Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 17, 2012

The Tent We Occupy, by David Bower

 Are We Nothing More Than Our Tent?

In 2 Corinthians 5:1 we read, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”

I like that comparison of our mortal bodies with a tent; this is something we wear for a short time and will then leave it forever. As I’ve pointed out before it is the only part of us that has not been redeemed by the blood of Christ at the point of our personal salvation.

Paul then goes on to say in verse 4, “For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” As you know we will receive our eternal, resurrection bodies at the rapture of the church; an event which may be close.

Although our tent is indeed temporal, it is nevertheless a temple of God the Holy Spirit and is deserving of our respect and care. We should never take for granted the wonderful honor God has bestowed upon us by making our mortal bodies the abode of His Holy Spirit!

Global Media Outreach 

I have been remarkably blessed by the opportunity to work as an online missionary for Global Media Outreach. Since I started this ministry in February of this year I have had a wonderful opportunity to meet and talk to brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world and provide guidance to those seeking answers that can only be found in Christ.

These are precious souls that share with me their hopes and dreams, their problems and their fears and I try to point them to God’s answers as found in the Bible. It has been an amazing experience and what is especially interesting to me is I have absolutely no idea what the majority of them look like and very likely never will this side of heaven.

What is also interesting is how totally irrelevant that is to my personal concern for their well-being. Many are my brothers and sisters with whom I will spend all eternity and the only really important thing is that they too love Jesus and have joined me in God’s family.

On reflection I’m inclined to see my inability to see their tents as an advantage in one way; my opinion of them is based on what is going on inside, not how they look at the moment on the outside.

Greater Beauty with Age

The older I get the more I realize the greater importance of the inner person over the outer appearance. No matter how valiantly one may struggle, the outer appearance begins to decay whereas the inner person may continue to grow in beauty and sparkle brightly for those who know the inner person; notice I say may, not will.

Sadly this can go both ways depending on the priorities of the inner person. We have all seen older people who were bright and radiated joy and happiness and we have all seen those who brightened a room by leaving it; most of us fall somewhere in between those two extremes.

 The opportunity to live a joyous life is available to all who know Christ and walk by the power of God the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is the birthright of all who have been born again and have become a new creation but it falls to the individual to claim that birthright and manifest it in their lives.

Even as our bodies are aging we have the opportunity to demonstrate in our lives the process of being conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ and more perfectly reflect His beauty and glory as we live our lives controlled by His Spirit.

The Pitfalls of Appearance

There is a challenge when one deviates from the norm either toward the direction of beauty or unattractiveness. Although standards of both vary widely from society to society each of us may be inclined to value ourselves based on others perception of our external appearance.

Literature is filled with stories of those discriminated against because of a physical deformity. What is less mentioned is the challenge faced by a woman, for example, of surpassing beauty that is the object of praise and adulation. This presents its own type of challenge and can even be a handicap when it comes to the development of inner beauty.

I sometimes wonder when I see a very beautiful woman, how successful she has been in developing her inner beauty. She has gone through her life with a serious obstacle to the development of her inner beauty. In too many instances the appearance of her tent has skewed her perspective on life and inner beauty; her physical appearance has been her beginning and her end.

 As beauty fades, and it always does, the individual, either male or female, who has not taken the time to establish a fulfilling spiritual relationship with God and used divine resources to develop inner beauty is left with nothing but frustration and despair.

We, as Christians, have both the opportunity and the responsibility to embrace the blessings God has made available to each of us. What a joy it is to be in the presence of one who manifests the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives. I’m sure we have all known those individuals who made us smile at the sight of them and who brightened our lives by their presence.

This precious gift is available to all who know the Lord as their Savior and have applied the principles of the Christian walk to their own lives. “We walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

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