The inner and outer self…

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Scripture: Psalm 92:12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. 14 In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap…

Observation: The psalmist celebrates the blessings of God upon those who follow him, who are fruitful even “in old age” (v.14). This doesn’t mean God’s people defy the normal aging processes of the body. Abraham, Moses, and other pillars of Old Testament faith eventually died like everyone else. However, even in their last days they were a blessing to their people, teaching the ways of righteousness and passing on a legacy of faithfulness to God the Father. They produced eternal fruit to the very end.

Application: So I turned 50 years old last month. My kids think I’m ancient – might as well be 100! Others tell me the best years are ahead. Maybe. But I can definitely say that I’m beginning to feel my age, despite the fact that I am eating healthier and working out more consistently than at just about any time in my life. Little by little, my outer self is breaking down. And one day it will give out on me entirely. That’s the truth.

However, here’s another truth. My inner self is growing stronger all the time. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more disciplined in my prayer life, in my dwelling in God’s word, in my time of rest and abiding with the Father. I still have a long way to go, but the Lord has given me grace to draw ever closer to him. I may not appear to be “green and full of sap” on the outside. That’s for sure. BUT the inside of me is prospering. Why is that important?

It’s the inner self that will live eternally with God, not the outer self we tend to obsess over. 

How are you doing on the inside these days? Are you growing in your capacity to embody the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control? Are you caring as much to your inner self as your outer self?

Prayer: Lord, the older I get the more I realize how brief this mortal life truly is. It’s here today, gone tomorrow. There are many reading this blog today who know exactly what I mean. And while it’s true that our outer selves are wasting away a little at a time, our inner selves can grow for all eternity. What a blessing! Give us grace to invest more in the part of us that will live forever. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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