Seniors…Now is Such an Important Time
(King James Version)
15See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
(English Standard Version)
15Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Written April 2, 2012
I love listening to sermons. I’m thankful that many are available to hear both over the radio and through the Internet because it means that I am able to hear them just about any time I want. One sermon I remember hearing was on these verses, and something that was said in it which didn’t make a lot of sense to me for a good long while. The message was on the above text, Ephesians 5:15-17. The preacher was a good country guy who was an evangelist, and he was preaching about “walking circumspectly.”
Just as a side note, the word circumspectly or “look carefully” in the English Standard Version, in the Greek is akribōs. It means exactly, accurately, diligently. It carries with it the idea of living life in such a way that you are ever careful and watchful of things around you, being cautious and aware of the dangers that are present.
It was a great sermon that spoke on the need to live for Christ and it also revealed the many tricks and cunning ways of the enemy. It also spoke of how many Christians fall prey to these tricks. One point that this evangelist made toward the end of the sermon that really threw me off was this. He said, “the devil would rather have you fail at the end of your life than at the beginning.” What he was talking about was having some great moral failure or giving into a sin such as adultery, embezzling from a business, lying about something that caused a scandal, or some other large scale action that shamed not only a person but also the cause of Christ.
Now I’ll be honest, I listened to that message a number of times, thought about it, and struggled with it. Ultimately I had to shelve my investigation into that point for a while and then revisit that thought at a later time. In my thinking at the time, it would be much more devastating to make someone fail at the early part of a person’s life, like in their twenties, and have them be a bad example to others for 60 or 70 years, than have someone falter in their faith with the majority of their life behind them.
Then one day the truthfulness of that point hit me between the eyes. You see I was focusing on the power of influence over an extended period of time, which in and of itself is damaging. What is worse however, is the shattering of someone’s testimony who has proclaimed God’s goodness and been a great example for many years. It is that victory the devil covets so much. It is in those falls and failures that people question the power of Christ, the worth of faith, and the value of the Christian life. In those times people ask things like “Is there really any value in following Jesus? After all, even after 50 years it didn’t help that person.” It is not the minister with 2 years of experience who falls in the ministry that rocks a community and hurts the cause of Christ for generations, it is the minister who falls in his 40th year of service. For then people begin to question everything they were ever taught and many will question their own faith. It is not the young business person who is a church goer and is caught stealing from work that leaves people speechless and dumbfounded. It is the one who is 4 months from retirement. For when it comes out in papers it also mentions that they won numerous perfect Sunday school attendance ribbons and was asked to pray at social gathering. Those times are what make people wonder, “Is there anything to this Jesus? Is there any value in going to church at all?”
Seniors, let me encourage you, the days that you are living for Christ right now are some of the most influential times of your life. Here is where your children and grandchildren see the worth of Christ most vividly in your life. Here is where they can see the power of Jesus working through your life most clearly. Now is the time where your faith is so visible. Do not ever feel that your usefulness to Christ is diminished one bit. For with each day you serve the Lord you proclaim loudly Christ is worth it! Christ is precious! God is good and to serve Him and worship Him is what life is all about!
Seniors, let me also warn you, beware for now is also the time where your testimony and life are a coveted prize for every enemy Christians face. This world in which we live has countless ways of tempting us, tricking us, and outright lying to us to turn our backs on our church family, our faith, and all we love and hold dear. My urging is this, hold fast to Christ. Through your life show a love for the Savior, His people, and a passion for His plan. Let me also remind you that it is not the beginning of the race that people are most interested in, it is the end of the race. The end of the race is truly what is watched with the most interest.
Let me close with an illustration that comes to mind. I remember watching the series premier of NBC’s The Biggest Loser. For those unfamiliar with the show, it is a type of game show that takes a number of obese individuals, and over the course of the season, lets them work out with personal trainers to see who can lose the most weight and become “The Biggest Loser.” Interestingly, this particular season opened with four different trainers being introduced, one who had been on the show since it had been on the air and three new ones. All of the contestants were divided up into 4 teams and placed into a large race where each team had to run together. Each team carried a large weight and at the end of the track they got to choose their trainer. The incentive for winning this race was the winners got to choose first between the four trainers, while each team after them had one less trainer to choose from. Interestingly the first place team chose the trainer everyone wanted. He was the most valued and the one they put the most confidence in.
You know in the world in which we live in I believe many look to see who others put their confidence in as approach the finish line. I believe this world as the question “Just who or what are they running to?” The Apostle Paul put it this way; “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, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV).” Seniors, thank you for your testimony, your faith, and steadfast lives pressing on to Jesus Christ!