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Renewed in Christ

Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

But this precious treasure - this light and power that now shine within us - is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within us must be from God and is not our own.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don't know why things happen as they do, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. These bodies of our are constantly facing death just as Jesus did; so it is clear to all that it is only the living Christ within [who keeps us safe].

Yes, we live under constant danger to our lives because we serve the Lord, but this gives us constant opportunities to show forth the power of Jesus Christ within our dying bodies. Because of our preaching we face death, but it has resulted in eternal life for you. 2 Corinthians 4: 7-12 (TLB)

Sheryl Ramstad lives in Minnesota. Her brother, a congressman and devoted public servant, suffered from Lewy body dementia. It was painful to watch the disease take her brother from her as his body and mind deteriorated year by year, month by month, and sometimes day by day. Some days he could no longer remember who he had married or how old he was.

During this time, Sheryl's brother was in a Bible study with two close friends who observed his decline. Near the end of his life, he had glimpses of heaven; he would talk to his deceased parents and grandparents and see light. In his final days, he assured his family that everything would be all right. As his body and mind approached their earthly end, Sheryl's brother seemed to be at peace - a peace that surpassed understanding (Phil.4:7).

Today's scripture reading comforted Sheryl. Although her brother had been wasting away for a long time, in Christ his spirit was being made new each day. What a hopeful message for us all! As we age and our bodies begin to decline, the Bible assures us that "we are being renewed, day by day," until it is time for us to go home to our Lord and Savior.

Prayer: Loving God, even as our bodies fail us, comfort us with the knowledge that we are being renewed in spirit through the love of Christ. We pray in his precious name. Amen.

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