Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lesson 4, Week 2: God's Rhythm--Finding His Pace


Today’s Scripture Focus:  They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 NIV

*Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you read God’s Word and seek His meaning.

I stood by the babbling brook and watched the waters move swiftly, then I walked on downstream.  There for reasons unknown to me, the babbling ceased and the water slowed to almost a standstill—so it is with life.

There are days in my life where everything is rush-rush, hurry-up, and other times when a task is completed and a brief period of rest is allowed.

Lately, though, there seems to be more rush-rush, then rest time--and I’m supposed to be retired.  I thought things slowed down when you became a senior saint, but   not so.  If you’re like me, you are probably finding that this season of your life is busier then all of the other three.  You wonder how you ever had time to work.

As our families and lives have been enriched through the years, we find little time to slow down.  Are we just experiencing the physical slowdown that invariably comes with age, or are we truly busier?  We want to be all things to all people.  We want to find the time to do those things that we have planned to enjoy in our retirement, and especially we want to continue to serve the Lord.  What will happen if we say no to something that is worthwhile?  How can we find God’s rhythm for our lives?

Think On These Things

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves. 
Psalm 128:4 NIV

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.  Proverbs 23:4 NIV

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule:  “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” 
2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV

According to the verses you just read, overworking is not a virtue.  God does not want us to be so consumed with acquiring “stuff” that we allow “acquiring” to become our god. On the other hand, laziness does not please God either.   He has designed a perfect rhythm for our lives, and he designed a time for us to rest.

However, it is God’s will for us to enjoy the fruit of our labor.  The Lord loves to bless us.

I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.  That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.  Ecclesiastes 3:12-13NIV

He also has an individual plan for each life. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

The question is “How do we discern His plan for our lives in each season of our lives?”  His answer to our questions can be found in prayer, circumstances and an inner-peace, which only the Lord can give.  Read Acts 10 for an example of these three points in action:  Peter prayed, circumstances were supportive, and finally he had an inner-peace about what God was leading him to do. 

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.  Psalm 143:10 NIV

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 
Proverbs 3: 5-6 NIV

If we say yes to every activity or job that people ask us to fill, even if they are positions of service within our church, community, and family, we will soon find that we have little time to spend with the God we desperately want to serve. 

If we don’t have time to meet with the Lord and drink of His Living Water, and eat His Bread of Life, we soon become empty and faint-hearted.  Our service becomes meaningless and is filled with drudgery.  The Lord never intended that one-person attempt to do it all.  That is why the Body of Christ is made up of many individuals.  We are to share the blessings of serving our Lord.

What I Have Learned

Laziness is not pleasing to God, but neither is ___________________.   God has allowed for me to have a time of _____________.

God has given me a special gift.  He wants me to enjoy________________.

The danger in trying to fulfill every opportunity for service is I will not have enough time _______________.

___________, ______________, and an ______________ will guide me to know what God’s will is for my life. 


I Will Apply What I Have Learned

STEP 1:  I will not answer immediately when someone asks me to take on another task.  Instead, I will pray, look at circumstances, and wait for God’s peace regarding the services.

STEP 2:  I will give myself permission to enjoy the fruit of my labor, but I will be sure that I am contributing to God’s Kingdom work.  I will walk and not faint.

STEP 3:  I will take a walk outside and discover 
God’s rhythm in nature.     
               
STEP 4:  I will share the discovery of His rhythm by inviting family members to accompany me on future walks and pointing out God’s rhythm as opposed to the rush-rush of the world’s.  

Dear Father,
You have set the tune of my life to Your perfect rhythm.  But somehow with the crescendo of the world’s rushing beat, I have gotten out of sync.  Please set my pace once again, Father.  I long to move to the rhythm of Your perfect peace and grace.  Enable me to once again enjoy the right about of work, the right amount of play, and most of all, the right amount of rest.  I know I am older, Father, and maybe I can’t do as much as I once did, but still it is not your desire that I give up.  I claim Your promise that I will walk and not faint.  May I experience Your peace and joy anew as I live and breathe within Your perfect rhythm.  In Jesus Name, Amen.


