WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE TIN IS EMPTY?

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WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE TIN IS EMPTY?

Beloved, today I want to begin with a simple situation. What do you do with old biscuit tins? Do you reuse them? Do you throw them away? When does the tin remain useful and when is it too far gone? But most of all, which is more valuable, the biscuit or the tin?

“Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life, and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7 [AMPC]

Take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Whether you have porcelain white skin, or ripping muscles; whether you have a little extra around the mid-section, or are suffering the effects of your last adolescent break-out; what you are looking at is a shell. It was made from the very thing you tread on each and every day; dust. And that is why the writer of Ecclesiastes says,

“Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
And the spirit will return to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7

Yes, we are biodegradable. Our bodies are merely biscuit tins, but what is of real value is that which is in us, the spirit of life, the breath of our Father, Himself.

If you have been around loved ones who have passed on, you will realize that nothing remains the same for very long. In a matter of hours, that shell that once used to house the spirit of your dearly departed, starts to change, and change rapidly. And that is what it is meant to do, designed to do, return to the earth as it was, from whence it came. For the spirit has already returned to God.

But if you think about it, isn’t it wonderful that for the many decades you have been on earth, the ravages of decay has had a very limited effect on you, and as long as you have breath in your nostrils, your body never decays as quickly as it would if your spirit had vacated it? Why do you think that is so?

“Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?” Job 12:9-10

While you are in your body, it is our Father who sustains you, just like He sustained Abraham so that He was able to father a child when He was nearing a hundred.

But what is even more amazing is that the same God who put breath in your nostrils and life into your body, is able to put life back into it, if it ever leaked out in error, just like He did with Lazarus, just like He did with the son of the widow of Nain, just like He did with Jarius daughter.

And if something went wrong in that shell of yours, He who created you is more than able to set it right again, just like He did with the lepers, and just like He did with the countless number of others He healed.

Yet, though our bodies are important to us, we should always remember that

“Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16

“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 2 Corinthians 5:1

“For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.” 2 Corinthians 5:3

Indeed, though our Father sustains us here in the natural, we cannot escape the fact that everything around us, even our very bodies, are transient. They will pass away. Yet

“Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:5-6

But because we have put our faith in Jesus, because for us He had died and His blood has washed away our sins, making us righteous before our Father,

“…we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

For we know that no matter whatever befalls us here in the natural, even if death should come to our bodies,

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8

Death is a painful experience for many of us. When we see death, we mourn the memories, we mourn what might have been, and all that is good and right. Yet, we should always remember the reality of death for us who believe. For Jesus Himself, showed us, in literal terms, what death now means for us. For just as He rose from the dead on the third day, and just as He told Mary,

“Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” John 20:17

That is the reality of death for us. When we have finally shuffled off this mortal coil, we will rise as Jesus did, return our current bodies to the ground and return to our Father as Jesus did, and as our Father planned and purposed for it to be. For do you not remember that

“Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
And the spirit will return to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead, by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:3-11 [ESV]

That is why Paul says,

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” 1 Corinthians 15:51
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:53-54

Death is a necessary process. But it marks not the end, but the beginning; the beginning of the world in which

“…the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”” Revelation 21:3-4

When you experience loss, mourn the memories, mourn what might have been; yet rejoice because for us, we are not our bodies. We are greater than our bodies. Our bodies were created as a mere tent, a temporary dwelling for you, the beloved child of God.

And in the same way that we are greater than our bodies, we are also greater than the circumstance that we find ourselves in. For if Jesus, the bread of life, is able to sustain our mortal bodies and prevent that rightful decay from happening, so too is He sustaining your circumstance and is preventing it from spinning out of control.

Beloved, whichever face of death you are facing today, be it death in the body, or death in your circumstance, remember,

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

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