Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why Christians can't retire

And even when I am old and gray, O God do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.

Psalm 71:18

I've only been here a little more than 30 years. I hope I've been alive long enough to make a difference in a few lives and do some good. I've certainly lived enough days to make a few (read several) mistakes and already wish I'd done some things differently. If it's the Lord's will I'd like to be around a little longer and do more with this life. I'd like to live long enough to be the Christian example to the next generation that so many people have been to me.
I feel a deep sense of responsibility to live well, to trust Him and know Him in a way that makes people want to Him for themselves. I want to leave a legacy of faith for those who will come behind me that is representative of those who have lived well before me. The logical progression of life would be that you leave a legacy of faith in your children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. I think our scope of influence goes beyond that though. The body of Christ is desperate for people to lead and guide them-especially this generation.

It is a growing concern to me that the older Christians aren't making an effort to lead or invest in the generations coming up behind them. It's a mentality that after a certain age there's nothing more to offer. I understand that times are hard. The economy is heartbreaking, survival takes more time to figure out than it used to and life seems more often devestating than encouraging. Can I just say this is even more reason to need Godly people to follow?
Jesus spent years one on one with the disciples and then he told them to go make disciples; not just hand out tracts, not just wear a cross or have a fish decal on your car. MAKE DISCIPLES. Share your faith intimately with those who are coming after you. Tell them the lessons you've learned in your life of faith. Tell them when times were hard how you survived and what has made a difference to you. It takes time to be in an accountability relationship with someone. It takes time to hold the hand of someone new to the faith while they stumble and fall.
This honestly is not a criticism to all older christians. I know many who do it really well. I know some who don't. I'm not talking about any of them. I'm just saying as a whole the church needs to rise up-not sit down on our responsibilities. The world is hard and getting harder every day. Temptations to fall away from the Lord are around every turn. We need people to encourage our faith, to hold us accountable to the truths we claim to believe in and to take us from mediocre christianity to an on fire world changing relationship with the Almighty.

Jesus didn't quit early. He led His disciples and taught people even when death was inevitable. To the cross and beyond He pointed people to the Father. He is our example.
Bottom line-the church can't afford for the people with the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord to retire. If anything we need you to step up your game. Be a part of changing lives by sharing yours. Don't assume you have nothing to offer. This generation is starving to death for more of the Lord and you hold the fork. Feed us. We need you.

I want to leave a legacy, how will they remember me, did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough to make a mark on things? I want to leave an offering, A child of mercy and grace who blessed your Name unapologetically. And leave that kind of legacy. -Nichole Nordeman

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