Today we’re continuing looking at the five stages of life in our message series. Last Sunday, we looked at Prime Time Blessings, the stage from the thirties to fifties. If you missed the message, you can watch it online at our website or on Youtube.
Today’s message is entitled “Senior Vitality.” This is the life stage that begins in the sixties and is often associated with retirement. Our culture today is fixated on youth. Oftentimes those older, the seniors, are not respected or honored.
Last Sunday, we spoke on the importance of honoring parents by their adult children.
Deuteronomy 5:16 (ESV) “‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
This is the fourth of the ten commandments and has a wonderful promise with it. Honoring parents is so important to God that He promises long life and blessing for those who obey. Honoring parents is not just for children who are living at home, but is meant to be practiced throughout life.
1 Timothy 5:1-2 (ESV) Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.
This instruction is for younger people to treat senior men as fathers and senior women as mothers. That means that they are to honor and respect them as if they were their parents. The treatment of parents according to the fourth commandment is meant as a model for how all seniors are to be treated.
Leviticus 19:32 (ESV) “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.
This command tells us that fearing God includes respecting and honoring seniors. Now why would this be so important to God and to us? Godly seniors have acquired wisdom as they have followed God over a lifetime. Younger people can learn from their experience and examples. Godly seniors who were saved at a younger age often have great maturity in the Lord. As we obey God’s Word to honor our parents and seniors, it brings the blessing of God into our lives.
So far, this morning, I’ve talked about what the Bible says concerning how younger people should treat seniors. As we continue our study this morning, the rest of my message will be directed toward seniors. If you’re a senior, we’re going to see what God has in store for you in your senior years. If you’re a younger person, what we talk about will help you encourage and honor the seniors in your life.
Psalm 37:23 (ESV) The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;
God’s Word considers our lives on earth as a journey. What does this verse mean when it says a man’s steps are established or ordered by the Lord? The Lord will faithfully guide your steps in life when you delight in Him and He delights in you. The steps of a man begin at birth and continue in life through the senior years. These steps represent God’s guidance, direction and strength that He gives. As long as you’re alive on this earth, the Lord is there establishing your steps.
Psalm 37:25 (ESV) I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.
In Psalm 37, David is writing as a senior, as an older man. He saw down through the years, that those who were righteous were never forsaken by the Lord. The children of those who are righteous were blessed and well taken care of. In this verse, we see the wisdom of David, as a senior, telling us of the faithfulness of God.
Proverbs 16:31 (ESV) Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.
Today, people often try to hide their gray hair in one way or another. But this proverb says that gray hair is a crown of glory. Gray hair is a mark of God’s faithfulness in giving a long life. We’ve already seen that a long life is a reward for those who honor parents, which is part of living a righteous life. This is a general principle in God’s Word, that those who walk with God are blessed with longer lives. While those who do not walk with God, tend to live shorter lives. As you as a senior continue to walk with God through life, God will be faithful to take care of you.
Let’s talk about God’s faithfulness in the senior years. In the senior years, as people retire and grow older, there are various challenges in life. There may be financial challenges or health challenges. You may need to depend on children or others to help in different ways. Sometimes those changes can lead to worry or even depression.
The good news is that God has not left you, God is there with you in those senior years. He has promised to take care of you, so there is no need to worry. There is no need to be discouraged, for God will provide for your every need. Be thankful that God is faithful throughout life, He will never forsake you.
Joshua 14:10b-11 (ESV) And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming.
These words were written by a man named Caleb. Caleb and Joshua were the two spies that gave good report to Moses that they were to go in and conquer the Promised Land. However, the other ten spies gave a bad report and that nation of Israel refused to enter the Promised Land. So, God caused them to wander in the desert for forty years. During those forty years, everyone died, except Joshua and Caleb. Caleb was now eighty-five years old, but he was not ready to just play shuffleboard. Caleb was ready for war, he was ready to conquer the enemy, he was looking for victory.
Joshua 14:12 (ESV) So now give me this hill country of which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the LORD said.”
