Summary: Having an eternal perspective will radically alter your values and desires (a sermon given on our Senior Sunday).
Since today is Senior’s Sunday, I thought I’d share with you the Top Ten Signs You’re Getting Older. You know you’re getting older when…
• Ten, you’ve got too much room in the house and not enough room in the medicine cabinet.
• Nine, your little black book contains only names ending in M.D.
• Eight, you know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions.
• Seven, your children begin to look middle-aged.
• Six, your favorite part of the newspaper is “Twenty-Five Years Ago Today.”
• Five, you sink your teeth into a steak, and they stay there.
• Four, you look forward to a dull evening at home.
• Three, your back goes out more than you do.
• Two, the little gray-haired lady you help across the street is your wife.
• One, you sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it going.
Someone has said there are seven decades of man: Spills, Drills, Thrills, Bills, Ills, Pills, and Wills.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:16-18).
Paul writes, “We do not lose heart.” It’s easy to lose heart, isn’t it? It’s easy to feel like giving up. It’s easy to be discouraged, disillusioned, depressed, and disappointed. The reason why it’s easy to lose heart in this life is because we face so many troubles.
Each stage of life has its own set of troubles. The troubles that seniors experience include loneliness, sickness, failing eyesight and hearing, vulnerability, etc. Paul says, “Outwardly we are wasting away.” That’s pretty blunt. Our outward man/bodies are decaying (NASB), dying (NLT), and perishing (NKJV). Seniors know this better than anyone. But that’s reality for all of us, not just seniors. Today, all of us here are one day closer to dying than we were yesterday. That’s a sobering thought.
Consider the problems Paul was experiencing: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:8-9). What was the secret of Paul’s courage in the midst of so much adversity? He did not dwell on his present problems; he looked ahead to the fulfillment of God’s promises. In other words, Paul had an eternal perspective.
[SLIDE] BIG IDEA: Having an eternal perspective will radically alter your values and desires.
This is why Paul could describe his troubles as “light and momentary.” This is why he could say in Romans 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Though his problems were real and intense, his problems did not overcome him. Instead, he says, “we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.” Why did he do this? Because “what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” In other words, “The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever” (The Message). The unseen things are what count because they are eternal. They last forever. The seen things, the things of this life, do not. They are temporary.
Of course, to see what is unseen is impossible. How can we fix our eyes on what is unseen? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Seeing the unseen requires the eye of faith. Seeing the unseen requires believing the promises of God concerning your future. Seeing the unseen requires being certain that God will do for you what He has said He will do.
Most seniors like to talk about “the good old days.” They like to tell stories of the past. And they like to repeat them over and over and over again. But those good old days are nothing compared to the future God has in store for us. What will happen when you “fix our eyes” on what is unseen? As I said before, your values and desires will be radically altered (three ways).
1. You will stop obsessing about your present body and start longing for your new body.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned about our bodies. Obviously, we should practice healthy habits. We should eat right, get regular exercise, etc. But I believe that there is too much emphasis placed on our bodies today. No matter how much we exercise or how healthy we eat, our bodies are still only temporary. Our bodies will still die one day.