August / September 2017 - Vol. 93

 physical health check on the
Is Life Diminishing or Advancing?
by Tom Caballes

"Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…"
- 2 Corinthians 4:16B-17 ESV
In 2013, both my parents died a few months apart. My brother-in-law said to me, “we are next in line.” He made me realise that sooner or later, just like anyone else, death will knock on my door. In my whole life, I have also seen the passing away of many relatives and friends. I can see my body getting more wrinkly, slower, and sickly. It looks like life is slowly diminishing. On the other hand, my life in God is advancing – as I get more mileage in life, my salvation is getting nearer that when I first believed [see Romans 13:11]. My blessed hope, my ultimate joy, my priceless treasure, my greatest dream, and my greatest purpose in life – to go to heaven and see God face to face – is getting closer day by day. Yes, my earthly life is fading, but my life with God is progressing. How about you – do you experience the same irony as well?

So What Do You Do Now, Knowing Your Life is Both Diminishing and Advancing in Different Ways?

  1. 1. Take good care of your physical well-being. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. [1 Corinthians 9:25 ESV] Aim to have a regular exercise. Visit your doctor regularly. You only have one physical body – take care of it well!
  2. Do not lose focus on life. Life can be very challenging, and different trials can throw a spanner on your focus. Keep your eyes dead-set on heaven, no matter what. Do not compromise heaven!
  3. Be renewed in the Spirit regularly. Invite the Holy Spirit to draw close to you. Shed away the sins that cling close to you – see Romans 12:1. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. [James 4:8]
  4. Build spiritual treasures, not earthly ones. How? Focus on loving God and serving His people. Become Christ-like. Be generous with your material things, especially to those in need and your brothers and sisters. Share the gospel in season and out. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. [Galatians 6:9-10 ESV] Share the gospel with others.
  5. Be ready to “go” any time the Lord calls you. Settle all finances, insurance, wills, and trusts, so that those whom you will leave behind can carry on living well after you have gone. Leave all your earthly attachments behind. Travel light as a transient in this earthly life; your real home and destination is still to come.
  6. Never give up and lose hope! Stand your ground to the end. Expect hardships and suffering to come in your way with God on this side of eternity. Sin and temptations will not stop bothering you until your last breath. When all is said and done, look forward to the day that you can say, “It’s all worth it – all the troubles and all the sufferings that life can throw at me – because heaven is my home and my reward.”
Other Scripture passages:
  1. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. [2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV]
  2. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. [Romans 13:11B ESV]
  3. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." [Revelation 21:4 ESV]
  4. Other references: 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Romans 8:18; Matthew 6:19-21; and 1 Timothy 6:17-19.
For personal reflection or group sharing
  1. In your life, do you experience both its physical recession and spiritual growth? In what ways?
  2. What is the one thing that can make you give up and lose hope in your spiritual journey?
Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.

Top illustration by (c) Eraxion at

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