Faithlife Sermons

Getting Old is no Excuse!

Special  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →
Good morning and welcome to Oldfield Free Church.
I’m Ian and it’s great to see you here and it is great to be back after what seems like 5 weeks. Wait, IS five weeks!
Worship is all our lives not just the songs we sing. We are told in
Romans 12:1 ESV
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Our lives are to be one continuous worship session. We will be aided in this in songs, prayer and with a message for our all-age service.
We’ll see what God has to say to us through His Word. Make sure you have a bible. There are some at the back. You’re welcome to use an app. I recommend Logos Bible Study App. Talking of mobiles. Do see you turn them either off or on silent.
If you’re new here a huge welcome to you. We have leaflets at the back telling you about us - check out our website and stay for a cuppa after the service.
Let’s start with prayer:
Maker of heaven and earth, you rule over all the nations. As we think of your unfailing, eternal, enduring love, we look forward to the day when we will worship you in eternity. Your throne will be surrounded by people from every tribe, tongue and nation, all testifying that you have remained faithful. We will all see that you have kept every single promise you made. We will all see your goodness and grace. We will all be transformed by your glory. We ask that we would glimpse that glorious future as we gather today.  Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.

O Lord my God

King of kings

Blessed be your name

Notices/Offering/Prayer/Kids Exit

Ecclesiastes 12:1–7 ESV
1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, 3 in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed, 4 and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low— 5 they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets— 6 before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
It seems to me that one of the things that some people joke about most in life is ageing...
All of us have had our parents say things like: In my day I walked to school uphill---both ways!
In my day all 12 of the children in our family slept in the same bed, we took turns using one pillow.
You know you are old if most of your dreams are re-runs!
You know you’re old if you try to straighten the wrinkles in your socks and you find you aren’t wearing any!
Old age is when everything finally begins to click, including your joints, knees, etc. It’s when everything that works, hurts.
The first sign of old age is when you hear snap, crackle, and pop and it isn’t your cereal.
To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am.
Perhaps we can get past the jokes but be a little philosophical:
The principal objection to old age is that there’s no future in it.
Old age is that time of life when you know all the answers and nobody asks you the questions.
And then there is the practical thought that I heard in Wales so often:
Old age does not come alone
Like it or not, all of us grow older; all of us age. Some enjoy joking about getting older but deep down inside growing old is something many people dread and fear and are willing to do anything to avoid. Those who work in cosmetics or in plastic surgery have built multi-million pound businesses telling people how to avoid old age or looking older. Health food manufacturers have built huge businesses producing special foods that promise it. Genetic scientists are researching ways to prevent it.
But age still happens and since it is coming and there is no avoiding it what can we do to prepare ourselves for the onslaught of old age? What does God expect of us as we age? What does He desire?
1. The first thing we need to realise is that this battle of AGEING is not just a matter of good arteries... but of

1. Have a Godly Attitude

You see, it isn’t a tragedy to grow old physically; it’s an inevitability; it is a normal part of life; all of our bodies grow old! Our text from Ecclesiastes says as much. The passage we read goes on to list the characteristic attitudes of old age...
a. This text says that one mark of old age is this: "The grasshopper becomes a burden" other words a grasshopper lands on the shoulder of a man and its minute weight is a burden. This phrase hints that one psychological characteristic of old age is that we are burdened down with trifles, little things bother us...there is an increased sensitivity to the trivial things of life. You and I know people who are this way....little things bother them...the "grasshoppers of life" are a burden to them...They are always fussing and complaining...cranky and irritable...upset about insignificant things...they are already "old" psychologically ...they are constantly bugged by the small things of life.
b. In verse 5 we are told that another psychological characteristic of age is that they "are afraid of heights". This means that mental ageing is characterised by fear of risks in life, fear of challenges and new things. So, we are “old” when we want to keep things the same, to play it safe, when we are afraid to take chances, afraid of the future, afraid that tomorrow will be filled with dark days. And the scripture says that to people like this; “fears shall be in the way.” Some old people always look at life with anxiety and fear. This is opposite to what God wants for us. He wants us to have faith and an expectancy of life and an abiding confidence in the future.
c. One more characteristic of old age attitude is glorifying the past at the expense of the present and the future. People like this think that the best times are all behind us. The greatest days of a church were 30 years the “GOOD OLD DAYS”.
But people who have God’s attitude should believe that the best has not yet arrived and can start now and into the future. They don’t let the victories OR the failures of the past limit the victories of the future.
So, these are the psychological characteristics of old age:
 Little things are a burden
 Pessimism and fear about the future
 Living in the glories of the past
According to these attitudes, How old are we? Now it is certain, that if we live, that we are all going to grow old in body but we certainly do not have to grow old in spirit. I have known people in their 30’s who have all the mental characteristics of old age and behave like Victor Meldrew.
Then there are others who are frail in body from the passing of years with hair that has either turned white or turned loose but their attitudes are young; they are excited, optimistic, friendly. They are not old! They are not bored nor are they boring. To win in our battle with ageing you and I must know that ageing is not just a physical thing.
What does Paul have to say to all this?
Philippians 3:13–16 ESV
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

