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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Nor Too Young

Last week I wrote about Sarah who had a baby at the unlikely age of ninety. When God told her she would have a child she laughed, thnking she was too old. But God proved her wrong. God's actions have always defied human logic. He is no respecter of persons. If He says a ninety-year-old lady is going to have a son, it will happen, and if He says "a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son" (Isaiah 7: 14), then that's the way it's going to be.

The Bible does not tell us Mary's age, but we know that she was young, engaged to be married and that she did conceive and give birth to the Savior of the world. What an honor! There are some who disbelieve the virgin birth. Then they would have to disbelieve Sarah's story and Elizabeth's story. Elizabeth was Mary's cousin who was already pregnant with her first child, John the Baptist, when the angel first appeared to Mary. They would also have to disbelieve that God called Samuel when he was a young boy serving under Eli in the temple (1 Samuel 3: 4-10). Samuel went on to become a mighty prophet of God who anointed King Saul and King David.

Jesus Himself at the tender age of twelve, astonished the doctors in the temple by listening to them and asking them questions(Luke 2: 46-47). And when He began His ministry, He made a point of blessing the children who were in His presence. On one occasion "he called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18: 2-3). In the next chapter we see His disciples rebuking the people who had brought their children to Jesus for Him to pray for them. "But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (19: 14).

What are we doing with the children that God has entrusted to our care? Are we encouraging them to be all that God created them to be? Are we bringing them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord? Are we training them in the way they should go: so when they are old, they would not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6)? God can use anyone He chooses to do His will, whether old or young. Let us be open to His leading in our lives and the lives of our children.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Never Too Old

In my last blog I wrote about Sarah, Abraham's wife, who had a baby when she was ninety years old. It is a fascinating story, not just because it defies scientific logic, but because it shows the power of God to do the impossible. As He said in Genesis 18: 14, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"

Many elderly people resign themselves to a life of uselessness, thinking that no one needs their services, their talents or their time. But that is not always true. Older people have a wealth of knowledge and experience to pass on to the younger generation. They are still capable of producing, sharing and giving of themselves to the world. If life has deprived them of their physical abilities, they can still tell stories to their grand-children or great grand-children and give valuable advice to younger people around them. In fact, as we grow older we discover new talents we never knew we had.

Remember Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, who advised Moses how to delegate authority?(Exodus 18: 14-23); Lois, Timothy's grand-mother, who brought him up in the Christian faith? (II Timothy 1:5); Simeon, an old man who was promised by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord's Christ, blessed Jesus and prophesied to His parents about Him. Anna the prophetess, eight-four years old, also paid tribute to Jesus. Much more could be said about Noah who was six hundred years old when he finished building the ark, Enoch who walked with God for three hundred and sixty five years and Moses who was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, having led the children of Israel out of Egypt.

You are never too old to be used by God and for God. If you are elderly and feel that God is calling you to do something for Him, do not be afraid. God says, "And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you (Isaiah 46:4). Isn't it wonderful to know that we serve a God who doesn't abandon us even when we get old? So don't be afraid, for "He who has begun a good work in you is able to complete it until the day of Christ"(Philippians 1:6).

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Faithfulness of God

I've been thinking of Sarah, wife of Abraham, a lot this week. For those of you who don't know the story, God promised Abraham that he would have a son, and that his seed would be like the stars of heaven (Genesis 15: 5). "And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness" (v 6). However, there was one small problem. Sarah was a ninety-year-old woman who had been barren all her life, and Abraham was even older. When she heard what God said she laughed. "After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" (18:13).

However, God's promise was fulfilled in their lives. Sarah gave birth to a son, whom she called Isaac, and the rest as they say is history. But one thing that strikes me is that Sarah didn't really believe. She wanted a son as badly as Abraham did, so she took matters into her own hands and sent him to sleep with her maid so she could have the promised heir. However, when the child was born, Sarah became angry and made Abraham throw the child and his mother out!

Does God bless us even when we don't believe? Let's examine what the Bible says. "Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations" Deuteronomy 7:9).

And again, "My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips" (Psalms 89:28-34).

Isn't it exciting and comforting to know that God is a covenant-keeping God who doesn't change His mind or renege on His promises because we don't believe or because we fall into sin? He will punish us, that's for sure, but He will always be faithful. Sarah endured some punishment after she gave her maid to Abraham, but God didn't take back His promise because of what she did. He remained faithful then and He remains faithful now. Halleluiah!