Daily Readings and Thought for September 4th. “BEING RENEWED DAY BY DAY”
Our readings in 2nd Corinthians again gave us thoughts which are very ‘heart’ provoking. There is a danger for those (and that is most of us) who are busy earning our living in an environment which has little or no thought about God or Christ, that the attitude around us will start to ‘soak’ into our way of thinking and doing – in view of this the words of Paul today about his total commitment to God and the example this set the Corinthians are very appropriate.
“So that we do not lose heart,” Paul writes, “Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.” [ch 4 v.16] Yes, it is a day by day renewal otherwise our hearts can get out of focus, like a camera can: with human nature, a good focus is NOT automatic. But our daily renewal ‘even if there is “slight momentary affliction” writes Paul, “is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison 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.”
Our daily renewal is essential so that we can see the unseen with greater clarity – with the eye of faith! What is this “weight of glory”? It is intriguing that Jesus used the Greek word for “weight” just once! In the parable about the labourers in the vineyard. The complaint of those who worked all day was that they had “borne the burden of the day”
Will glory be a “burden”? Surely not when immortal powers are possessed – but there will be weighty challenges for those reigning with Christ and who work with him “to decide disputes for many people” [Isaiah 2 v.4] As we witness the impossibility of nations to decide disputes in our days our minds struggle to grasp our potential role in the future. Maybe we can better empathize with the Psalmist who wrote, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the temple of my God …” [84 v.10].
In contrast to the “slight… affliction” Paul sees the Corinthians experiencing, we have read of the burden of affliction of Jeremiah.. We completed reading his Lamentations today. Notice his final words, his plea to God. “Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old – unless you have utterly rejected us …” We know that God has not rejected his people, the present restoration of the Jews to part of their promised land is a great stimulus to our faith in God’s plan and purpose. Finally, remember Jeremiah’s words in ch. 3 v25 we quoted 2 days ago, “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” [3 v.25] Let us seek him “day by day” as we wait for Christ’s return.