2. The greatest achievements of our lives doesn’t have to be limited to our younger days

History is full of examples of this: Tennyson wrote "Crossing the Bar" when he was 80. Winston Churchill, the saviour of Europe would have been a failure if he had died before he was 65. Thomas A Edison was busily seeking out new inventions when he died at 85. Michelangelo was still producing masterpieces when he was 89. Hudson Taylor was going back and forth to China right up until the time he died at 73. George Muller only stopped travelling the world at 86 but kept preaching even on the day of his death at 92. For both Hudson Taylor and George Muller travelling was not as easy as it is today.
When Irena and I were in Macedonia an 83 year old woman came out from the USA on a short-term mission trip to help us in the warehouses.
Moses had a zest for life right until he died at age 120
Deuteronomy 34:7 ESV
7 Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated.
Then there was Caleb who said:
Joshua 14:7–12 NKJV
7 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 back word to him as it was in my heart. 8 Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. 9 So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ 10 And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. 11 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. 12 Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”
Imagine what it must have been like to be the only senior citizen in a group of younger people, all of them at least twenty years his junior, as they wandered in the wilderness, complaining about the weather, complaining about their leadership, complaining about circumstances. What was it that sustained Caleb’s life? I think it was the fact that Caleb wanted God’s very best and knew that God was going to give it to him. He wanted what God wanted, is the secret to internal eternal youth? To want what God wants?
In the passage I read Caleb is 85 years old and he has lost none of his enthusiastic zest for life; he is still YOUNG mentally. And by the way he did conquer that mountain. When Caleb was nearly a century old he did not follow the example of others his age by saying, "Leave me alone, I’m tired. I deserve a comfortable, shady spot. You owe me some benefits for all those years I’ve worked and fought. I’ve done my part, now its’ their turn." No, He followed the Lord fully, not halfheartedly and so his greatest achievements were in his later years. For him, with God, life started at 40. We must also know that

3. There is no retirement from the Christian life

We might retire from our careers. We never retire from the Lord’s service and the more we realise this, the younger we will be.
Chuck Swindoll shares the story of an older couple who attended a Bible conference in the US several years ago. Both were very quiet Christians. The conference theme was "Looking Unto Jesus" and that became the emphasis of the week. Like Caleb, this old couple decided that no matter what, they would follow the Lord fully, not halfheartedly. They prayed before starting that long drive back to their home: “Lord, we give you first place. We have lived too many years for ourselves. No longer. We have decided to spend the balance of our lives for You. No matter what happens, the rest of our days are in Your hands.”
On the journey back late that evening a car swerved over onto their side of the motorway, heading straight toward them. The man jerked the steering wheel to the right, slammed on his brakes, and skidded down into a ditch, finally coming to a stop in the middle of a shallow river. As water began to pour into their car, the wife pulled herself out of the window on her side and her husband did the same on his. They stood on top of their car as the water flowed over their ankles. They were stunned, but so grateful to be alive that they embraced tightly then began to sing, spontaneously and softly: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” After singing they looked up to the bridge above them and saw a large number of people staring down in silent disbelief. Nobody knew what to say. Suddenly the elderly husband was seized with the realisation that even THIS could be used as a testimony to the glory of God. With a twinkle in his eye, a smile on his lips, and with a trembling voice he began, "You might have wondered why we called this meeting here today..."
And then instead of complaining and succumbing to fear, the two of them spoke openly of the Lord their God, whom they now followed fully, not halfheartedly.
Are we getting older? Yes, we all are. But one way to enjoy life is to commit to never retire from the Christian life.

4. How you finish a race is important

People remember the end of people’s lives: Examples: What of King Saul of the OT? by suicide after consulting a medium. What about Judas Iscariot? by suicide after betraying his friend Jesus. Contrast these life-endings with the life of the Apostle Paul as he sat in a Roman Jail...knowing martyrdom was just around the corner...very aware that the end of his life was quickly approaching could say with all confidence:
2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
We all are getting older but God sustains us:
Isaiah 40:30–31 NKJV
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Have a Godly Attitude
The greatest achievements of our lives doesn’t have to be limited to our younger days
There is no retirement from the Christian life
How you finish a race is important
A word to the younger - prepare now your hearts and minds for the future when you will no be able to do the things quite as you did when you were younger.
Whilst this was called Getting Old is no excuse! The thing is, if you are younger, you really are now without excuse and should set the example. You can’t let the older folks alone to bear the work.
Prayer: “Lord, we give you first place. We have lived too many years for ourselves. No longer. We have decided to spend the balance of our lives for You. No matter what happens, the rest of our days are in Your hands.”

Sing: I cast my mind - O Praise the name


Jesus came to do the will of His Father.
Prayer for the elements
1 Corinthians 11:23–26 ESV
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Prayer for the fellowship

Sing: O God, our help in ages past


But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Related Media
Related Sermons