Summary: Inward vs. outward change. We live in a world of face lifts when we need a soul-lift.
I. You Know You’re Getting Old When…
• You and your teeth don’t sleep together.
• You try to straighten out the wrinkles in your socks and discover you aren’t wearing any.
• At the breakfast table you hear snap, crackle, pop and you’re not eating cereal.
• You are on a first name basis with your pharmacist.
• It takes twice as long - to look half as good.
A. Scripture: II Corinthians 4:16-18, Paul continues to defend his ministry and warns us not to only focus on this world and this life.
B. Power Verse: II Corinthians 4:8-9
II. We live in a plastic surgery world.Men and women are interested in plastic surgery: The survey found that 48 percent of women were interested in liposuction, cosmetic surgery, or a combination of the two. An additional 23 percent said they would "possibly" be interested in the procedures. Despite the traditional connotations of cosmetic surgery as a feminine procedure, a surprising number of men expressed a similar interest. Twenty-three percent of the men surveyed said they would definitely be interested, and 17 percent said they might be interested.
A. Thesis: outwardly we are wasting away, II Corinthians 4:16.
1. His opponents were focused on the bodily presence, rhetorical skills, and money. The Greco-Roman world worshiped the body, consider the Olympic Games. They focused exclusively on the external. exo anthropos dee-af-thi-ro
a. diaphtheiro, dee-af-thi’-ro; to rot thoroughly, i.e. to ruin :- corrupt, destroy, perish.
b. 4:4, “the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so that cannot see the light of the gospel…”
c. 4:18, most in this life focus on only what is “seen.”
2. We are going to great efforts to stop the rot. Despite domestic concerns like inflation and a looming home lending crisis, average Americans continue to spend money on plastic surgery. According to the latest procedural statistics report from the (ASPS), almost 12 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2007 - a 7 percent increase from 2006 and a 59 percent increase from 2000.
3. In Paul’s day as in our day most focus on what is visible and transitory.
a. Our culture worships the human body.
Who would ever imagine that as you eat your frozen pizza you can watch on TV someone receiving stomach by-pass surgery, collagen injections, and liposuction?
b. Our actions to resist the inevitable become obvious and therefore ridiculous.
• If you can get a tan in a can, why get one?
• If everyone knows you have had multiple surgeries why get them?
• If your aim is Phyllis Diller, then God bless you.
c. Embrace your aging!
• Look forward to it because in your second childhood and in your forgetfulness you can hide your own Easter eggs.
• Wrinkles are character lines.
• Mr. “Olin Mills” sat with our family to view our recent church directory family photos. As we viewed the photos he said now we do offer a touch up service. I thought—Leigh Anne is not going to be happy. Then Mr. Photographer said, Dad we could remove some of the lines on your forehead!!!!!!!!!!
“As a white candle
In a holy place,
So is the beauty
Of an aged face.”
Joseph Campbell, “The Old Woman”
B. Antithesis: inwardly we are being renewed day by day. II Cor. 4:16-18
1. Paul tells us there is another option. We can be renewed!, es o then from inside.
a. “Inwardly,” we are being renewed.
b. 4:18, focus on what is unseen in this life but is eternal.
c. Renewed: anakainoo, an-ak-ahee-no’-o; from Greek 303 (ana) and a derivative of Greek 2537 (kainos); to renovate :- renew.
d. “day by day”
e. “Earthly tent,” II Cor. 4:16; 5:1, 4.
2. Some of the most beautiful people I know are godly people.
a. Photo of Billy Graham
b. Photo of Mother Teresa
c. Photo of Brad Lauer
3. Choose to focus on the invisible and the eternal.
a. Human heart: seek to have a soul lift instead of a facelift.
b. The inward renovation occurs with Jesus Christ.
• 4:10, “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
• It is a daily process, “day by day.”
• His life in us and not our life.
c. Future: The future is often what is unseen now.
C. Synthesis: we have this treasure in jars of clay.
1. 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God not from us.”
a. “jars of clay,” baked clay pots, cheap, breakable and replace able but served a necessary function.
b. 4:16, “therefore do not lose heart”
c. 4:7, “to show that this all surpassing power is from God.”