1 Timothy 5 I AM the Great Conductor of life

I love the clothing company “Old guys rule”.  It reminds me of the saying, “Before you

The Elderly have earned the right to speak

can be old and wise you have to be young and stupid first”.  Scripture teaches us that respect is an important thing for men, the young must respect the battle scars of the older, and young men must mutually respect other young men as peers.  Scripture says a lot about the aged and mature.  They have lived a life full of battles and have earned their stripes.  They have learned to be still in the business of life and listen to God’s voice.  They have so much wisdom to pass on to the younger generations if only we would listen.  But the young are so full of what they know that the old generation tends to be overlooked and forgotten.  Why do we youth always insist on reinventing the wheel?  Older people have more physical needs, which is sad, because in their minds they are still in their 20’s and 30’s.  Yet there is a place for ministry for the elderly if they would take their place to provide wisdom and leadership in the church and not be in such a hurry to retire to that perfect fishing spot or favorite golf course.  Nowhere in scripture does it mention retirement in the western sense of the word. 

1 Tim 5  Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. 3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 5 The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6 But the widow (or any other retired person I might add) who lives for pleasure is dead even while she (they) lives (italics mine). 7 Give the people these instructions, too, so that no one may be open to blame. 8 If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds. 11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan. 16 If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need. 17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” 19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning. 22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.

Who are you Lord?

I AM the God of life.  I AM your Father, creator, the giver and taker of life.  The older you get the more you can know me and be like me.  Age is the process of death and the curse because of Adam’s sin.  I have given you only this present time of your life for you to respond to my mercy and forgiveness.  I determine whether you will grow old or die young “for it is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment” (Heb 9:27). 

One day you will grow old (should I choose), so how would you feel if people treated you like you treat old people now?  If I allow you to grow old, it is for the purpose of helping the young to mature and count their days.  This is the work I have for you older people to do regardless of your age until that appointed day.  You have walked with me for many years and should know my heart in ways that the younger ones do not.  Don’t settle for the world’s expectations to retire and live for your own selfish pleasures.  Success at the golden years of your life is not a reward; each day is a new opportunity for service for eternity.  Don’t rest on your laurels and accomplishments thinking you are done.  My church needs you to give guidance and stability to a younger more casual society.  Young people don’t understand you and often don’t like your attitude and reactions, but don’t let that stop you being involved.  Get over your set ways of doing things and adapt to help my church meet the needs of today’s hurting people. 

 I AM the ancient of days; the ageless, living God; the great conductor who orchestrates the symphony of balance between need and supply, faith and responsibility, abundance and sacrifice, youth and the aged, energy and wisdom in my church.  My church is made up of fathers and mothers, young men and women to meet the needs of everyone in society.  I allow people to have needs for two reasons; so that people will see that they are not self-sufficient, and so that they will come to me for help.  Then my body, the church can be there to meet those needs in each other. By doing so, I will reveal my glory through you in the church to the world as you; the body of Christ lives for others thus fulfilling my greatest commandment, the law of love. 

 God created many pictures of Heavenly themes in nature and human life to reflect his divine ways, one of which is symbiotic relationships.  Just like bees pollinate and live off of flowers, young people need to respect their elders and get to know them, for before you know it, they will grow up to replace them.    Youth cannot expect to rule the church unless they become mature, and they cannot become mature by books alone.  Youth need to get to know their elderly and learn what God has taught them.  The aged have pieces to the puzzle of life and godliness that young people cannot attain yet, but the elderly have lost the vitality of youth.  Only together can the body function properly, and the elders can pass the torch on to the next generation.  We must remember that the body is comprised of many parts; heads, hands, feet, organs, warts and all.

More to come,

Steve

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About strostrud

Missionary with New Tribes Mission since 1989
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