". For many reasons the cares of this life can weigh us down and discourage us but these conditions are not unique to our day. The apostle Paul wrote a selection to encourage the Corinthian believers nearly 2,000 years ago that is an "evergreen" message.
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day."
1) "Therefore we do not lose heart." I like it when the preacher preaches or the Bible passages are written using the 1st person plural (we or us). Paul began chapter 4 by stating, "Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart." Jesus' commission to Paul to be a minister of a new and better covenant was one of the reasons he did not grow discouraged and lose heart in spite of seemingly overwhelming odds. Likewise we need to fundamentally remember God's call to each of us.
Bible teacher John MacArthur notes, "All Christians can learn from Paul’s example how to endure the loneliness, disappointment, pain, and persecution they face. It was his vision of God’s glory revealed in the face of Jesus Christ that radically changed Paul’s perspective on life—including his sufferings. That vision is the foundation for living a triumphant life; because of the astounding realities of all that was his in Christ and the new covenant, Paul could not lose heart. No amount of trouble could make him neglect his calling, privileges, or duty."
"Lose heart" can convey the idea of becoming weary in or tired of doing something, and can convey the idea of losing one’s motivation in continuing a desirable pattern of conduct. Instead the person becomes fainthearted or despondent in view of the trial or difficulty.
2) "But though our outer man is decaying." The present tense signifies that this process of physical decay and deterioration is inexorable and unavoidable. The seeds of decay and dissolution are in the body from birth. There is no "fountain of youth" for the outer person, but there is one for the inner spirit!
The Psalmist says, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (Psalm 73:26). Robert J. Morgan writes, "All of us come to a point in life when we aren’t sure we have the strength to go on. But the Bible has very many passages for us when we feel that way. The words strong, strength, and strengthened occur over 500 times in the Bible."
3) "Yet our inner man is being renewed day by day." Spurgeon observes, "As our body, through pain and disease, is constantly sinking towards the grave, here is our continual consolation, that our inner man is renewed day by day." Tony Evans states, "God designed your life as a Christian to get younger on the inside as you get older on the outside."
Help me then in ev'ry tribulation
So to trust Your promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Your holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I am so grateful for the many passages in Scripture that provide strength and reassurance in our moments of weakness and doubt. I'm doubly grateful for brothers and sisters in our present day and those in the historic record who took hold of these truths and modeled for us what it is to live a victorious life in the midst of the daily uncertainties of this world. Our inner person is renewed with each passing day as we loosen our grip in that which passes away and take hold of that which never passes away till we reach the blessed, promised land. Amen.
Here is an interesting study from the Precept Austin online study note on the contrasts in 2 Corinthians 4 and 5:
Brooksyne's Gerbera Daisy Renewed and Thriving: Yesterday we stopped at Lowe's where Stephen and I part ways: I head for the gardening area while he heads to the hardware department. As is my custom I scan the shelves where plants are to be thrown out if a customer sees no possibility of reviving the spent or nearly dead plant/flower. Of course there is an incentive since the price is greatly reduced, almost a give away price at times. But I also feel the personal challenge to give the plants some TLC (soaking water, trim all yellowed parts away, repot if the plants are root bound) and in no time they're a lovely addition to my garden. Yesterday's gerbera daisy looked beyond hope with lifeless leaves, most of them yellowed (but I saw a teensy weensy little flower deep in the center of the yellowed foliage and thought there was some hope.) Sure enough, after the trim, soaking water and gentle rainfall all day yesterday we have a good as new gerbera daisy today. Stephen thought it impossible at the time but was freshly convinced today! Don't you find that the Word of God can revive our spirit in the way that water and sun revive a dying plant.
"Day By Day" Video Antrim Mennonite Choir
"Look for Me At Jesus' Feet" Video Booth Brothers (This Sunday evening we will have the opportunity to hear the Booth Brothers live at the "Music in the Park" concert series in Coleman Park in Lebanon PA. Here is info about this series)
"The Power of Your Love" Video Geoff Bullock
"Create In Me A Clean Heart" Video Keith Green
"Renew Me" Video Avalon
"Renew Them in Our Day" Video A song based on Habakkuk 3:2
"Gracious God My Heart Renew" Video Unspecified church choir
Here is a story about Lina Sandell Berg "Songs out of Tragedy"
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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