Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Produce Fruit for God in Your Older Age
Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Proverbs 13:4 “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper and be satisfied”
What is God’s plan for the aging – you know – those that have lost or are losing their hair, those whose hair is turning grey or white, and those who are only so many years away from retirement? I can tell you what it’s not! It’s not getting ready to slow down, sit around, and do nothing. I realize that for some, the body tries to dictate what you can and cannot do. I also realize that far too many people started letting their bodies dictate to them far too early and by yielding to it, have become somewhat lazy, far too inactive, and have blamed too much on age! (Say "I still love you Pastor Tim.")
I see the fruit of it in the workforce. Older people can become the target of younger bosses that want to replace them. They do if they become one who does far less than what they used to. A person starts out in a job. He works in that job for twenty to thirty years or more. He is promoted and his salary has increased consistently over all that time. He/she is at the top of their pay range, getting maximum vacation benefits, and yet are doing half the work they used to do. They may be smart enough not to say it but they think it - "I paid my dues." What they think spills into their deteriorating work ethic. The boss sees young potential people he/she wants to hire. They have new and updated skills that meet the technology needs of the day, and a young and trainable spirit. They might not have the wisdom but the boss figures he can handle that for the financial savings he’ll save with the new young salary. This boss thinks, I can hire this person for a third of the money and they will probably do double the work. I hear and read about this going on in the workforce every day. I've had friends become a victim of it.
Those in the workplace that slow down and walk in their attitude of entitlement will be replaced.
I see something similar happening in the church. There are aging people in the church that years ago, when they were much younger, had less time on their hands, much more responsibility with children and workload in their lives, yet they took on responsible roles of serving and leadership at great sacrifice. They did so because they knew and believed in the importance of it. Then their kids grow up and they become empty nesters. They have more money because their kids aren’t draining it. They have more time to be a blessing because much of their life has slowed down, and yet they do less good than they have in past years. This is backwards! It will lead to a deteriorating life and precious lost time to make a difference for Jesus and in the lives of many before they cross over to Heaven.
Today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper and be satisfied.” This verse is ageless and timeless. Unless you become physically impaired, getting older doesn’t necessarily entitle you to do less. It entitles you to work smarter and be fruitful. It entitles you to have more wisdom and a better attitude because you have had time to mature.
Psalm 92:14 says, “Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.” In order for you to stay vital and green you have to think vital and green. You have to act vital and green. You have to reject the whining of your body where you can and work it to be your slave keeping in the best shape you can for the age you are. The Apostle Paul said it like this: “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” 1 Cor. 9:27
King David’s heart was aligned with God’s will when he wrote Psalm 71:18. “Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.”
We live in an entitlement generation and we expect someone to always take care of us - especially our employer or our government. If our hope, trust, and faith are in anyone outside of God we are living in modern day idolatry. God alone can provide and take care of us and our faith in the fact based upon the promise of His Word is the vehicle that will bring that blessing into our life.
If we get slothful blaming it on age, we will alienate those that we have to work along side of. They may love us as a person but be glad to see us gone as a co-worker. If we slow down prematurely because we’ve used the excuse of age to cause our bodies to atrophy, we can become a burden on many. If we don’t pay attention to how we eat and wear out our organs unnecessarily through lack of exercise and poor nutrition, we could get bitter over a poor finish to our lives. If we isolate ourselves in the name of older age so we can sit around and spend endless meaningless hours in isolation or playing cards, squandering money in casinos, and talking over the good old days, we will miss the very people that God has for us to bless and that will bring blessing to our lives.
The Apostle Paul knew that this life was short, fleeting, and not the life God intended for us. We will live again with Jesus without the defilement that we’ve experienced in this earth. We will be rewarded for how we lived for the Lord in this life. All of our days count – all of them! Knowing that provides great momentum to the words Paul spoke that I pray we can all echo one day.
2 Tim. 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of His return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to His glorious return.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
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