Lesson 3, Week 2: Exercising Physically

Lesson 3, Week 2:  Exercising Physically
Today’s Scripture Focus:  They will run and not grow weary.  Isaiah 40:31 NIV

*Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you read God’s Word and seek His meaning.

            The theory that if you do anything for three weeks, it becomes a habit, goes out the window when it relates to habits requiring self-discipline.  I know this because I have experienced the failure of this theory countless times. 

            I have lived many years and on numerous occasions, I’ve started an exercise program such as daily walking or workouts, and kept the program up for months, only to lose what I had gained as a result of self-discipline, and gain back the weight I had lost in pounds.  As I look back over the past year, I can cite the perfect example of this faulty theory.  I had whipped my body into shape, lost pounds and reduced my blood pressure.  Then in the winter months, I came down with pneumonia, missed a few weeks of exercise, then neglected my program for a few more weeks, until I finally lost sight of my goal.  My well-disciplined habit fell by the wayside.

            I can identify with Paul as he says, “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.”  Romans 7: 18-19 NIV. 

Think On These Things
How do we become more than conquers in areas which require self-discipline?  Paul reminds us of an important point, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NIV

We do not need to beat ourselves up when we fail, but we do need to continue on in the arms of the Lord, seeking to glorify Him with our physical exercise program as well as our spiritual exercises. 

There are three banner words that we need to keep before us.  These banner words will remind us to keep our focus on the Enabler, Jesus our Lord, and only then will we overcome through the power of God.

FAITH--in God, not self.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

FOCUS—not only on the final outcome, but also on the day-by-day benefits.  There must be both long range and short-range rewards. 

The long-range goals for exercising physically may be to lower blood pressure by several points or perhaps to lose weight, or increase the length of your days.  Still, you must have both short and long range rewards that you realize and praise God for.  There must be a purpose to putting yourself through the nitty-gritty of self-discipline exercise--rest assured that there is.

Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.  1 Corinthians 9:26-27 NIV

FALL-UP—to fall is not an excuse to stay down. When a Christian trips, they are to get up, repent, confess their sins to God, and get back on track. The Lord will not fail to erase our stumbles and bumbles when we take them to Him.  It is His strength that is sufficient in our weakness.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 NIV

Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.  Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  Isaiah 30:19-20

You were running a good race.  Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?  That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. Galatians 5:7 NIV

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sins that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Hebrews 12:1 NIV




What I Have Learned

When I fall short of my expectations, I need to remember that there is no ______________for those who are in Christ Jesus.

I must not rely on my own strength to establish physical discipline.  Instead, I must look to God the Enabler for His ___________is made perfect in __________. 

My focus must be on both the long-range and short-range benefits of physical exercises. 
I do not run _______________.  There is a purpose to
my exercise. 
           
While falls in life will undoubtedly happen, a Christian can__________their ___________and receive forgiveness from God. 

There will be trials in this life, but the Lord will be there to say, “This _______________, ________
_______________.

Discouragement comes from _______________, not God.

Even on days when I feel like giving up or giving in on my plan of exercise, the Word tells us to ________
off everything that __________ and the ________that entangles, and run with _________________the _____
marked out for us.

Three banner words that I will use to remind me to establish good spiritual and physical exercise habits are
___________, ____________, and ______________.

I Will Apply What I Have Learned
STEP 1:  I will speak affirmations of faith daily.

God’s grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in my weakness.

God is my Enabler, not me.

I can run and do all that He calls me to do for His power is within me. 

I will not be weary for He is enabling me.

STEP 2:  I will list both my long-term and short-term                     goals and benefits that I hope to receive.  I will keep the list ever before me so I will remember why my physical exercise program is important.  I will focus on Jesus as my Enabler.

STEP 3:  When I fall short of my expectations, I will look to the one who will forgive my stumble and bumbles.  I will look to God as the One who can help me “fall-up” and my my exercise program a daily activity.

STEP 4:  I will set the example for my family by letting them see me physically exercising.  I will invitthem to join me in my journey to good health.

