Steeped In Significance

Title: Steeped In Significance

Bible Book: Psalms 71

Author: David Cook

Subject: Senior Adult Day; Family



Have you ever stopped long enough to think, "Am I living a significant life?"

Over 100 years ago, a tornado struck the prairies of Minnesota. Many were killed, hundreds were injured, and one small town was almost demolished. In the midst of the disaster, an elderly British surgeon and his two medically trained sons worked almost around the clock for days aiding the stricken, bandaging wounds, and setting broken limbs.

Their heroic work did not go unnoticed. Their excellence as physicians and their selflessness in the service of those in need created a following among the tornado victims. With extra prodding from the victims, the physicians built a small clinic which soon began to grow. The city was Rochester, Minnesota. The elderly doctor’s name: William W. Mayo – His sons: William J. and Charles. Their clinic is called simply “The Mayo Clinic.” It now consists of over 500 physicians treating more than 200,000 people a year. It is known worldwide as one of the premier places of health, healing and excellence in medicine. What a significant life and legacy they left behind.

Psalm 71 is the testimony and prayer of David in his latter years. In this psalm, David shares his journey into a life of significance with us. Everyone of us, old and young, can live a significant life. Through this senior man’s testimony, we learn what a significant life is, as well as how to live significantly.

I. Comprehend the Foundation of Significance

A. Three Shaky Sources Of Significance

1. People’s Opinions

When Lucille Ball began studying to be actress in 1927, she was told by the head instructor, "Try any other profession."

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

Vince Lombardi was told he did not have the mind a professional football coach needed to succeed. He became one of the greatest NLF coaches of all time.

Listen to what the Apostle Paul said, “I’m not trying to be a people pleaser! No, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant!” Galatians 1:10 (NLT)

Do you want a definition of insanity? Trying to make everyone happy. That’s not a solid foundation to build on.

If God Himself can’t make everyone happy, quit wasting your time trying to make everyone happy!

2. Performance Orientation

Keith Hernandez was one of professional baseball’s top players. He won a batting title, Golden Glove awards for excellence in fielding, Most Valuable Player award, and even a World Series championship. Yet with all his accomplishments, one thing was lacking – his father’s approval. One day Keith asked his father, “'Dad, I have a lifetime 300 batting average. What more do you want?' His father replied, 'Someday you're going to look back and say, "I could have done more."'" (

The world bases your significance on your performance or accomplishments. Christ says you are significant already because you belong to Him!

3. Possession Obsessions

Tornadoes ripped through Arkansas and Virginia this week leaving incredible damages and loss. Jesus said that there was more to life than just the things we possess. (Luke 12:15)

Remember when Job lost his family, friends, finances? In faith he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)

If everything was stripped away from you this morning, what would you say?

Worldly possessions did not possess Job, the Lord did! Everything you have in your life is on loan to you from the God. Do not put all your stock in the world, but lay up for yourselves treasures in  Heaven.

B. Three Sure Sources Of Significance

1. Walk With God

Psalm 71 speaks of a man who knew significance came first of all through a personal relationship with God.

David put his trust in the Lord.

(1) He called the Lord his “rock.”

(3) David knew God as the “one who took me out of my mother’s womb.”

(6) He cried out to be near the Lord. He praised the Lord for His faithfulness. He said, “God, you are the one who does great things.”

(19) What’s David doing here? He’s walking with God. God is walking with David.

David tried to live as close to God as possible. Do you want to live significantly? Allow God to be significant in your life on a daily basis. That means acknowledging Him as Lord every day. As you read His word, you read it as His love letter to you.

Significance begins with your personal trust and walk with God.

2. Witness For God

To whom are you declaring the Good News? When your family is falling apart, can you say? “I know the One who “upholds all things by the word of His power.” When neighbors are hurting can you say? “I know where to find refuge.” When people treat you unfair can you say? “I have a Deliverer.” When people say there is no hope, can you say along with David? “For you are my hope, O Lord God!”

People are already expecting you to share bad news. They expect to hear you talk about your backache, high gas prices, how bad you’ve got it.

One man said, “There are too many cranks and not enough starters in the world.”

Start speaking good news into those God has placed in your life.

People need to hear your witness of how God has:

  • Strengthened you through those difficult times
  • Forgiven you when you fell woefully short
  • Rescued you when you couldn’t find you way!

God made us His witnesses. Tell people what the Lord has done for you. David wanted to talk about God’s love, faithfulness, power. When everyone around you is cranking and sputtering, you be the starter.

3. Worship Unto God

Psalm 71:20, “You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth.”

It was R.C. Sproul who said, “Praising our Creator in heaven is the highest duty for the believer; indeed we are exhorted to worship the Lord in all that we do (1 Cor. 10:31).

II. Cultivate the Fruit of Significance

A. Many Worries!

“For my enemies speak against me; and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together, saying, “God has forsaken him; Pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him.”

