Psalm 70:9. " Do not cast me off in time of old age." As I was driving home from a recent visit to my elderly parents I tried to analyze my feelings. I discerned both sweetness and sadness. Sweetness because they are so dear to me.. Sadness because I hate to see the decline of mind and body which usually accompanies old age. Not only do I grieve their loss, but my own. Because I understand that I am looking at my future. Yet even in this relentless march of time God brings us hope in three truths 1. God's grace is sufficient. He will never forsake us and will always provide his presence and help. 2. His power is perfected in our weakness. The more vulnerable we become, the brighter the light of the love & care of Christ shines through us! 3. Nothing done for Christ is in vain. This earthly life is not the end. Our resurrection and eternal reward as heirs of God lie before us! Therefore let us gracefully move down the path of our old age, fully confident of his care and reward!
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." Psalm 23. 1. The opening statement of this most beloved psalm reminds us that Christ is completely trustworthy to meet all our needs. If we all agree with this theology, why do we tend to live our lives in a constant state of anxiety? Why is a low grade fear-fever so often in us? We must realize that God has foreordained every day of our lives. The good and the bad are all part of God's recipe to sanctify us and bring us safely to our glorious home! There is a popular phrase these days which says "It's all good." For us, that is true, according to Romans 8. 28. So in those days which seem to go crazy, let us rest in confidence that even in this chaos we are satisfied and completely nourished by our Good Shepherd!
1 Peter 5:5. " Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another." Humility is such a wonderful attitude to cover ourselves with. It puts us in a right frame of mind toward God and others. Toward God, because humility is a position of faith. When we trust God we are humbly putting ourselves under his will and care. But humility is also appropriate toward others. Because it is an expression of love. Jesus commanded us to love one another. Love means to look out for others interests and to consider them more important than our own. I.e. humility! So, wherever we go let us enjoy the garment of humility!
Recently I attended a reunion of my father's side of the family. Though my father is still living he is way up in years and could not travel to the reunion this year. When the gathering was over, before driving home, I headed over to spend a few quiet moments at the old homestead. No one has lived in it for several years now. But it is being well kept. I strolled around the quiet yard, looking at the old house and a few small farm buildings nearby. All this time a movie was playing in my mind as I was imagining all the stories which dad told me playing out.
It is amazing how ordinary people doing ordinary things in ordinary lives years ago come to be large, significant and sacred to the descendants! It makes one wonder: are ordinary people and events truly ordinary but the next generation inflates them to be great? Or, are all so-called ordinary things actually inherently significant and sacred, and we only recognize them later, after the hubbub of daily living is past, and time has distilled them revealing their gold?
Probably the answer to this question depends on your life-view. Is God real and therefore everything has a purpose? Or is there no God, therefore nothing is meaningful? I believe that nature and scripture gives us the answer. God is real! So we are able to see everything in life, as full of meaning and purpose, significant and sacred. . So, "Give thanks in all things!" When you have God and hope, every story in life is an adventure and a romance within God's great purpose!
Galations 2: 20. "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God....". I have been enjoying the truth of this passage a lot lately. I am especially interested in the part which says Christ lives IN me.
The passage starts out by saying I am crucified with Christ. Just like a father who cosigns a debt for his son, Jesus took on the debt of my sin. Of course, I had nothing to offer in the deal. Christ paid it all by his cross. Thus I have confidence with God.
Next, we are reminded that we now live by faith in him! This means to trust him for everything from small things to life and death challenges. When I am depending on someone for daily life, his reality will obviously fill me! Thus the apostle could say," I no longer live, but it is Christ who lives in me.". I visualize a jewelry box someone recently gave me. It was dusty and old, and got passed down to me through an estate. Inside of it were all kinds of interesting but cheap tie clasps and cufflinks. Now suppose someone gave me a bar of pure gold to keep in the jewelry box. You can bet I would gladly dispose of the cheap trinkets in order to make room for that gold bar! I would open the box and gaze admiringly at that glittering bar of wealth every day! Any left over cheap jewelry in there would be nothing more than residue to me.
These days I look inside of myself whenever I face challenges, fears and shortages. Instead of the anxieties I used to experience when I looked within & saw only inadequate resources, now I see a giant gold bar of Jesus Christ inside of me! I know I can do all things through Him who strengthens me! Any remnants of the old me are simply residue.