AGE IS NO BARRIER

In Isaiah 46: 3b-4, God makes a wonderful promise to Israel that we can apply to each of us who seeks to be faithful to the Lord…

I have cared for you since you were born.
Yes, I carried you before you were born.
I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age.
I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.

And in Psalm 92:12-14

But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they [the godly] are transplanted to the LORD’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age, they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!”

Both Scriptures from the New International Version…

The comedian, Norman Wisdom, used to joke that “three things happen to you, as you get older: 1st, you tend to forget what you were saying. 2nd… Hmm, can’t remember! What was I saying?” (Joke!)

They say that age is just a number

  • But when the number starts to grow rather too quickly, and our bodies begin to creak & groan, it becomes a different matter!

When you are five, a ten-year-old seems old!

When you are ten, a fifteen-year-old seems grown up

When you are fifteen, a thirty-year-old seems ancient

And so it goes on, until you reach the age where everyone in uniform looks incredibly young!

We all need to be thankful for the way that God has made us.

Here are two funny poems about a lady and a man who wanted to look young again! The first poem is by Marina Cuell. The second poem is by Lucy Blades (slightly amended).

I looked in the mirror and what did I see?

Good heavens! There’s an old lady looking at me!

She must have sneaked in there and taken my place…

Oh, no! What on earth has she done to my face!

She’s got it all wrinkled, so different from me.

When I think of myself that is NOT what I see

I don’t understand it: Oh, what has she done!

Oh wait! Now I see it—that lady’s my MUM! (Think about it!)

The other day, I happened by chance as I passed by a mirror, to give it a glance

And I wondered who on earth that old man could be

With mouth gaping wide and peering at me!

His bald head was sprinkled with a little grey fuzz

And he wasn’t at all handsome like I always was

He looked like a mishmash of odd jigsaw parts

Thrown all together with no instructions or charts

And while I know that my shoulders don’t slump

This man in the mirror’s are one arching hump

Now if that is my image, I only can say

They don’t make mirrors like they did in my day!

Whatever your age, you are precious to God

Jesus didn’t die on the Cross just for young, fit and clever people… but for each person in the world

Each person is special… and Jesus should be very special to us!

People say that as we grow older, we grow wiser… generally, that’s true but younger people can be wise, too…

  • Think of Jesus as a child!
  • And Jesus spoke of being childlike (not childish) in our relationship with God… simply trusting Him
  • Over time, we can get rather too complicated and even a bit complacent… “Been there, done it, got the t-shirt!”
  • But wisdom is a gift that comes from walking close to God, not just the passing of time

Many older people say that it’s no great fun getting old

But THERE ARE SOME ADVANTAGES …

  • You can smile about things that happened in the past… even things that at the time seemed so serious
  • You enjoy hearing about other people’s health problems and telling them about your own!
  • Your secrets are safe with your friends… because they can’t remember them either!

Everyone agrees that time goes faster as we get older…

  • But we learn to appreciate the ordinary things of life much more …turn on a tap / flick a switch for heat / enjoy a chat on the ‘phone
  • We realise that the most important thing in life isn’t success or fame or loads of money or lavish holidays… but family & friendship!

Perhaps we think of ourselves as getting too old or too ‘ordinary’ to count for much

When my Dad was struggling with his health, he said (miserably) that he was of no use to anyone… just a burden on the State

But in God’s sight, you are as precious and significant as you were on the day you were born… or in your prime… whatever your age.

WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG YOU COULDN’T WAIT TO GROW UP!

  • Your PRECISE age was important… “I’m eight and a quarter”!
  • But when we get older, we look back and rather wish we could be young again… but to know what we know now!

A lady asked a missionary, “Why does God let us grow old and weak?” He replied:

‘I think God has planned the strength and beauty of youth to be physical… but the strength and beauty of old age is spiritual. We gradually lose the strength and beauty that is temporary, so we’ll be sure to concentrate on the strength and beauty that lasts forever.’

Don’t spend so much time trying to hang on to the strength & beauty of youth that you miss out on the strength & beauty of a Spirit-filled life

SOMETIMES WE LOOK BACK AND WONDER IF WE’VE MADE THE BEST USE OF OUR LIVES

  • So error-ridden… so many opportunities wasted…
  • Have our lives been worthwhile? Are they worthwhile?

James Stewart (as George Bailey) and Donna Reid (as his wife, Mary) starred in a film called “It’s a Wonderful Life”. At one stage, the hero is so disillusioned with life that he says to an angel called Clarence that he wishes he’d never been born. Clarence takes George back through his life as if he’d never existed. George realises that his life really has meant something and that it still has great meaning and purpose. “Yes, George, one life touches so many others” Like a ripple caused by a single stone…our influence spreads far beyond its starting point.

  • God sees the sacrifices we’ve made…the kindness we’ve shown
  • And He knows our failings… but promises not to remember our sins
  • Perhaps we’ve made mistakes that it’s too late to rectify

But whatever mistakes we may have made… there’s one mistake we simply must not makeRejecting or ignoring Jesus the Saviour and his will for our lives

Perhaps we are a bit apprehensive about the future, especially dying

Woody Allen used to say that he doesn’t mind dying but doesn’t want to be there when it happens!

But in an uncertain world, there is one certainty… for the believer IN (not just ‘about’) Jesus Christ, death is not the END but the START of something wonderful…

  • A new beginning… The end of pain, fear and disappointment
  • The start of joy beyond compare

And we will all leave a legacy… not silver or gold… but the love we have shown to God and to people throughout our lives… How are you and I doing in this regard?

Benjamin Franklin commented: “Those who love deeply never grow old. They may die of old age… but they die young.”

Or perhaps you once lived close to the Saviour and served him faithfully but somehow your love has grown cool…

  • Perhaps the urgency, fervour and delight has faded…

WE NEED TO LIVE WELL & END WELL… Old Jacob leaned on his staff and worshipped the Lord shortly before his death, setting us a wonderful example

You are never too young and never too old to commit your life to Christ for the first time … or recommit your life and make sure that you hear the “Well done, good and faithful servant”

So what do you need to do next? Don’t just think about it… ask God to help you to do it!

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