On Facebook I saw in the suggested groups a picture that I believe was supposed to say, “Trust in the Lord”, but the way it came up was a little big for the spot so some of it was cut off. All I could see was "Rust in the Lord". Too many people who call themselves Christians are like old cars that are sitting in a barn rusting away. These cars at one time where amazing vehicles serving the purpose they were made for. Unlike the car that had no choice in being put away in the barn, many have made the choice to check out and wait for that glorious day of our Sovereign King to come. Just to be clear I am not necessarily talking about seniors but I might be!
Yesterday we talked about the church of Ephesus. Revelations 2:4 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” We can also look at the parable of the sower. Mark 4:14 “The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.” Jesus is the light of the world as we are to be also. Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” This applies to all of us who claim to know Jesus Christ and live for him.
I love my wife and I will never forget the day we both made a covenant before God to love each other until death do us part. This was also a covenant to serve our king as a married couple. Now if at that point I said I loved her in my vows and then everything about me said otherwise following, I would have broken that covenant. I think you can agree that there are many relationships out there both with God and each other that have grown cold and passionless. This is not meant to be marriage advice but do the things you did at first. As far as the Christian life goes, Hebrews gives us a call to persevere until death brings us to eternity or the day of the Lord whichever comes first. Hebrews 10:32 “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”
The problem we face in the church is that many who call themselves Christians have no idea what Hebrews is talking about when it comes to their faith. Many think they have received the light but in reality it was a man-made spotlight. When any form of hardship or trial comes their way they fizzle out, turn away and reject God. This is because they never knew and loved him. There are many who have a relationship with God like this. They have never loved him with all their heart, soul and mind and because of that they have not obeyed him. Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?” The truth of the matter is that they can’t shrink back because they were not actually living by faith.
Another problem we face when it comes to losing the love we had at first is forgetfulness. No I am not talking about early stages of Alzheimer’s but a forgetfulness that relates to the things of this world. Many Christians have become comfortably numb. The bible is no longer there guide. Church has become something they go to and their passion has waned (diminished). Deuteronomy 8:10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” In our country many Christians have become too comfortable. They no longer let their light shine, they no longer live by faith and they have lost their testimony and their passion.
This could be anyone from a teenager or a senior and everyone in between. Sadly the church has done great damage to people of all ages. Someone once said if another person is more passionate about God, they are a freak. Many people do not want to be around these people because they themselves are not shining as they should be and then they will try to bring them down to their level and blow out their light. Many passionate Christians have sadly succumbed to this pressure. People should not listen to this as Jesus has called us to be a passionate people where there is no sting in death. We are called to serve our king with everything we have.
Now if I were talking about seniors, many churches in this modern era have basically fogged them out and there does not seem to be a place for them in the church. This is actually a twofold problem. Some of it is the lack of discernment of the young and some is also the stubbornness of the old not to change, though stubbornness comes in many ages. Many are stuck on the things in the church like pews, pulpits, stained glass windows, donations by so and so, hymnals, versions of the bible just to name a few. Many are willing to die for the building but not necessarily for Jesus. Many (all ages) have stopped going to church instead of being lead to where God would have them. Just because hardship comes is no excuse to stop serving the Lord. Psalm 119:141 “Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts. 142 Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true. 143 Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight. 144 Your statutes are always righteous; give me understanding that I may live.”
Another area is those who waiting to die instead of living to die. They just can’t wait for Beulah land not realizing that how they live now is whether or not they see Beulah land. Many people simply check out as they wait to die. But we all must persevere as Hebrews 10:19 “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” 2 Peter 3:8 “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Don't get caught up with time.
Now if I were talking specifically about seniors I would say watch some car shows where they take a car that has lost its lustre and make it new again, actually in most cases better than it was before. It is amazing how they can take a car that has been rusting for years and make it new again. Ephesians 4:23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds.” This is where most need to start, attitudes. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” This applies to anyone who has lost their lustre in life but lets say your old car has been sitting in the barn for a long time, repent and be made new. Notice repentance is involved in order to see the kingdom shine. If I were talking about those of experience and for that matter anyone, listen to these words of Caleb and then ask the Lord which hill country and city do you want me to take in the here and now.
Joshua 14:8 “I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’
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.” So are your rusting in the Lord or trusting?