by Chance Hicks
The Word of God has much to say concerning those who are young and what they can accomplish in the work of the Lord. Throughout the Bible, there are many examples of the young serving God. These include men such as David, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Paul even wrote to a young Gospel preacher, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
The young are important to the work of the Lord, but the Bible also has much to say about the aged. The aged are special because they are to be honored (Leviticus 19:32) and because the days should add to their wisdom (Job 32:7). Notice what the Proverbs writer said concerning the aged, “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness” (Proverbs 16:31). However, as people age they often feel like they are no longer useful in the Lord’s service. Is this the case or are the aged Christians useful to the Lord? In order to answer this question, let us consider some examples.
Abraham was a faithful follower of God (Hebrews 11:8-19) who lived to the age of 175. God had promised Abraham a son through which all nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3). It was not until Abraham was 100 years old that he was blessed with his son, Isaac. Abraham was willing to serve God even if it meant sacrificing his only son, Isaac (Genesis 22). Abraham, “the Friend of God” (James 2:23), was useful in the service to God when he was aged!
Moses faithfully served God during his lifetime (Hebrews 11:23-28). Moses, the great servant of the Lord, lived to be 120 years old (Deuteronomy 34:5-7). It was not until Moses was 80 years old that God used him to deliver the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. Then Moses continued to serve the Lord for 40 years as he led the children of Israel through the wilderness. Moses proved to be useful in the service of God even when he was aged!
John, one of the twelve apostles, served God when he was an aged Christian. John was advanced in years when he was exiled to the isle of Patmos. John was faithful to the Lord even when he was living in exile. It was not until John was in his nineties that he penned the book of Revelation. What great work the apostle John was able to accomplish as an aged Christian in service to the Lord!
Can the aged be useful in service to the Lord? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” These great examples prove that the aged are very important to the Lord’s cause. There are many things that aged Christians can do to work for the Lord. One of the greatest works that they can do is to teach the younger Christians. Paul gave Titus instructions concerning the aged and what they should be as servants of God: “That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The age women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not give to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:1-5). Aged Christians are useful to the Lord! May we always remember that no matter our age we can be useful servants in the kingdom of the Lord!
Source: The Visitor, Adamsville, AL, May 17, 2009