Dear Lord,
How wonderful that I do not have to depend on myself to do what needs to be done.  Instead, Your sweet Holy Spirit is living within me, filling me with Your presence.  Strengthen me in my resolve to be faithful to my exercise program. 
Strengthen me in my desire to care for my body, for not only is it my body, but it is Your temple.  Lord, when I feel like giving in and giving up, keep reminding me of both the present and future benefits.  Keep me keeping’ on, focusing on You.  Help me to claim Your promise that if I abide in You, I will run and not grow weary.  In Jesus name, I pray.  Amen





Monday, November 28, 2016

Lesson 2, Week 2: Fuel to Soar--Eating for The Glory of God


Today’s Scripture Focus:  They will soar on wings like eagles. Isaiah 40:31 NIV

*Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you read God’s Word and seek His meaning.

If you’ve ever experienced high or low blood sugar, you know how important eating the proper foods can be.  Personally, I have low-blood sugar, and if I don’t eat on time, I am like a car without gas.  Put the right kind of fuel--in my case food--within me, and I perk right up and will run for several more hours. 

Yesterday we learned that our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit, for we are indwelt with the Spirit of God.  We also learned that we are being renewed daily by His power within us.  We know this is definitely a spiritual renewal, but if we care for our bodies as if they are a holy dwelling place for His Spirit, we will find that we are physically renewed too.  We will soar on wings like eagles, having plenty of energy.

Think On These Thing
The Word has some important comments to make regarding our desire for food, and the place we give that desire in our life.  Consider the following verses:

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.  I Peter 2:2-3 NIV          

For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.  Their mind is on earthly things.  Philippians 3:18-19 NIV

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31

An example of some young men in the Old Testament, who opted to eat and drink for the glory of God, reveals the benefits of obeying this wisdom.  When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took some young Israelites into captivity, he wanted them fed the rich food and wine from the royal table.  Daniel, one of the young men, convinced the guard to feed he and his friends vegetables and water for ten days, and then compare their appearance with that of the other young men taken into captivity. 

At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.  So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.  Daniel 1: 15-16 NIV

“Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial.  “Everything is permissible for me”--but I will not be mastered by anything.  “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”—but God will destroy them both.  1 Corinthians 5:12-13a

Gluttony has no place in a Christian’s life and will not receive a blessing.  Consider what happened when the Israelites tried to gather manna to store ahead instead of following God’s command to gather only what they needed. 
Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”  However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell.  So Moses was angry with them.  Exodus 16:19-20 NIV

If you find honey, eat just enough—too much of it, and you will vomit.  Proverbs 25:16

What I Have Learned
While it is true that our bodies require food for physical energy, what other type of nourishment should we desire even more?_____________________

When our total focus is on earthly things, what might our physical appetite become?_______________

Our eating and drinking must not consume our thoughts.  Instead, we need to eat and drink in a manner that __________ _____________.

Who were the young men that ate for God’s glory?  Their story is revealed in Daniel, chapter one.

What were the results of their actions? _______________

            God will not reward selfishness and gluttony.  The Israelites learned this in regard to gathering the ________

I Will Apply What I Have Learned

STEP 1:  I will examine my life to see what type of fuel 
     and additives I am putting within my body.  
STEP 2:  I will seek to eat healthy foods, and if my
weight is out of control, I will prayerfully seek    disciplined ways to eat, bringing glory to God.
STEP 3:  I will set the example for my spouse, children,
               and grandchildren by eating healthy foods and
               in moderation.

Holy Father,
            Thank You for caring about my eating habits, and setting forth Your wisdom concerning
eating in Your Word.  Thank You for the examples You have painted so vividly through the stories of the Israelites and the young man, Daniel.  Thank You for showing me the consequences of gluttony and the danger of making food into a god.
            Now, enable me to bring any problems that I have regarding eating under Your control—to surrender my willful appetite to You.  Please help me set the example for my family.  May I glorify You in my eating habits, so that I may soar on wings like eagles.  In Jesus name, I pray.  Amen




Week 2: God's Blessing of Physical Wholeness for Grandparents: Lesson 1, Week 2 Our Bodies Are The Temple of The Holy Spirit


Scripture for the week:
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. 
Isaiah 40:31 NIV

Lesson 1, Week 2:  Our Bodies Are The Temple of The Holy Spirit
Today’s Scripture Focus:  But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.

*Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you read and study God’s Word and seek His meaning.

While rummaging through some items I had in storage, I happened upon a small box filled with memorabilia from my youth.  The box was nothing out of the ordinary, but the contents within made it special to me, for they represented a treasure trove of memories from my youth.

In 2 Corinthians 4: 7, Paul tells us we Christians, have a treasure in clay pots.  “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
 (Read entire passage:  2 Corinthians 4:7-16)

What is the power within us that is our treasure? 
Two passages in 1 Corinthians give us some insight: 
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.  
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NIV)

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own, you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.
 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV

But how do we know that the Holy Spirit indwells us?  Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to indwell believers, and He is faithful to keep His promises.  

If you love me, you will obey what I command.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.  But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  John 14:15-17 NIV

In truth, there have been three time frames of the Holy Spirit’s empowering.  In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon men to enable them to do some task that God had called them to do (Numbers 11:25, Joshua 1:5).  In the time when Jesus lived upon the earth, the Holy Spirit’s presence was with man as Jesus lived and ministered upon this earth (John 1:32-33).  Then from Pentecost on, we see the Holy Spirit living within man and empowering them to do the work that He had called them to do (Acts 2:4) 

Think On These Things
The power within us that Paul is referring to
is ______________, which __________ promised to send to live within each _____________. 

What will the power of this treasure enable us to do?________________________________________

If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord, we believe by faith that God, in the form of the Holy Spirit, lives within each believer.  Therefore our bodies become a ___________for _______________.

If my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, how does my faith in Him renew my strength?_________________
___________________________________________

Is 2 Corinthians 4:16 referring to a physical or spiritual renewal or both?____________________________
How would being spiritually renewed affect me physically?
What I Have Learned

1.                  If I am a Christian, my treasure within is ___________.
2.                  The power of this treasure will enable me to ____________________.
3.                  I must care for my physical and spiritual well-being for my body is a __________for________
            ________  _____________.

I Will Apply What I Have Learned

STEP 1:  I will apply what I have learned by speaking statements of affirmation.

1.      The Holy Spirit lives within me. 
                                            1 Corinthians 6:19-20
2.      The Holy Spirit is renewing my strength.
                                                  Isaiah 40:31
3.      I am not alone, for Jesus has sent the Holy     
Spirit to be with me as my Helper. 
                                          John 14:16-18
Create your own affirmation statements from the Scriptures and repeat them several times a day—this is claiming the Scriptures as your own.

STEP 2:  I will renew my physical energy by being disciplined to start some type of physical exercise program.  I will do this by spending time in prayer and Bible study, allowing the Holy Spirit to renew me
spiritually and motivate me physically.

STEP 3:  I will share with my children and grandchildren what I have learned. 

a. Choose one of following analogy of the Triune God to share with your loved ones.

WATER--The Triune God can be likened unto water, which can be in three forms: liquid, steam, or ice. The Triune God can be in the form of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

LIFE ROLES—The Triune God can be likened unto a woman who has three roles:  wife, mother, and friend.  The Triune God can be in three forms, too:  God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit that indwells man.

b. In my daily life, I will apply what I have learned with my family.  As I care for plants, I will take the opportunity to point out to my love ones that the sunlight and the watering of my plants are constantly renewing the roots where we can’t see.  This causes them to be renewed physically, producing their blossoms. 

Lord,
Thank You for sending the sweet Holy Spirit to live within me and be my helper.  Thank You for the gift of prayer and for Your Word, so that I may walk in Your way and constantly have my physical strength restored as well as my spiritual strength.  Thank you that the same power which raised Christ from the dead is available within my life, through the power of the Holy Spirit.             


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lesson 5:  Review and Study of Lessons 1-4
Use as an individual review

Today’s Scripture Focus:

Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.  Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.  Psalm 71: 17-18 NIV

*Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you read God’s Word and seek His meaning.

What I learned

Lessons 1 & 2: 
God has been watching over me since my_____________.

Reread your list of how God has provided, intervened, protected, shielded, or healed you in each decade of your life. 

