I lay it down as a simple matter of fact that no one who is careless about such things
must ever expect to make much progress in sanctification.
Bishop J.C. Ryle
The Psalmist says…The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green… (92:12-14) We who trust God should never view any season of life as unproductive. Our ‘retirement’ years are a time for accomplishment, an opportunity to continue to advance the purpose of God in this world. In the words of Dr. John Dunlop, 'Wake up every morning knowing what you are going to do that day and go to bed every night knowing that you helped someone'. Do something! Do something to make each day count for God.
As we age, what we are able to do will no doubt change, our passions may change. We may be less involved in those things that require physical strength and more involved in quieter activities like praying and encouraging others, but we can do our part to stay faithful and honor our Lord and His church.
As His church we called to be Kingdom builders / workers and the admonishment in the Bible to work and serve is not age specific. Consider how the apostle Paul viewed his life: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me. (Philippians 1:21-26)
Facing execution, Paul wrestled with whether he should hope to keep on living or to allow death to become that which would allow him to be with the Lord. He chose to hope to go on living because he saw a purpose in doing so. His remaining days would be spent encouraging Christians in their walk with the Lord
It was Paul who said…Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. (Be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.) Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
The Bible tells the story of men and women, like Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Caleb, David, who built the temple just before his death, and Elizabeth and Zacharias, Anna, Simeon and the Apostle John, who made significant contributions in their later years.
Dallas Willard, in his book Renovation of the Heart argues that meaningfulness always requires a context.
And that it is faith in God is that which gives life its ultimate purpose and meaning. Willard says...Knowing God and believing that there is a plan and purpose for our lives should fill us with joy. So he exhorts...you should devote the rest of your life to doing those things which you know to be good and profitable for humanity.
I believe that it is not dying that people are afraid of. Something else, something more unsettling and more tragic than dying frightens us. We’re afraid of never having lived; of coming to the end of our days with the sense that we were never really alive; that we never figured out what live was for. (Harold Kushner)
Staying faithful means figuring out what is important; it means living well to the end and finishing well when our race on earth is completed. So, my friends at Valley...Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.