David was living a significant life, but that doesn’t mean everyone was his friend. In fact, David had many enemies who wanted nothing more than to bring him down in life.

Our Senior Adults still face enemies as they grow older. Some of those enemies include: Major physical problems, Retirement, Lacking of meaning or purpose in life, Significant feelings of not being needed or wanted (one major denomination asked thousands of church the question,

“Why did you leave your church?” Number One answer was, “I didn’t feel like I belonged.”

Another enemy many of our seniors face is a change in health. When my grandfather was old, he lost practically all his hearing.

An elderly couple was all alone. One evening while they were watching television the husband said, "I'm proud of you." The wife asked, "What did you say?" He answered again, "I am proud of you." She replied, "I am tired of you to."

Another “enemy” may be loneliness. Most senior adults have a little more time on their hands as they grow older. Normally, they don’t get as many visits, calls, contacts as they once did. Loneliness begins to settle in.

Overcoming loneliness is a great challenge to face, but can be conquered through doing the work God has assigned for you.

Pastor Larry Wynn in a great sermon called, “Help For the Lonely” mentions several things you can do to overcome loneliness such as:

  • Making the best out of a bad situation Understanding God is near (never totally alone)
  • Focusing On Others (like Paul wanting others to know Jesus) Don’t build walls, build bridges.
  • Asking the Lord to help you be a friend to one who is in need.
  • Connecting With other people - God brings people into our lives we can help and people who will help us. (PastorLife, Wynn)
B. Meaningful Work

“O God, you have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare your wondrous works. ” Ps. 71:17

Many older people feel discouraged because they can’t do everything they did when they were younger. That’s what David was saying here in v 9, “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails.” God has given you meaningful work to do. Are you doing it?

Dr. John Sullivan was my first Baptist pastor. At the age of 12, I began attending Broadmoor Baptist Church in Shreveport, LA, and heard the gospel of Jesus Christ communicated in a dynamic way for the first time. Although he was an older, gray-haired preacher, he had as much zeal and passion for God’s service that anyone I had ever met.

As much as he loved preaching and teaching the word of God, he also enjoyed basketball and would play as hard as anyone. He was older than the majority of the league, but nobody was as competitive as him.

One night after our youth team played and lost to his older team, Dr. Sullivan gave me one of those “life squeezing out” bear hugs. I felt important. He was doing the work of the Lord from the pulpit and outside the pulpit. “…teaching us from our youth.”

You have meaningful work to do. Don’t focus on what you can’t do, focus on what you can!

C. Mighty Witness

“Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.” Ps. 71:18

Dr. Michael Guido is 91 years old and is passionately serving the Lord through evangelism and radio missions on 400 stations. Recently he was asked, “Do you ever fret about growing older?” He responded, “No, sir. I just thank the Lord that He lets me live another day.” Famous for his enthusiasm Guido said, “I think it’s been cultivated. I work hard on it. I try to never let anything make me bitter. 'All things work together for good to them that love God.' Every morning I say, 'Lord, give us more radio and television stations.'"

As long as you are breathing, God has a purpose for you. Be the mighty witness God has called you to be.

Like Timothy’s grandmother Lois (2 Tim. 1:3-5), pray and plant the Word of God into the younger generation. Even though you may not see the fruit of your labor, entrust that into God’s hands. Keep planning the good seeds of faith, hope, love.

Get in the habit of proclaiming God’s goodness with Senior Citizen David, “But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, For I do not know their limits.” Ps. 71:14-15

Seniors, you have a mighty witness unto God to declare!

III. Celebrate the Fullness of Significance

A. Rejoice!

Psalm 71:23, “My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You…” Attitudes of worship and gratitude honors the God of your salvation.

Do you take time to thank God regularly? Did you thank Him for the sunshine this week? The rain yesterday? Ask God to give you a thankful, grateful heart, not a grumbling, grouchy one.

A elderly man about to turn 100 the following week was seen at a local restaurant by a friend. The friend stopped and said to him, "You’re out celebrating a little early, aren’t you?" The old man said, "At my age, sonny, every day is a celebration!" That’s the kind of attitude we should have.

Rejoice in the life God has given you. How refreshing it is to hear people brag on God!

B. Redeemed

“…and my soul, which you have redeemed.” Ps. 71:23

Our greatest need is salvation and the Lord has graciously provided that to all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Let not the fear of aging, consume our future days; Give us the daily courage, Lord – To serve in untried ways. Keep us from weak complaining, Of years that are now gone; May insights gained each passing year – Be light to lead us on.” - H. Glen Lanier


Seniors, you are steeped in significance and David challenges us to deepen that growth of significance through keeping a vital faith in the Lord and a determined resolve to worship and serve Him through it all.

David said, “Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare your strength to this generation.” For those who older in our midst today, what is that God is calling you to do or become? Could you make it your prayer, “O God do not forsake me until I… (you fill in the blank).”

Posted in


Scroll to Top