* Old age not a barrier to being used by God
Joshua was getting old–he was between 85 and 100 years of age at this time. God, however, still had work for him to do. Our culture often glorifies the young and strong and sets aside those who are older. Yet older people are filled with the wisdom that comes with experience. They are very capable of serving if given the change and should be encouraged to do so. Believers are never allowed to retire from God’s service. Those past retirement age should not assume that age alone disqualifies or excuses them from serving God. (NLT)
Joshua 13:1 – When Joshua was an old man, the Lord said to him, “You are growing old, and much land remains to be conquered.”
* Young age not a barrier to being used by God
In performing his miracles, Jesus usually preferred to work through people. Here he took what a young child offered, and used it to accomplish one of the most spectacular miracles recorded in the Gospels. Age is no barrier to Christ. Never think you are too young or old to be of service to him. (NLT)
John 6:8-9 – Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
* – Timothy was a young pastor. It would have been easy for older Christians to look down on him because of his youth. He had to earn the respect of his elders by setting an example in his speech, life, love, faith, and purity. Regardless of your age, God can use you. Whether you are young or old, don’t think of your age as a handicap. Life so others can see Christ in you. (NLT)
1 Timothy 4:12 – Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
* How did Bible people live so long
How did these people live so long? Some believe that the ages listed here were lengths of family dynasties rather than ages of individual men. Those who think these were actual ages offer three explanations: (1) The human race was more genetically pure in this early time period, so there was less disease to shorten life spans; (2) no rain had yet fallen on the earth, and the expanse of water “above” kept out harmful cosmic rays and shielded people from environmental factors that hasten aging; (3) God gave people longer lives so they would have time to “fill the earth.” (NLT)
Genesis 5:25-27 – When Methuselah was 187 years old, his son Lamech was born. After the birth of Lamech, Methuselah lived another 782 years, and he had other sons and daughters. He died at age of 969.
* Our responsibility to honor the elderly
People often find it easy to dismiss the opinions of the elderly and avoid taking time to visit with them. But the fact that God commanded the Israelites to show respect for the elderly shows how seriously we should take the responsibility of respecting those older than we are. Their wisdom gained from experience can save us from many pitfalls. (NLT)
Leviticus 19:32 – “Show your fear of God by standing up in the presence of elderly people and showing respect for the aged. I am the Lord.”
* Begin to obey God at a young age
Youth are the future leaders of our churches and our world. A person’s major work for God may have to wait until he is an adult, but no one is ever too young to take God seriously and obey Him. Josiah’s early years laid the base for his later task of reforming Judah. (NLT)
2 Kings 22:1-2– Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah from Bozkath. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn aside from doing what was right.
* Age not a criterion for wisdom
In Josiah’s day, boys were considered men at age 12. By 16, Josiah understood the responsibility of his office. Even at this young age, he showed greater wisdom that many of the older kings who came before him because he had decided to seek the Lord God and his wisdom. Don’t let your age hinder you from serving God. (NLT)
2 Chronicles 34:3 – During the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, Josiah began to seek the God of his ancestor David. then in the twelfth year, he began to purify Judah and Jerusalem, destroying all the pagan shrines, the Asherah poles, and the carved idols and cast images.
* Elderly aged people have great value
Honoring God is not limited to young people who seem to have unlimited strength and energy. Even in old age, devout believers can produce spiritual fruit. There are many faithful older people who continue to have a fresh outlook and can teach us from a lifetime of experience of serving God. Seek out an elderly friend or relative who can tell you about his or her experiences with the Lord and challenge you to new heights of spiritual growth. (NLT)
Psalm 92:14 – Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.
* – Although Simeon and Anna were very old, they had never lost their hope that they would see the Messiah. Led by the Holy Spirit, they were among the first to bear witness to Jesus. In the Jewish culture, elders were respected, so because of Simeon’s and Anna’s age, their prophecies carried extra weight. Our society, however, values youthfulness over wisdom, and contributions by the elderly are often ignored. As Christians, we should reverse those values wherever we can. Encourage older people to share their wisdom and experience. Listen carefully when they speak. Offer them your friendship, and help them find ways to continue to serve God. (NLT)
Luke 2:36 – Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. she was the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, and was very old. she was a widow, for her husband had died when they had been married only seven years.
* Those older than you can give good advice
It is natural and good for children, as they grow toward adulthood, to become increasingly independent of their parents. Young adults, however, should take care not to turn a deaf ear to their parents–to reject their advice just when it is needed most. If you are struggling with a decision or looking for insight, check with your parents or other older adults who know you well. Their years of experience may have given then the wisdom you seek. (NLT)
Proverbs 6:20-23 – My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s teaching. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. Wherever you walk, their counsel can lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. when you wake up in the morning, they will advise you. For these commands and this teaching are a lamp to light the way ahead of you. The correction of discipline is the way to life.
* Seek God while still young
We often hear people say, “It doesn’t matter.” But many of your choices will be irreversible–they will stay with you for a lifetime. What you do when you’re young does matter. Enjoy life now, but don’t do anything physically, morally, or spiritually that will prevent you from enjoying life when you are old. (NLT)
Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 – Young man, its’ wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. but remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. So banish grief and pain, but remember that youth, with a whole life before it, still faces the threat of meaninglessness.
* – A life without God can produce bitterness, loneliness, and hopelessness in old age. A life centered around God is fulfilling and can be richer and more bearable when we are faced with disabilities, sickness, or handicaps. Being young is exciting. But the excitement of youth can become a barrier to closeness with God if it makes young people focus on passing pleasures instead of eternal values. Make your strength available to God when it is still yours–during your youthful years. Don’t waste it on evil or meaningless activities that become bad habits and make you callous. Seek God now. (NLT)
Ecclesiastes 12:1 – Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and no longer enjoy living.
* Respect of elders
Some societies honor their elders. They respect their wisdom, defer to their authority, and pay attention to their comfort and happiness. This is how Christians should act. Where elders are respected, long life is a blessing, not a burden to them. (NLT)
Ephesians 6:3 – And this is the promise: If you honor your father and mother, “you will live a long life, full of blessing.”
* Bible relevant to all ages
John was writing to believers of all ages, his “dear children” who had experienced forgiveness through Jesus. Those who were mature in the faith had a long-standing relationship with Christ. The “young” had struggled with Satan’s temptations and had won. The children had learned about Christ and were just beginning their spiritual journey. Each stage of life in the Christian pilgrimage builds upon the other. As children learn about Christ, they grow in their ability to win battles with temptation. As young adults move from victory to victory, they grow in their relationship with Christ. Older adults, having known Christ for years, have developed the wisdom needed to teach young people and start the cycle all over again. Has your Christian growth reached the maturity level appropriate for your stage in life? (NLT)
1 John 2:12-14 – I am writing to you, my dear children, because your sins have been forgiven because of Jesus.
I am writing to you who are mature because you know Christ, the one who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you who are young because you have won your battle with Satan.
I have written to you, children, because you have known the Father.
I have written to you who are mature because you know Christ, the one who is from the beginning.
I have written to you who are young because you are strong with God’s word living in your hearts, and you have won your battle with Satan.
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