Growing Stronger Inwardly
February 2, 2024, 5:00 PM

Happy Groundhog Day to everyone!
I heard today that the most famous of all groundhogs - Punxsutawney Phil - came out of his burrow and did not see his shadow. Therefore, it means spring is right around the corner. Let's pray Phil is right!
This marks the first time since 2020 that Phil predicted an early spring. It's too bad that Phil didn't see COVID-19 coming in February 2020!
By the way: Did you hear what the French groundhog saw when he woke up today? His châteauOkay, I'll stop with the jokes!
In my family, we always had another reason to celebrate February 2nd.
February 2nd is my father's birthday.
Today (02.02.24), he turned 83 years old and we had a little party at the facility where he now lives.
I've noticed that my father's health seems to have deteriorated a lot lately.
He fell and broke his hip about one year ago. That seemed to be a major turning point.
My dad was diagnosed with dementia about 10 years ago.
When my mother died in late 2014, I (being an only child) became the primary caregiver/guardian of my dad.
It has not been easy watching my dad decline. It has been said, "Getting older isn't for wimps!" I believe it to be very true!
If I am not careful, I can easily become depressed about my dad's condition.
Sometimes it seems like everywhere I turn I am reminded of the aging process.
Last week, I was talking with my good friend Dan Underwood. Dan serves as a missionary in Belize, Central America.
Dan deals with an ongoing neurological condition akin to ALS. Recently, he has been dealing with some intestinal pain as well. Dan readily acknowledges that his physical body is breaking down and will not likely be getting any better.
While his health continues to decline, the ministry in Belize is going great.
Dan is having the best ministry days of his life. The church he serves in the village of Cotton Tree is doing very well. Dan says the work in Cotton Tree has been, "fulfilling and fruitful."
I am reminded of (and encouraged by) what the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18..."Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
Even though our physical bodies are dying, as followers of Christ, we can become renewed day by day by the Holy Spirit living inside of us.
Once out of the baptistry, we are to continue the growing up process and be more and more like Christ.
As I look around, however, I see many churches filled with Christians who never grow up spiritually. They are comfortable with the initial part of the sanctification process and stop there. That is a problem.
This coming Sunday (02.04.24), we are going to talk about growing stronger inwardly with our spiritual lives.
We will wrap up our series of messages from the Old Testament book of Haggai as talk about the importance of trying to live holy lives.
This coming Sunday will also mark the last Sunday Brother Joe Cooper will be with us for a while. Brother Joe has agreed to preach for the Chaplin Christian Church in Nelson County, KY, for a few months as they are without a preacher. Joe will continue to be teaching on Wednesday nights at FCC. Our prayers are with Brother Joe and his ministry with the church in Chaplin, KY.
I hope and pray that we will see you this Sunday at FCC!
Until then...
God Bless,
Greg H