Old is the New Young

Home » Sermons » Blessed » Old is the New Young

Auto Generated Transcript

We come to the conclusion of our series Blessed together, and in looking at the life of Abraham and how the Lord blessed him. I hope within our lives we begin to recognize that Abraham as he was blessed. So can we. We’re blessed in the Lord. We’re blessed through the salvation he’s provided for us, and blessed as we trust in him. Through that provision and differentiating between this blessing that God gave Abraham and us and and living life according to career. It’s been said that a career is what you are paid to do, and a calling is what you’re made to do. And God has created all of us for a reason and purpose in him. And we may retire from a job or career. But as a believer, you never retire from the calling Christ has given you. The American way is we work a job and we look forward to retirement one day. But in biblical terms, no one retires from the reason for which God has created you. We’re all made for a purpose. The trick to never retiring for the Lord is to understand the reason for which he has created you, and to understand that through him you are blessed. And sometimes we fall short in appreciating the life and living it for the purpose in which God has created us. In fact, we can live without purpose. Warren Wiersbe wrote, A few people really experienced joy and satisfaction as they age.

When they look back, it’s with regret. When they look ahead, it’s with fear. And when they look around it is with complaint. Knowing that life can be lived aimlessly. There are some people whose gravestones could read, died by age 20 but buried at age 90. But not in the life of Abraham. Bible tells us in Genesis chapter 25 and describing the end of Abraham’s life in verse seven. These are all the years of Abraham’s life that he lived 175 years. At 75 years old, God calls him at 175 100 years of walking with the Lord, he still following after him. And the summation of Abraham’s life as it comes to an end is concluded for us. In verse eight it says, Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age. I don’t know what that looks like ripe old age, but it says this an old man and full of years satisfied with life, and he was gathered to his people. This thought of being full of life in the Hebrew word. It really doesn’t grasp its complete picture for us on the English language, for us to to really understand it. It really it needs a sentence. But as translators translate, they try to figure out the few words they can in order to correlate it to verses as they translate. But this idea of Abraham living full of life means it carries two thoughts with us.

It literally means both quantity of life. And quality of life. Abraham’s life was full. At the age of 175. When he crossed the finish line. He didn’t cross on a gas tank that was on E. He crossed with one still overflowing with the blessing that God had given to him. Psalm 92 and verse 12. Verse 14 say this the righteous man will flourish like a palm tree. They will still yield fruit in old age. They shall be full of sap and very green. Jokingly, I say in the literal sense, if you’re feeling full of sap, please see the doctor. But literally or figuratively, I should say. God’s desire is for us to experience a joyful life in him. The understand that he has created us, that we would be blessed through him. And this word in verse eight to be full, as it describes Abraham, is a summation of a life that trusted in the Lord. Leaving us with this question how did Abraham live a life full of years? How can we as people, into the older years of our life, still live life with a cup that overflows? The first is this. Abraham. Refused to retire from his calling. He wouldn’t call it quits. It reminds me of an illustration of of the great Satchel Paige who was a pitcher. This this thought relates in my mind as it as the story is told with Satchel Paige, that sometimes we may see our our self past our prime as a reason to quit, but not with Abraham and not with Satchel Paige, 62 years old.

He’s still throwing in baseball. He’s pitching an exhibition game. And as the story is told, he retired six straight batters, of which it included the great Hank Aaron. Or even Babe Ruth. History tells us that Babe Ruth struck out over 1300 times. But we remember him as the great home run king. Hitting over 700 home runs. Leaving us with the thought. To hit a lot of home runs. You’ve got to swing at a lot of pitches. And you have the opportunity to look and be marked by your failures of strikeouts. Are to remember your position in Christ. Home run. King. Abraham at the age of 75. Refused to retire from his calling in the Lord. If you were to examine the life of Abraham at the time that God called him in the land of Ur, by the world’s standards, we would say Abraham was successful. He was wealthy. He lived in a nice home in a beautiful city. In the cradle of what we say is the existence of civilization in modern day Iraq. But Abraham didn’t follow God. Because he had no other options. Or because he was looking for monetary gain. He was already independently wealthy, with tons of options of worldly comfort.

Choosing to change the the direction of his life at 75 years old wasn’t easy. In fact, we looked at together in the land of air. Archaeologists have discovered there’s there’s running toilets. And it was a beautiful area in which to live. And God calls Abraham and he says, go to the land of Canaan and live among nomads in a place that isn’t so, so well. And I want you to exist in tents. Paul Tripp says this. Your weakness is not something to be afraid of. No. It’s your delusions of strength that are much, much greater danger. Abraham, by the world’s standards, saw himself. A successful and he was successful. But Abraham knew according to God’s standards. But he was lacking. In Hebrews chapter 11. When it describes Abraham, it says then therefore in verse eight, by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance. And he went out not knowing where he was going. For. He was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Abraham. Knew there was a far greater purpose for which he was created than the temporal satisfactions of the world. His life. He desired to be identified for a purpose that lived beyond today. And the reason Abraham crossed the finish line, having been full of years, was that he he refused to retire from the calling through which God had given him.

