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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20180225 GROWING OLD

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       Senior Pastor Phil Roland

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              Pastor Ray Scott

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THE CHALLENGES OF GROWING OLD

SERMON STARTER

PSALM 92:12-15

          This is the second Sunday of Lent. Lent is the six weeks before Easter when traditional Christian believers set aside time for deep reflection, introspection, self-examination and renewal.

Last week I spoke about the Problem of Evil and how could respond to the reality of it. This week I am examining the challenges of growing old and God's examples of how to grow old productively.

          We are all forced to face the consequences of aging. Our energy levels wane as we grow older and muscles everywhere sag. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:16,

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

 Just because your physical muscles sag, your spiritual muscles (faith) doesn’t have to sag, too.

          Lois and I received some bad news regarding her cousin Linda this week. Her husband, Stan sadly related her medical diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Emotionally,  we’ve been wiped out ever since. The prospect of losing a close family member who is just a few years older than Lois and I hits close to home. Grief is a private, personal time of remembering, reflecting and letting go.

          Right now, I could use some restoration. So could we all, however, our local weatherman says that another six days of slush weather is coming. We are all looking forward to Spring and the end of snow shoveling and snow removal. David, author of the Psalms reminds us of how we can get the renewal we need.

Pastor Phil  <><<

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 25, 2018 - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland

 

THE CHALLENGES OF GROWING OLD

PSALM 92:12-15

 

"There is no doubt that I am growing old. My Penn-Ohio Unity Pastors Prayer Fellowship was started in 1994. We have all grown old together some with gray and some with no hair, but we are still productive. Aging requires adapting and adjusting as time goes by."                Pastor Phil  <><<

 

One in Five people in the U.S. are over 65   (52 million)

One in Ten persons in the U.S. are over 80

 

Philo, one of the world's leading philosophers said that "old" meant over 60 for both men and women.

 

Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived about 400 years before Christ, said that "old" was 50 to 60 years old.

 

Abraham, 75 years old, left his country to begin a new life in a land God would show him.

 

Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt when he was 80 years old.

 

DAVID'S EXAMPLE TEACHES US AS WE GROW OLD. . .

I.  DEVELOP A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD - Psalm 92:12

12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
          A. David's Psalms reveal his intimacy with and love for God

                    1. Palm Trees and Cedar trees stay green and fruitful

                    2. Even in their old age their sap still runs

                    3. David's spiritual roots grew deep in his love for God

          B. How did David develop a close relationship with God?

          C. David was a man who was after God's own Heart - 1 Samuel 13:14

          "But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for

              Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to

              be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the

              LORD commanded you."

                    1. David had Absolute Faith in God - 1 Samuel 17:45;47

                                        45 Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword,

                          with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of

                          the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have

                          defied. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not

                          save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD'S, and He will

                          give you into our hands."

                    2. David loved to Do the Will of God - Psalm 119:46-48

                                        46 I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings, And will not be                               ashamed. 47 And I will delight myself in Your commandments,            

THE CHALLENGES OF GROWING OLD, cont. p.2

 

                          Which I love. 48 My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments,                              Which I love, And I will meditate on Your statutes.

                    3. David determined to Do All of God's Will - Acts 13:22

                                        22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as

                          king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, 'I have found David

                          the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.'

 

DAVID'S EXAMPLE TEACHES US AS WE GROW OLD. . .

II. DEVELOP GODLY ATTITUDES AND HABITS - Psalm 42:14

 14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,
          A. Trust - Prov. 3:5,6

                    5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own

              understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct

              your paths.

                    1. Can you trust God with your future?

                              a. Your health

                                    b. Your finances

                                    c. Your circumstances

                    2. Can you trust Him with your fears. . .worries. . .uncertainties

          B. Praise - Nehemiah 8:10; Acts 16:25

           “. . .the joy of the LORD is your strength.”And at midnight Paul and Silas                        prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”

                    1. Praising God in difficult circumstances

                    2. Merlin Carothers, Prison to Praise

                        ". . .to praise God for difficult situations, as sickness or disaster,                                    means literally that we accept its happening, as part of God’s plan                               to reveal His perfect love for us.

                    3. Reach up in Worship and Praise to God - Psalm 22:3

                          “But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.”

          C. Hope - Psalm 39:7

                    7 "And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.

                    1. Job 7:6; 19:10

                       "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, And are spent                                           without hope.” “He breaks me down on every side, And I am                                         gone; My hope He has uprooted like a tree.”

                    2. Billy Graham Quote,

                      "God's Mercy and Grace give me hope - for myself and for our world."

 

DAVID'S EXAMPLE TEACHES US AS WE GROW OLD. . .

III. DEVELOP A LIFESTYLE OF MINISTRY FOR GOD

13 Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,
          A. We have the examples of great men / women who've lived for God

                    1. D. L. Moody Quote:

                        "The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully                                            consecrated to Him. By God's help I aim to be that man."

THE CHALLENGES OF GROWING OLD, cont. p.3

 

                    2. Billy Graham quote:

                    "Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion - it is

                     a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ."

                    3. David writes on living the Godly life, Psalm 37:25

                                        25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the

                           righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.

