Not Getting Older, Just Getting Better

Bible Book: Colossians  1 : 9-14
Subject: Senior Adults

I am speaking today to Senior Adults in our church. I do want to say that the text we are going to consider can be applied to anyone and everyone within the sound of my voice. Children, teenagers, singles, young married couples and all the way up to the most senior of those present, can learn from this wonderful Biblical passage.

Colossians 1:9-14

A wise older man said,

"I like my new bifocals

My dentures fit just fine

I have my hearing aid turned up

But Lord, how I miss my mind"

How do you know when your getting old?

You know you’re getting old when the phone rings on Saturday night and you hope it is not for you. 

You know you’re getting old when you are told to slow down by a doctor instead of a policeman

You know you’re getting old when you turn out the lights for economic rather than romantic reasons

You know you’re getting old when you knees buckle and your belt won't buckle

You know you’re getting old when you have too much room in our house and not enough room in your medicine cabinet

As Christians we live in the awareness of the eternal. There is a sense in which we are ageless. We are eternal creatures, since we will live with Christ forever. There is a sense in which all people are eternal. Those who are lost are also forever people, they will live forever apart from God.

Christians should not just be interested in the eternal, they should also be interested in the supernatural - that is, we should be interested not just in the length of our lives, but more so in the quality of our lives.

In Colossians 1:9-14 Paul offers a prayer. His prayer is an excellent one for us today. As we consider aging, let us also consider our advancement in Christ. As we consider our progress in days let us consider the progress in our dedication to Christ.

Now our senior adults at The Church That Loves are some of the finest in the world. In my years of service I have not known a finer group of godly senior adults. Yet, I can tell you that in all of our lives, young and old, there is room for improvement.

So, let us look at this passage together. Colossians 1:9-14. Paul prayed this prayer in prison. It is fitting for all the people of God in every age.

I. WE CAN KNOW BETTER

Paul was saying that there is always room for improvement in our spiritual understanding. There is always room for advancement in our knowledge of God. There is always to some degree a mental vacuum in the life of every child of God. Paul says we can grow in two ways in our knowledge.

A. Grow in your Knowledge of the Purpose of God

"asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will"

"Sunesis" knowledge is an awareness of the facts. God would have us to experience "sunesis" knowledge. Then he uses "sophia" knowledge. This means the ability to apply the facts. There was a preacher who had great "sunesis" knowledge, but he lacked "sophia" knowledge. He was a great man, wrote several books but he left his wife, his church and went to work in a jewelry store in a mall. He lacked "sophia" knowledge. Then he uses "epignosis", which means to know something through and through! Super knowledge!

B. Grow in your Knowledge of the Person of God

People told me about Jayne before I met her. But nothing equaled meeting her! We need to meet with God more intimately!

We can know better! At some point you have heard this before! You should have known better. O, how we need to grow in our knowledge.

II. WE CAN DO BETTER

Knowledge always precedes action. Once we know better, we must begin to do better!

A. Be More Pleasing to God

Is God pleased with us? That is the question.

The word worthy means to "weigh". It means to be weighed in the balances with Jesus - not with the preacher, not with the deacons, not with your S.S. teacher, but with Christ!

B. Be More Productive For God

"Fruitful". D.L. Moody said that every Bible should be bound in shoe leather! That is, the Bible should be lived out the life of a believer.

Think of a child that sits at home when mom is gone. He does not destroy anything, but he does nothing good either. The Christian life is not just the absence of wrong things, it is the presence of right things!

III. WE CAN BE BETTER

He mentions three ways in which we can be better.

A. More Persistent

"Makrothumai", endurance! The ability to be consistent even when people are not treating you right, when they let you down, oppose you or fail to believe in you.

B. More Patient

"Hupomune", patient. It means to keep going forward even when circumstances are working against you.

My daughter, Sherry, is married to Vince, a Baptist preacher. When Sherry and Vince left for Southeastern Seminary, everything they had was in a moving van. The van stopped at a state weight station, and while sitting in line the moving van caught on fire. Almost everything in that van was lost. Sherry and Vince were not deterred, they went on the seminary and he continued his education. Then, to make matters worse, Vince was hit from the rear by a cement mixing truck while driving his car. Patiently, they moved forward in serving and studying. Then, Sherry and Vince were struck head in a head-on collision while driving one foggy morning. None of these incidents were their fault and anyone of them could have turned them back from their calling. But, all these later, Vince and Sherry continue to serve. He is pastor of the First Baptist Church, Cherryville, North Carolina and has remained steady through the years to complete his doctoral degree at Southeastern Baptist Seminary. I have not been required to endure such patience in my ministry,but I do know that everyone is required to be patience in order to serve God faithfully. If you are easily discouraged, you will never be effective. For senior adults, this means that you must keep on keeping on in the service of Christ!

C. More Praise

Joy - thankfulness"

1. He removed us from something

2. He removed something from us

I served in Vietnam and I knew how difficult it would be for my wife's brother, Kenny, when he was sent there after I had returned home in the 1960s. While there, Kenny was hit by shrapnel! They took him out to a hospital ship, then to Walter Reed. It took a while, but he was restored to health and is still doing well after all these years. They took him out of the battle, but more importantly they had to take the battle out of him! It was easier for God to get the children of God out of Egypt than to get the Egypt out of the them.

We need to Know Better, Do Better, and Be Better! It starts with a commitment!