And the second is this. He followed the Lord even after hardships and failures. The truth is, when God calls us. It’s not that it’s always easy, but it is full of life. Abraham when he left Canaan. The the Bible tells us as soon as he entered or he left for Canaan, as soon as he entered the land, he experienced a drought. He left then for Egypt, and he he lied to save his hide. And through his lie he loses his wife. When he regains his wife from the rulers of Egypt, he goes back to the Promised land. He fights with his, his, his nephew. Then he has to fight a war against individuals to save his nephew who was captured. He then commits a sin with Hagar. He sees Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed and God calls him to even offer his son. You want to love about the life of Abraham? It’s not perfect. His marriage with his wife wasn’t perfect. His faithfulness to Christ, it wasn’t always perfect. But he was willing to come to the Lord even after hardships and failures. He was a man who had scars from sin. There’s a quote that says, don’t be paralyzed by regret. Every moral failure of the past has been fully paid for and forgiven by the sacrifice of Christ. And even towards the end of his life. I would say one of the deepest grievances of Abraham’s soul was still to be endured, and that was through the loss of his wife.

And Genesis chapter 23 and verses one and two, it says this. Now Sarah lived 127 years. And these were the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died in Kiryat Arba, and that is in Hebron, in the land of Canaan. And Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. As Abraham’s life is described in Scripture, it says there are places of highs and lows. There are places of difficulties and triumphs, but never has it described in the depth of his soul that he is. He is weeping and he is mourning. But in this passage. He experiences the loss of his wife. Abraham goes on to live another 38 years without his bride. But according to customs of if Abraham married Sarah at the age when most people in that time would be married, that meant Sarah would have been married to Abraham when she hit close to the age of 15 or right around. She lived to be 127, and so these two walked with the Lord together and experience marriage for over 100 years. Abraham’s soul grieved. Once heard a younger man marked remarked to an older man about losing his wife. He said, I’m sorry for the loss of your wife. To which the older man replied, son, when you know where something is, you haven’t lost it.

Hebrews 11 and verse 11 and 13. Describes a faith within Sarah where she has put her hope in the Lord. And what Abraham does from this point forward, he continues to walk in God and even honoring the bride in which God had given him. And it says in Genesis chapter 23 and verse six, hear us, my Lord. This is the people of the land talking to Abraham as he’s burying Sarah. And they say to him, hear us, my lord. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead and the choices of our graves. None of us will refuse you his grave for burying your dead. When these people come before the Lord, as Abraham is about to bury his wife. There’s a beautiful picture that’s created with Abraham’s testimony in Hebrews chapter 11. It tells us in verse nine that Abraham goes in into the land of Canaan as a foreigner. Meaning it wasn’t where he belonged, but it was a place where he came to be and belong. And the testimony is seen by the way he lives his life in Genesis chapter three and verse six, where even though he came in as a foreigner, he lived in his life in such a way of integrity that the people embraced him as their own. So much so that they’re willing to give up a burial plot for his family.

Abraham, I’m sure honored by this offer, says in verse seven. So Abraham rose and bowed to the people of the land, the sons of Heth. And he spoke with them, saying, it is if it is your wish for me to bury my dad out of my sight, hear me and approach Ephraim, the son of Zophar, for me, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he owns, and which is at the end of his field, for the full price. Let him give it to me in your presence for a burial site. It’s according to the customs of the Hittites who were in the land. They would bury their people together and worship towards their false God, to acknowledge that wherever they were to spend eternity, it would be together. But Abraham knew both he and Sarah didn’t belong to the false gods of the land. Sarah belonged to the Lord. And so Abraham buys his own place. For his own family, separated from the pagan people of the land to acknowledge the glory of his goddess at worked in the life of both he and Sarah. C.s. Lewis wrote a book called The Grief Observed. And C.S. Lewis was a man who who came to faith later in life. He wrote many great books on on relationship with the Lord, and his most famous is Mere Christianity, which acknowledges his his own struggle. And before he was a believer in how he came to know the Lord and presenting it to the world in mere Christianity.

But he wrote this book, The Grief Observed, reflecting on the loss of his wife having gone through that pain of separation. And he gave this one thought that always resonates with me. He said, the greater the love, the greater the grief we observe. Meaning for us as people. The pain we experience and the loss of a loved one magnifies the beauty of the love that we have for them. For you and for me. The closer we are in relationship to people that we care about. The greater our soul grieves when they pass from this world. And the pain of that loss. Testifies to the beauty of the love that you had for them. And Abraham at the end of his life, living another 38 years without Sarah as she passes in Genesis chapter 23, it tells us that he mourns and he cries and he weeps over her. And even in hardships and failures, he follows the Lord. I should give justice to to Sarah in these moments, because we focus much on the life of Abraham. But I should say Abraham was the man that he was because he had a wife who was willing to follow the Lord in her own life. When God called Abraham. He also called Sarah. She went with him every step of the way, trusting in the Lord and the promises that he gave.

