Joshua 14:10-12, “10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”
Two things encourage me as a pastor- first, watching the older generation go hard after God and second, seeing young people give Jesus their youthful vitality! I love seeing both age groups sacrifice for God.
On one hand, I can relate to being “young and on fire” because I accepted Jesus at 18 years old, began preaching at 19 and started my first church at 22. Nothing was more exciting than giving my youthful years to ministry. On the other hand, I can relate to those who are older giving God their all because I watched my parents re-fire for God after they retired. My parents moved to Florida and began a street ministry in their community and are making disciples that make disciples. They’re now in their 70’s and are still going strong!
Avoid the two mistakes of ageism- “I’m too young” and “I’m too old” by burning bright for Jesus in every stage of your life.
Concerning being “too young,” Paul wrote to the youthful Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Young people are not too young to be leaders; they can be examples of what being passionate for Jesus looks like. The Bible is full of young people doing extraordinary things for God. Take for example David defeating Goliath and John (James’ younger brother, probably only a teenager) leaving his family to follow Jesus. Both are great role models for everyone.
Regarding being “too old,” I love what Caleb said in today’s passage, “God has kept me alive to take this mountain!” Take that arthritis! He didn’t let the promise of God go unclaimed just because forty-five years of his life had past and he was eighty-five. Caleb wanted to do everything God called him to do. Therefore, what the ole’ timers used to say is true, “If you’re not dead- you still have a life to give Jesus!” Give Jesus all you have by fighting the good fight of faith. Win souls and make disciples until you finish your race (2 Timothy 4:7).
Do you struggle with serving God because of your age? If so, pray this out loud, “Father, forgive me for believing the lie of ageism. Empower me with the Holy Spirit to do all that you commanded me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Are you making excuses not to serve God based on your age?
- Repent if you’ve believed the lie of ageism.
- Be obedient to everything God commanded you to do- no excuses.
- Take your mountain in Jesus’ name and fulfill your calling! Read Lester Sumrall’s book, “The Mystery of Death: Goodbye, Planet Earth, It’s Been Nice Knowing You,”for inspiration in finishing your race.
One Year Reading Plan
Lamentations 4:1-5:22, Hebrews 2:1-18, Psalm 103:1-22, & Proverbs 26:23. Click here to read online.