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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Faith for all Seasons of Life: Psalm 92:13-15 & Joshua 14:6-13

Hello, sorry I have not posted anything for a while, I was down state getting our international son enrolled in college. That was a task, we spent time at the college every day that I was down there. I also took him to get a cell phone, another adventure trying to find the right plan for him. We also went and got him enrolled in a driving school - he started that today. He has also been invited to church, Gayla and I are happy about that.

Here is another sermon from the Faith For All Seasons series. This one was a tribute to our senior saints. The lives that they have lived, the wisdom passed on, and the faith exhibited.

Steve Green in the song, "Find Us Faithful" writes ...   "Oh May all who come behind us find us faithful ... May the fire of our devotion light their way ... May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe ... and the lives we live inspire them to obey ... Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful."


Today we come to honor and give tribute to the lives of those who are walking before us ... we call them our "Senior Saints."  Their lives tell a story of the many facets of faith from the days of planting and of their faithful maturity in their walk with God.

Leviticus "Show your fear of God by standing up in the presence of elderly people and                                                showing respect for the aged. I am the LORD.” NLT

Job “Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to those who have lived many years.”

All our "Senior Saints" stand as living testimonies of their freshness in the Lord and the vitality that only He can bring into a persons life. They exhibit faith for all seasons of life. The seasons of faith are planting and productive times that cause them to be fresh and flourishing toward the Lord in the seasons of life.

I am sure there are many good example of such faith within the scriptures ... but today I want encourage all of us ... especially you Senior Saints ... through the life of Caleb found in Joshua 14:6-13 -- Then the sons of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, "You know the word which the LORD spoke to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh-barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the LORD my God fully. So Moses swore on that day, saying, "Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God fully.' Now behold, the LORD has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. Now then, give me this hill country about which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken." So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. NASU
1. Season of Faith that is Planted & Producing
1a. Planted Faith ... Josh 14:8“but I followed the LORD my God fully.”  
       ·        Caleb one of the 12 original spies to spy out the new land.

·        Caleb along with Joshua, though in the minority, gave a favorable report of faith.

·        The majority refused to live by faith ... God judged 21 years & older to die in wilderness.

·        Caleb & Joshua were God's two exceptions of faith ... they would not die but live to see their faithfulness become productive in the land.

·        The word of faith was planted in his heart! The word that was in his heart and he wholly followed.

"The object of your faith must be Christ.  Not faith in ritual, not faith in sacrifices, not faith in morals, not faith in yourself - not faith in anything but Christ!"  - Billy Graham

Proverbs 3:5-6“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

Where's your faith planted today? ... Money, retirement plans, family, friends? It's not faith unless it is planted fully in the Lord God.

1b. Productive Faith ... Josh 14:9"Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you” NASU
  • The only faith that produces is that which is planted in God and His Word.

  • Caleb is a testimony of 45+ years of faithful productive living!

  • Caleb's faith produced an inheritance for himself and his children. Why? Because he had fully followed the Lord our God.

  • Faith is the greatest inheritance we can live and give.

Read Psalms 92:13-14a

2. Season of Faith that is Fresh & Flourishing
2a. Fresh Faith... "Behold, the Lord has kept me alive." Joshua 14:10
  • Caleb recognized God's hand upon him all the years of his life.

  • Caleb's faith was fresh ... because He knew God still had something for him to do!

  • "And now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old." ... fresh as when he was 40!

  • There are no Senior Discounts in faith. Don't allow your age or any other excuse to discount your faith!

Romans  – “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

2b. Flourishing Faith ... "I am as strong this day ... therefore give me this mountain." Joshua 14:11-12

  • Caleb's faith flourished in years past and continued to flourish in his old age.

  • Not a mountain, or a people were going to steal Caleb's faith in what His God could do through him! Psalms 71:18 “Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.”

  • God promised 45 years ago to deliver the enemies ... and Caleb still believed Him ... "the Lord will be with me." Hebrews 13:5 – “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

  • Caleb’s faith had not grown cold or stale ... but fresh and flourishing in His God.

An elderly woman was filling out an application for residency in a retirement village. She was a bit nervous answering all the questions about her health, fearing she might be refused admission. But, she finally finished the form and then signed her name and filled in the place where it asked for her current address. After "Zip" she printed firmly: "Normal for my age." 

  • Caleb's faith was full of zip and life at 85! Galatians 6:9“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
Flourish in your faith today ... by declaring what the Lord has done for you and what you will do for the Lord.  
                                                                          
Conclusion:
In old age faith seems to be the most marvelous possession anyone can have.  - Malcolm Muggeridge 
Senior Saints ... your faith is not only valuable to you but also to us who walk behind you.  Show us your faith for all seasons of life.

 
And remember God loves you: Romans 5:8

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