So much so that when Peter writes first Peter in chapter three, verses 1 to 6, he uses Sarah as a a godly example of a Jewish lady who who loved her husband as God had called her to love, willing to live in tents. And to walk with her husband before the Lord. Both Abraham and Sarah follow the Lord, even even after hardships and failures. No reason I should say. From point number three the Abraham continued in his calling. Was by remembering who he was and what he had been given in the Lord. You know, for us as people, it’s not always easy to focus on the calling which God has given to us because we still struggle in the flesh. Sometimes we understand the nature of which Christ has placed upon us, but the pull of the flesh we we give in to. But God. Would show up in the life of Abraham. In fact, in Genesis chapter 15, it gives for for me what I think is is the pinnacle moment in the life of Abraham. It is. It is one of the most beautiful things, I think, within Scripture and all of his life that we saw from Genesis chapter 12 on into Genesis chapter 25, that God did for Abraham as he shows up. Genesis chapter 15 and verse one. He’s still fairly new into the land in which God had called him.

He shows up to the land. There’s a drought. He goes down into Egypt, he loses his wife. He comes back into the land. He fights with his nephew. He loses his nephew to a raiding band of kings who captures him and runs off with him. He goes and he fights that battle, and in that battle he’s reminded of his own mortality. And he’s had a place of weakness. And then in verse one it says this. After this. The word of the Lord came to Abraham in a vision. Isn’t it beautiful for us? The way God shows up and the desperations of our need? And God spoke these words. He said, do not be afraid, Abraham. I am your shield. In verse five it says and hee hee hee, referring to God, took him outside and said, look up at the sky and count the stars, if indeed you can count them. Then he said to him, so shall your offspring be. Be Abraham believed the Lord. The reason Abraham continued his calling was by remembering who he was and what he had been given in Christ, and Abraham believed the Lord. The story goes like this. In a moment of weakness. Giving in to the flesh, not understanding. It’s not by his power, but by Christ. God comes in and he takes him in verse five. And this word for take means with violent force.

He grabs Abraham, who’s looking into the ground. He takes him outside and said, son, get your head up and look to the stars for which I have called you. This passage is so important in Scripture. That the Bible quotes it in Romans four, Galatians three, and James chapter two. In Romans four. In Galatians three, Paul uses it as the foundational illustration to understand that the righteousness which we are given in Christ has nothing to do with our merit in him. We’ll see that verse quoted in the end. But everything to do with the merit that we receive in Christ alone. His righteousness. Abrahams called from Earth not because Abraham is special. But because the Lord is good. And Abraham. Rather than wrapping himself in the world’s identity, he wraps himself in the identity that God desires to lavish upon him apart from anything that he has done. And Paul in the Book of Romans, a book about salvation in chapter four recognizes for us that that righteousness is received on our part, not because of us, but because of Christ. And in that you are blessed. And in Galatians chapter three, when the argument for circumcision is being made known by the law and and the Jews are saying, you must be circumcised in order to receive salvation, Paul says to add anything to the law is an anathema, and we receive the righteousness of Christ apart from anything that we’ve done.

And so in Romans or Galatians three, he uses this picture illustration of Abraham to say, this righteousness which we receive is based upon Christ. And then the beautiful story is told in Genesis 15. Verse nine, God tells Abraham to go grab some animals for a covenant that he’s going to make between he and Abraham about the life in which he’s going to give. And when God allows Abraham to bring these animals before him, the Bible tells us that God then causes Abraham to fall asleep. And God establishes that covenant with Abraham, without Abraham doing anything within that covenant promise. God’s the one who makes the sacrifice and provides the way. God’s the one who cloaks us in his identity. The quote that says, when you forget who you are and what you’ve been given in Christ, you then search for life in places where it cannot be found. And so in Hebrews chapter 11, verse nine. The promises of God. It says this by faith he made his home in the Promised Land like a stranger in a foreign country. He clothed himself and the promises of God no matter where God called him. Let me think of the beauty of the faith that’s expressed in a passage like this. Some of us won’t even leave the house without a GPS telling us where to go. And Abraham just wants to trust his godly.

