Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Living for the kingdom...

I normally do not particularly like the annual reminder I have of a birthday that occurs every year on May 15th. It's the official reminder that I'm getting older - but that's nothing new since I've been accused of being old for a long time so my birthday generally annoys me - except for the cake and ice cream! When I turned 28, I had a woman guess my age to be 50, got my first "senior discount offer" in a Hardees Restaurant in Wake Forest North Carolina when I was 34. My pastor in Houston had the whole church convinced that I was 64! He called me this year on my birthday to ask how it felt to be 65 - I was on the phone when he called but when I called him back, I told him I missed the call because my hearing aid was not on.

This year it was kind of sobering to realize and actually process the fact that my life is more than half over. If God allows me the same amount of time in the 2nd half as He's given me in the first half, I would be 90. Of course that is a big if and only God knows what my life will look like or how long it will ultimately be. Maybe I'm 2/3 or 3/4 done already. Maybe God will in fact give me another 45 years of service. If that's the case, there are some people I'd like to be like:

My dad, getting his doctorate of ministry at the age of 70! Currently developing a new ministry opportunity to challenge people to repent of their sins and experience forgiveness in Christ.
A man I know in my church named Frank, out visiting people in the nursing home while nursing a couple of cracked ribs himself, faithfully ministering to others at the age of 92, almost 93, faithfully in worship every Sunday.
Or a lady in my church named Ruby, she's 102, a woman who is a faithful prayer warrior who promised this preacher she'd pray for me every night! The look in her sparkling eyes when she said this to me guaranteed she meant it.

You see I want a lifetime of productive and faithful service and ministry for the Lord. I want to live my life in such a way that it makes a difference for the kingdom of God. In what ever time I have left, I want my life to matter, I want to invest in people to help them to be all that God wants them to be, I want to see God do mighty things in my life and through my life. I want to be a faithful husband, father, and minister of the Gospel. I want to live out what the Psalmist said in Ps. 71:17-18 "O God, You have taught me from my youth, and to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come."
Wow! My life is not half over, the best is yet to come! Everything up to this point has been training and preparation for my life to be spent for the kingdom of God. Lord, I'm here, I'm ready and I'm willing - I will be obedient and I will spend and be spent for You and not for me. I will make a difference in this world for Your honor and glory, to the extent that pleases you the most and brings You the most praise. I'm encouraged when I see people like Moses in the Scriptures that God commissioned to lead His people at the age of 80, same thing with his protegee Joshua.

So what about you? I don't know how much time you have left either with your journey, but will you realize that the God of the universe has big plans for you too? Will you write God a blank check and sign your name to it to represent your life and allow God to spend it for you? An adventure beyond your wildest dreams awaits if you have the courage to say yes. It matters not how old you are, we serve the eternal God to whom age is not a hurdle. What He wants to know is if you are available for Him to use and if you will obey Him and do what He says all of your days. Let us invest what we have left in our lives to living for the King of Kings and serving His Kingdom. My dad to this day tells me: "Keep your eyes on the Lord son." A mother in my church tells her children: "Walk with the King and be a blessing." I think I'll use both of those in the 2nd half. From my little corner to yours...

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