Growing old gracefully

The Bible says in Proverbs 16:31 – “Grey hair is a crown of splendour; it is attained by a righteous life”.

It seems that many people in our western society have a problem with growing old. When they get a grey hair, they reach for the colouring solution at wash it away. If they get some wrinkles around eyes or on their forehead, some go to a Botox party and have it “smoothed” out during our lunch break.

The reality to this life is that each day we grow older. We will probably get grey hair or even go bald (I have noticed both in the last few years!). We will probably put on some weight and we will get wrinkles. However, I really believe that growing old is not a curse, but just part of life. We can chose to grow old gracefully or we can try to deny it or maybe cover it up, but the reality is it is still going to happen.

Today I would encourage you not to fret about growing old. Growing older is just a natural progression on the journey of life. We should try to embrace it and think of each day as a gift from God. Why not try to use each day to learn something new, to encourage someone around you or to lend a helping hand to someone in need.

Let’s look at our greying hair and wrinkles as crowns, rather than curses and enjoy this journey of life. After all, each day is a gift, that’s why they call it the present!

God’s masterpiece

The Bible says in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago”. As I look at this verse I found that it speaks to me about three things.

1. We were made by God – Not only are we made by God, but it goes further by saying we are His masterpiece. To be honest I have never thought of myself as anything special. But this verse tells me that I am. It tells me that we are. We are more special and more valuable to God than the greatest painting in the greatest gallery on earth.

2. We have been made new – This verse also tells me that we been made new in Christ Jesus. That means no matter what we have done or how the world has tried to damage us or put us down, we have been renewed when we come to Christ. We are returned to the Makers specifications.

3. God has a plan for us – Some people think we are here by chance with no real purpose to life. This verse verse tells us that the Creator of the universe has work for us that He planed long ago. Long before you and I were born, God has us on His mind. He knew when we would be born and He knew what we had to do, so He made us a certain way. Are you involved in God’s plan?

I don’t know about you, but this verse and the three points in it, make me feel pretty special!

The real Jesus

If you do an internet search on Jesus Christ, you will find all types of opinions of who He really was and what He was really like. These opinions might come from a variety of sources and are shaped by each persons own world view. An atheist, a Muslim, a Jew, a Buddhist and a Christian would all view Jesus differently.

In my experience the best way to find out who Jesus really was and what His message was is to read the Bible for yourself. If we have never read the Bible – in particular the section where it talks about Jesus – we tend to get our opinion for a variety of sources. These might include the internet, the person next door, a Sunday School teacher many years ago, a person who knocked on your door or some TV show you might have seen once.

While these might help in some ways, the best way to get the message straight from the Good Book itself – the Bible. For this reason I have included a link to the first chapter of the book of Luke from the New Testament. The book of Luke traces Jesus from His birth, His ministry and ultimately His death and resurrection.

If you would like to read about Jesus life online, you can visit BibleGateway.com. At the end of each chapter it will give you the option to read the next chapter.

What is God like?

Recently someone asked me the question, “What is God like?” My first thought was gee that is a nice and easy question to answer…hmmm perhaps not!

As I thought about it for a while two Bible verses came to mind – Colossians 1:15 and John 10:30. They are as follows…

“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation.” (Colossians 1:15 NLT)

“I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30 NLT)

If you are wondering what God is like today, then look at the life of Jesus Christ. Take a note of His teachings, His compassion, His love and His commitment to you and I. When you study who the Bible says Jesus is and what He has done, you will see what God is like.

If you have a Bible I would encourage you to have a read through the New Testament book of Luke. If you don’t have one, one is available here at Bible Gateway.

If anyone lacks wisdom

The Bible says in James 1:5,“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him”.

Dictionary.com describes wisdom in several ways…

  1. the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight,
  2. ability to apply knowledge or experience or understanding or common sense and insight,
  3. the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.

As you can see, wisdom is more than knowledge. It is about putting knowledge into practice in a common sense way. It seems to be about right choices and decisions that are made with sound judgment.

When I am faced with the tough decisions of life, it is great to know that I have God in my corner helping and guiding me. My understanding of situations is not always right and my natural wisdom only gets me so far. I need God’s wisdom that surpasses all understanding to be my guide. How about you?

Prayer

Dear God,
I thank You that you are there for me each day. I thank You that when I am not sure what to do I can just simply stop and ask for Your wisdom. Thank You that the Bible says You give wisdom generously to all who ask. Help me Lord to look to You in situations that require wisdom and sound judgement. Amen.

Consider it pure joy

James 1:2 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”

Was James joking when he said that? Surely he couldn’t expect us to be happy and joyful when all types of troubles and strife comes our way? James 1:3-4 gives us a clue to what he meant. It says, “because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”.

James is not telling us to be really excited and ecstatic during hard times, but to be thankful that we have a chance to grow in our faith and reliance in God through it. When we are going through hard times we have an opportunity to look to God and ask Him for help. As we do, we grow closer to Him and our faith in Him grows too.

As I look back over my life I can see there have been some very hard trials that have helped me grow, learn and look to God in faith. I wouldn’t want to go through them again, but I can say they have grown me, my faith and my character. For that I am thankful and even a bit joyful!