Sometimes we look at a man like Abraham and we think to ourselves, you know, he’s he’s just special. He’s unique. But when you look at the stories from from Genesis chapter 12 to Genesis chapter 25, you find that God, when he comes to Abraham, sometimes decades before speaking to him. And he didn’t do it very often. As people. Sometimes we look for God to just show up and continue to repeat things to us. As if before we know what we need to do, we we need the special divine revelation. Has already declared it. We just need to listen to it and follow. Abraham. Was just a man and her recognizing in life he was bankrupt. That he wanted something more to live for the purpose for which he was created, that God had given him a calling. And so he wrapped himself in the identity that Jesus brought to him. And today, in looking at the life of Abraham, literally half the world judges him as a great man. Jews, Muslims, Christians all recognizing Abraham as one of faith. In Romans chapter four and verse 11, as Paul begins to use the illustration of the life of Abraham, he says this, that he, talking about Abraham, might be the father of all who believe. That in living out the calling for which God had created him, it wasn’t just a calling to bless Abraham, but it was a calling to bless all people.

Saying to us this morning, by this man’s faith and the promises of God, there isn’t a person here this morning who hasn’t been influenced by Abraham’s faith in the Lord. We’re here because of. Last night I watched a basketball game. I secretly have hopes of joining the NBA one day. And I am a I’m a I’m a fan of teams. That turns out that always wins championships, right? I’m the guy that you. I don’t cheer for the Yankees, but Patriots and Kentucky Wildcats cut me open. I bleed blue. When, uh, when I was growing up, we would go to the Kentucky Wildcat games. Last night they had a game that came very close. They almost lost, and I want to pretend like it wasn’t going to matter to me. But truth is, 90 year old kids with a basketball matters to me. And I noticed by the end of the game it’s so close. Like my heart starts pounding, starts pounding, starts pounding. So by the end of the game, I’m pretty sure it’s on the outside of my chest. And I wonder how it’s going to happen. And you’re biting your nails. You’re chewing on things. You’re hoping, hoping wins. And in that moment, I just began to think. And how foolish it is to be so passionate about things that won’t matter beyond tomorrow. But God. I mean, give me a passion for you.

Like this. The care beyond the moment. But for the next 100 years, if you call to be faithful. Abrahams called the father of all who believe. Maybe you could say to us as men. Because God’s created you for a purpose. Your life is going to matter for something. It’s going to count for something, and you should make that something worthwhile. Something worth living for beyond the day. And if you’re lacking someone to emulate in your life, that’s going to matter. Why not Jesus? All of us here today because of a faith that this man expressed and following after God and not just him, Sarah, who equally expressed her faith in the Lord, impacting not only him, not only the people around him who called him a prince, but generations to come. What a hope that takes. But requires one to cloak themselves in the identity through which Christ has given you. To not waver from that calling and even in adversity to trust in it. God said, through Abraham, all nations would be blessed. How? It would be by a blessing that keeps giving. Which means if you are part of that blessing, that keeps giving, it has defined your purpose for living. And if you are a part of that blessing for living, you have something worth giving. Following are the. It’s not necessarily easy. But it’s something when done by faith at the end of your life, your cup.

Overflows. Abraham went without knowing where he was going, what he was promised. He believed when he was tested, he trusted when he was blessed, he said. He shared saying to us as a church, when God leads, follow. When God promises belief, when God tests trust, and when God blesses, share. When your life is finished. Your cup will overflow. If your life were to end today. What would people say about you? Paul in Romans chapter four really writes the epitaph of Abraham. Verse 11. He was the father of all who believed. But using the illustration from Genesis chapter 15, he goes on and says in verse 20, Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promises. In fact, his faith grew stronger and in this he brought glory to God. He hints that God is able to do whatever he promises, and because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit, it was recorded for our benefit too. Assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him. The one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. This is the blessing that keeps giving. This is the blessing that blessed all nations. The blessing that set the precedent for the life of Abraham, for us to recognize as people that it continues on in our lives today.

Remarking that today is Palm Sunday. The beginning of the Passion Week of Christ. And once Jesus fulfills his promise to Abraham and blessing all nations by coming to this earth and offering his kingdom. And giving his life that just as Abraham’s cup overflowed. Just so yours could overflow too. Jesus gives it all for you. So that you can be full of life in him. As Abraham did in this passage. Abraham gave his life in all in return. For your cup to overflow. This is what Jesus asks. Regardless of where you are. No matter how much you look at a world and realize it might be bankrupt. One five. Maybe if we said to Abraham today, Abraham, what made you what made you so special? On a week like today, he would say, it’s nothing to do with me. I was a man lost in air. I had no direction and I knew I was bankrupt, and what I had happen to me was the grace of God intervening, given me such glorious promise and hope beyond today, that if I would just trust by faith. Blessed. It’s not me. It’s the King of Glory who rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey as a servant, giving his life for you, that you could be blessed in him. It’s not me. How did your cup overflow? It’s faith. It’s trusting no matter what. And the one who has promised you something far greater than the world has to offer.

TO/RN Lamb