Caleb asked Joshua for a hill country that he had seen forty years ago as his possession. This would not be an easy task, as that hill country as inhabited by the Anakim, who were giants. You remember the nine foot tall giant, Goliath? He was from this hill country. The next chapter records the conquest of this hill country and defeat of the giant Anakim by Caleb at eighty-five years of age. Caleb had faith that even in his senior years, God was with him to win great victories.
Psalm 92:14-15 (ESV) They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
The psalmist writes of seniors bearing fruit in their old age. Rather then being dried up and unfruitful, they are still productive. And what is the fruit that they are bearing? These seniors, which are called the righteous in previous verses, are declaring to others the truth about the Lord God. They are proclaiming that God is upright and that He is their rock. God is the firm foundation of seniors throughout their days. God’s plans include victories yet to be won for every senior.
As a senior, you may retire from the job you had in your prime time stage of life. But you must never retire from being in God’s army. You must never retire from seeking to expand the kingdom of God. In retirement, you may often have more freedom to serve God then in previous years.
Don’t count yourself out as a senior. Like Caleb, God has battles for you to fight, victories for you to win. The Lord has fruit that He wants your life to bear. Messages He has for you to speak for Him. Ask God what victories He has for you to win, who He has for you to encourage. Seniors, there are victories yet to be won by you.
Luke 2:25 (ESV) Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
We’ve looked at the examples of David and Caleb as righteous seniors and now we will look at Simeon. Everything that Luke writes about the senior Simeon is very positive. Simeon was righteous, that is, he was living a godly lifestyle. He was devout, his whole life was committed to serving God. He was waiting in faith for the consolation of Israel, that is the Messiah. And last , but certainly not least, the Holy Spirit was upon him.
Luke 2:26 (ESV) And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
Simeon was seeking God and the Spirit told him that even though he was old, he would not die before he had seen the Messiah. What an amazing revelation for a godly senior. It had been hundreds of years since the last prophet Malachi had spoken. Yet, Simeon had great faith to believe the Spirit, that he would see the Messiah in his lifetime.
Luke 2:27-28 (ESV) And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God …
One day, the Holy Spirit directed Simeon to come into the temple at a certain time. As Simeon was in the temple, Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, brought the baby Jesus into the temple to be dedicated to the Lord. Simeon met them there and took Jesus up in his arms. Simeon knew through the Holy Spirit that this baby was the promised Messiah. Simeon began to bless the parents and prophesy over Jesus. He prophesied that Jesus would bring salvation both to the Jews and Gentiles. Simeon knew that now he could pass on in peace, as the promise of the Spirit to see the Messiah had been fulfilled. Simeon was faithful in serving God in his senior years, and so must we.
One of the things that strikes me about Simeon was the repeated mention in the text about the Holy Spirit in his life. This story takes place before the Spirit is poured out on Pentecost. Yet, Simeon has the Holy Spirit upon him, he is guided by the Holy Spirit, and he prophesies by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is key to fulfilling God’s purpose in the senior years. God gave Simeon something to live for in his senior years. He was to wait to see the Messiah and prophesy over Him. This was Simeon’s mission in life in his senior years and he carefully followed the Spirit to complete that mission.
Simeon was and is an example of a Spirit-led life for people of all ages. In the same way, God will give you a mission or missions in life in your senior years. As you are faithful to carry out those missions through the Spirit, great victories will be won. And your life will speak to younger generations as well. Be faithful in serving God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
As David realized as a senior, God is faithful throughout life. He will never forsake you, but will be with you every step of the way. Caleb at eighty-five inspires us to look for victories in your life, yet to be won. Don’t count yourself out because you’re a senior, victories are won by faith in God’s power, not your own strength. God has much fruit for you to bear in your life to bless many others.
Finally, Simeon in his old age, gives us an example of faithfully serving God. He believed in God’s promise and walked in the Spirit for many years. Finally, the promise was fulfilled and Simeon was privileged to hold the Messiah in his arms.
God has promises for the rest of your life as a senior as well. Keep believing in God to fulfill His promises in your life. Be faithful in serving God and you will see every promise come to pass. May each senior listening be encouraged to keep on following Jesus.