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Friday: Further Thought – Among the Lampstands — 10 Comments

  1. Question 3 asks:

    There’s a strange irony that many Christians face. The longer they are in the church, the easier it is for their faith to grow dim or even to die out. The opposite, though, should happen. After all, the longer we walk with Jesus, the more we should learn about Him and His love for us. How, then, can we keep the fire of faith not only burning, but burning brighter and brighter, as it should?

    This is a real issue for me as I am now classified as an old person, and have been in the church for a long time, not just as a member but as an employee. I have seen far too many people leave the church or lose their faith. Further, I have seen many faithful Christians become grumpy old men and women as they age. According to them, the church has apostatized, they are no longer preaching the Gospel, the music is too loud, the Jesuits have infiltered the church and so on.

    Are all these grumpy Christians losing their relationship with Jesus? I have to admit that I do not know the answer, but having reached the "old" age myself, I have to think seriously about how to keep the faith burning. It does not help that there is an element of age discrimination in the church. We are admonished to sit back and relax and let the young people lead out. That often leads us without an active part in the church.

    Aging is challenging, even in the secular environment, and we should not be blind to the issues that aging brings to our spiritual experience. For what it is worth, here are a couple of ideas that have helped me.

    1) Expand your spiritual life beyond the church. The church is not the boundary. There are other environments where you can be spiritually involved in the community.

    2) Keep your brain active. Challenge yourself with new ideas.

    Hopefully, we can echo the thoughts of Paul in 2 Tim 4:6-8:

    For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

  2. Dear Maurice, I agree with you that aging is challenging, more so I found from the attitude of others. For me retirement was a true blessing, because it gave me more time to do my daily bible readings and study. It is true I make time to do that but I have a reason. My new year's resolution last year was to read the whole bible in a year. I did that, although not everyday I was able to read. This year my resolution was the same with an addition to make comments and write them down every day. So far that is working well, and makes me think more. Another thing I find very helpful is that I am on the church roster to give the Sabbath School lesson study two or three times a quarter. I need at least a month to do justice to those lessons, however I'm the one to get most benefits, I would only teach about a quarter of what I find for each lesson. What a fascinating journey it is for me. My studies sometimes creep through in normal conversations with folks around me in normal daily life. I love being the age that I am at. I feel it is part of the mission I wanted to be in to ‘tell the world about the love of Jesus’. Godbless today. Mrs A Stolz

  3. The benefits of being part of the church group can be our downfall, like Ephesus they were so busy doing the LORD's work they forgot to nourish their relationship with the LORD. Jesus' pattern is our map - meditate on that Word and pray/talk to The Word/Jesus.

  4. It is all about our relationship with Jesus! There might not be a single formula to that, but I agree that keeping active is very important! How can we explain a successful lifetime lasting marriage? Certainly there has to be a foundation and mutual disposition to that. And as it is in all relationships, there can be times of trouble, after all, we are imperfect! But the good thing is that Jesus is always there to accept and pardon us... and since He is just love, things can go wrong in our relationship with Him only due to our part!

  5. The longer we (or some of us) are in the church, it is taken for granted the blessings and it spoils and blinds instead of refreshing and directing. And because God loves us with an everlasting love, He allows trials and tribulations to keep us near Him. The troubles are like an alarm clock; when it goes off some get up and move and others hit the snooze. If we are not careful, we be as the 5 unwise virgins, looking for oil pass the hour and the gates will be closed.

  6. 1. For any who have learned of Jesus from Genesis through the prophets, the gospels, and letters of the apostles, the Revelation brings Truth by a familiar character and tone as one learns to recognize in all the counsels and admonitions of the Lord. Jesus and all He gives us proves He is the “first and the last”, lives forevermore, and will be with us always IF we will only “receive Him,...and believe on His name”.

    2. Worship is about more than the Sabbath only, and is vital to be understood in all we are and do, if we are to keep the Sabbath Holy. No one can “keep” the sabbath without being holy in all of their life. Remember, the Sabbath is a “sign” that the Lord has sanctified us(Ex 31:13).

    3. It is true, that “the longer we walk WITH Jesus, the more we will learn about Him and reflect in our own life. So the lack of this advancement proves one does not walk WITH Jesus, but with another. Hasn't Jesus taught how any who would walk WITH Him must walk(Matt 11:29; 16:24)?

    • I agree with most of what you are saying Robert, however, I am concerned that we make little concession for aging, mental disability, and health.

      I remember a much-loved pastor who suffered dementia and was renown for his swearing and cursing in the later stages of life. Some, who did not know him accused him of being like that in secret and now that his inhibitions had been destroyed it was all coming out. I believe that was a cruel analysis. My own father suffered severe depression in the later stages of his life and the really hard part about it could not understand why he was being so afflicted when he had walked closely with God for the whole of his life. And I can think of many others who have aged less gracefully than they would have liked, simply because the brain was not working as it should.

      While I don't want to use mental disability to dismiss my own failings, I think that sometimes we assume that other folk have full health/mental capacity/hormonal balance when in fact they are working with sin affected capability that they have not chosen for themselves. I don't mean that in a patronizing way, but I understand that we are not born equal. We make a lot of noise about being perfect in Christ, but I wonder what that perfection looks like when it comes to aging/mental health etc. Perhaps we should consider that God is much more understanding than we sometimes appear to be.

  7. What a wonderful promise to Ephesus to eat of the 🌲 of life, it reminds us of what Adam and Eve lost - eternal life and what is waiting for the overcomers Rev 22:2,14. To eat of the 🌲 of life whose levels for healing of the Gods people. What do they have to overcome? Rev 2:4,5 - themselves - they need to spend more time with Jesus to fall in love with him again, to submit our will to him, ask him to change our hearts and character to be perfect like him. 1 Peter 1:15,16; Matt 5:48; 1John 3:1-10, Lev 20:7, after all God created humans in His image and his likeness. What a wonderful promise!

    • I love your post Shirley, I appreciate your texts and comments. There is another blessing from staying close to Him, clinging to Him if you will. He will answer the prayer He taught us. Matthew 6:13. Our answer is found in: 1John 5:18. “We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin; but He (Jesus) who was born of God [carefully] keeps and protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.” I would say, anyone who does not feel they are able to overcome,(be perfect), confidence is found in God’s word. To be born again is to keep coming to Him, keep turning to Him, spend time with Him daily, and ask of Him. Ask of Him and your requests will be granted. 1 John 5:14 “This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us.” Ask the Lord to give us the mind of Jesus, make us Holy as He is, and to give us the power to prove we have been with Jesus, who is all our righteousness.


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