          B. We have our own experience

                    1. Our 1st Sunday at church after our wedding and honeymoon

                    2. Answered altar call at Manhattan Beach First Baptist Church                       "We want to dedicate ourselves to the building of a Christian Home"

                    3. Determined to make our home decidedly Christian

                    3. Desired for our home to be a place of Christian nurture

                              a. First, to our children,

                              b. Secondly to those broken in heart and in spirit,                                          c. Thirdly, to those who need the Lord in their lives

          C. My Vow to God as a young man was.

            "People get religious in their older years and give God what's left. I want to

              give God the strength of my youth, the best."

          D. What decisions are you making RIGHT NOW that will cause you to      flourish in your old age?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CHALLENGES OF GROWING OLD

Psalm 92:12-15 (NKJV)
12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

 

OLD AGE IS WHEN. . .

 

Your knees buckle and your belt won't

You turn out the lights for economic rather than romantic           reasons

 

You have too much room in the house and not enough in the           medicine cabinet

 

People call at 9 am and ask, "Did I wake you?"

You have a party and the neighbors don't even know it

You're cautioned by your doctor to slow down instead of the           police

 

Your idea of a night out is sitting in the patio

You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks           into the room

 

Your childhood toys have become valuable antiques

A hand up is needed to get you off the couch

It takes twice as long to look half as good

You get out of breath walking DOWN the stairs

You don't lie about your age, you actually forget how old you are

You can still cut the mustard, but you need help opening the jar

Your not over the hill, you just can't climb up it

A young person is trappend inside wondering what happened

Adapted by Pastor Phil Roland  <><<

 

Someone once said that if you want to know what it feels like to be old, smear dirt on your glasses, stuff cotton in your ears, put on heavy shoes that are too big and wear gloves, and then try to spend the day in a normal way.

 

Eg. Bob Hope Joke:

You know you're old when your candles cost more than the cake."

 

A retired man was complaining to the elder who sat on the park bench across the side­walk.

"It's a miserable life growing old alone."

"Did your wife die recently?" the other man asked sympathetically.

"Oh, she's still living!

It's just that she hasn't celebrated a birthday in 13 years!"

 

 

 

 

Leviticus 19:32 (NKJV)
32 'You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the LORD.

 

Isaiah 46:4 (NKJV)
4 Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

 

 

Psalm 92:12-15
12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

 

 

 

1. Moses is born under a death threat

 

2. Moses at 40 is a societal reject

 

3. Moses at 80 is a wilderness castaway

 

4. Moses at 120 is a Great Deliverer

 

Titus 2:1-10 (NKJV)
1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:
2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;
3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things--
4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
6 Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded,
7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,
8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back,
10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.

 

 

 

Deuteronomy 34:5-7 (NKJV)
5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
6 And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day.
7 Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.

 

1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (NKJV)
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

 

 

Psalm 92:12-15 (NKJV)
12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

 

 

 

 

OLD AGE IS RESPECTED

It is interesting, by the way, that in China old age is still viewed as the most respected stage of life. In Shanghai, one of the five largest cities in the world, in the late 1970’s there was only one home for the aged. Most of the elderly there are cared for in the family context.

 

Psalm 71:17-20 (NKJV)
17 O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.
19 Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You?
20 You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, Shall revive me again, And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

 

 

Psalm 90:9-10 (NKJV)
9 For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; We finish our years like a sigh.
10 The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

 

 

Conclusion

Bishop John Reed of Sydney, Australia, was preaching in Christ Church Cathedral one Sunday when a 75-year-old woman named Ethel Hatfield got saved. Mrs. Hatfield had attended that Anglican church for decades, but the message had never gotten through to her until that day. The following day she came to see Bishop Reed and said, “I could hardly sleep last night I was so excited about what happened. I want to do something to serve God with the few years I have left. I was wondering if I could teach Sunday School.”

Bishop Reed looked at this 75-year-old, white-haired lady and just couldn’t picture her controlling the rambunctious third or fourth grade kids. So he said, “I’m sorry, but we don’t have an opening in our Sunday School.” Her face fell. Bishop Reed said, “You mean business, don’t you? I don’t know what kind of service God may have for you, but let’s pray.” So they prayed for God to reveal His will for her.

The next day Mrs. Hatfield was out in her yard tending her roses when a Chinese student from Taiwan walked by. He stopped and complimented her on her roses and they began to talk. She thought, “He seems like a decent chap; I’ll invite him in for a spot of tea.” So she did and she told him her testimony. He found it an interesting story, so when he had to leave he asked if he could come back and talk further. She said, “Yes, and please bring a friend.”

He came back and brought a friend and she again shared how she had come to put her faith in Jesus Christ after all these years and how Christ had forgiven her sin and given her eternal life. These students came back and brought more friends, who brought even more. Within two weeks, Mrs. Hatfield was leading a weekly Bible study with 70 Chinese students in attendance! She led many of them to personal faith in Jesus Christ. That which seemed a hindrance to Mrs. Hatfield’s serving the Lord--her age--God turned into the key to reaching a group of people who respect old age!

 

The September, 1993, “Global Prayer Digest” tells the story of Jonah, a 73-year-old Chinese evangelist, who, since 1976, has traveled around the People’s Republic spreading the good news about Jesus Christ. “His days are full, and his energy unflagging. In one weekend Jonah may bicycle nine hours, spend 40 hours on a hard railway seat and eight hours on a bumpy bus just to bring the message of Jesus Christ to people in remote villages, or to urban churches with 5,000 members, or to young soldiers .... The schedule is grueling, but 73-year-old Jonah says, ‘Rest is for the next world.’”

 

 

 

A

 

B

 

 

 

 

 

 

C