Saturday, March 21, 2015

Older Men, We Younger Men Need You!
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Pity the church that has droves of young, hip, trendy dudes and few gray-haired men of wisdom who have been around for a handful of decades. Young men desperately need older men. Just say it: being old isn’t bad. Older people have wisdom from experience. Older men who have walked with God for longer than most young men have even been alive know what God’s faithfulness is all about and how God’s faithfulness really, actively, gloriously proves itself even in the toughest of trials. Some old men have lost their wives of 50+ years. And they know God is faithful. Others have lost children, grandchildren, even great-grandchildren. And the indomitable confidence in the good sovereignty of God gladdens their souls. Far from being grumpy old men and crusty old complainers, they are strong, gentle, humble, and courageous men who stand on Christ and His Word. With that, older men, we younger men need you!

1. Your Wisdom
A gray head is a crown of glory (Prov 16.31). Those who have stood the test of time have wisdom from God, wisdom from the Word, wisdom from meditating on the Truth, wisdom from hearing years and years of sermons, and wisdom from practical life application and experience. The honor of old men is their gray hair (Prov 20.29). Those who are older are to be temperate and respectable and should invest sacrificially and intentionally into the younger men (Titus 2.2, 6-8). Those who have walked with God and have seen God answer prayers after decades of faithfully and believingly calling upon God can impart wisdom that a textbook just can’t merely provide. Older men who have walked with God, impart your wisdom to the younger men.

2. Your Testimony
The Scriptures speak of the old and gray-headed people who long to declare God’s strength to the next generation and God’s power to all who will come (Ps 71.18). The next generation must hear the older folks testify to God’s power, His faithfulness, His provisions, and His unswerving love for His own. Younger people must hear the older men and women verbally pronounce that the God of ancient Israel is the same God of the present day and that He has proven Himself to be faithful to them every day, without fail.

3. Your Prayers
Nothing can so move mountains as can fervent, relentless, believing prayer. What is it that God uses to work out His sovereignly decreed will but the prayers of His own! Pray for the next generation. Tirelessly travail for the integrity and purity of the next generation. Bend to your knees and beg God to save, sanctify, fortify, and strengthen the coming generations of Christ-followers. Pray for the purity of the young people. Pray for the integrity of their hearts. Pray for the resoluteness of their affections. Pray for the selflessness of their desires. Pray for the godliness of their conduct. Pray for them to shake the dark world with the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for them and pray with them. Encourage them by telling them you have spent time bringing them before the Throne of God. And grab them and pray with them. Teach them to pray in and through your praying.

4. Your Faithfulness
Endurance. Everyone needs it. God requires it. Scripture calls believers to it. Persevere! Be faithful! Remain steadfast! Cling to Christ! Older folks drawing nearer and nearer to heaven each day, you must show and model to the next generation of younger people what it looks like for men and women of God to live faithful lives. Faithfulness proves to be a mark that God looks for today and yet it remains a mark at which the world balks. O gray-headed people who have experienced God’s faithfulness, manifest your faithfulness each day as you continue to walk with Christ through pain, through persecutions, through loss, through tragedy, and through deterioration. Live faithfully to the Lord. Live faithfully toward Christ’s church. Live faithfully in prayer. Show us what it is to be a faithful man or woman of God!

5. Your Example
Much can be taught, of course! But more is caught than taught. Let the young people see you walk with Christ. Let the teenagers see you focus resolutely on Christ, delight supremely in the gospel, meditate daily on the cross, repent passionately of sin, pray fervently with zeal, endure triumphantly through suffering. Let the young marrieds behold you love your spouse with exclusive love and communicate with your spouse with Christlike tenderness. Let the parents observe you relate to your grandchildren (and great-grandchildren) with a preeminent desire to see them repent of their sin and come to Christ at a young age. Model evangelism to the young children. Show what it looks like to live as a Christfollower through all seasons of life as the day draws ever so nearer when you will behold the face of God in glory!

6. Your God
Young people need to observe aging men and women growing closer to the body of Christ, not distancing themselves from it. Rather than feeling neglected, unwanted, useless and impotent, gray-headed Christians must increasingly involve themselves in the work of the Lord and travail in service for Christ, for His body, and for the young people. Older men and women, show us your God! Christ endured relentlessly to the end in prayer, in love, in sacrifice, in service, and in piety, so the coming generations must behold you modeling for us this character of God! Show us your God! Tell us your God! Boast in your God! Bless your God! Older saints must remember that far from being useless in the Body of Christ, you play an integral role in serving, praying, helping, laboring, testifying, and modeling before all believers — especially before the younger, moldable, next generation. Paint a portrait of the unspeakable beauty of the Triune God so that He captivates their minds, wins their hearts, and delights their lives.

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