Share your testimony with your children and grandchildren.

What should the words of a child of God reflect?

If we want God’s blessings upon our family, what do we need to do?

Lessons 3 & 4:  Think about the biblical senior-saints and what events reflected that God was with them. 

What generation does the world, particularly the marketing industry, focus on?

What does God say He will do for senior-saints?


If senior-saints stay connected with God, what does He promise?


Discuss some of the purposes that God has in mind for senior-saints?

What specific purpose should be the goal of every grandparent?

What five things would be accomplished by sharing how God has worked in a life?


Jeremiah 29:11 refers to what generation?


Please take a few moments and write what you have gained from this week study and what action you will take as a result.

Dear God,
We praise You and thank You for making us aware that You have been watching over us from birth. Thank You for reminding us that we should be declaring your marvelous deeds—shouting them from the rooftops.  We praise You and thank You that You have not deserted us in our senior years.  Instead, you are within us, enabling us to declare Your Might to our children and grandchildren, as wells as our friends and community.  Father, we pray that You will take our testimony and use it boldly for Your Kingdom work.  In Jesus Name, Amen





Lesson 4: God Has Given You A Purpose and A Task

Lesson 4: God Has Given You A
Purpose and A Task

Today’s Scripture Focus: 
. . .till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come  Psalm 71: 18 NIV
*Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you read God’s Word and seek His meaning.
           
Have you ever been in a group discussion where a topic that you had a very strong opinion on was being discussed, but you kept your mouth closed?  Later, you wished you had spoken your convictions?  No doubt, if you have lived very many years, it has happened to you at some point.

Too often, we may be silent about how God has rained blessings upon our lives. That is the one thing that God has commanded us to speak boldly about and pass on to our families.  Our task is to pass on to our families their spiritual heritage, and we are the only ones that can do it.

Think On These Things:

Read the following passage from Psalm 78:1-8 NIV
1) O my people, hear my teaching: listen to the words of my mouth.
2) I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
3) what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. 
4) We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. 
5) He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children,
6) so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 
7) Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. 
8) They would not be like their forefathers—a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.

What Did I Learn

Who knows these things of old?

How are they known?

Who shall be told?

What five things would hopefully be accomplished by sharing the things of old?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

I Will Apply What I Have Learned

STEP 1:  Using the decade list that you made in lesson one, write down how God has worked in your life.  Write it in the form of a letter to be passed on to your children and grandchildren.  Encourage them to start keeping a list of how God is working in their lives.  Use the form on the following page to help you compose your letter of testimony.

STEP 2:  When you have completed the form, offer a prayer to God for giving you such a wonderful testimony to share with your children and grandchildren.  This is a spiritual heritage that you are passing on to them; its value is far above silver and gold.

Dear God,

How I praise You for working in my life in such mighty ways and giving me this personal testimony, which I gladly share with my family as you commanded.  Gracious Father, use this spiritual heritage to benefit this family in mighty ways, to witness to them, to cause them to trust and obey You, and to increase their faith.  In Jesus Name, Amen.





                                                                            Date:
Dear                            ,
          God has been good to me.  I want to share how faithful He has been to me throughout my lifetime.
         
When I was a child. . .


          As a teenager. . .


          Then as an adult. . .



          God’s faithfulness has been continuous.  He is so good!  I hope you will take time to examine and look at your life to see how God has and is caring for you.
Just looking at how God has touched my life has increased my faith.  I hope it will increase yours too.  I pray that you will not forget all that He has done for our family and for me, that you will trust Him, and keep His commandments.  Trusting God will cause blessings to rain in your life.
                                                          In HIS love,

                                                          Your Grand__     ,

Lesson 3: God Is with You in Your Golden Years

Lesson 3:  God Is With You In Your Golden Years
Today’s Scripture Focus: 
Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God,  Psalm 71: 18 NIV
*Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you read God’s Word and seek His meaning.

Throughout the years I have lived, I would never have known I was aging except that my body kept reminding me.  Inside, my spirit is an ideal age.  I’m guessing it is that way for all of us who are fifty-plus.

At first, it was the mirror that insisted on revealing this aging truth.  I would catch my reflection as I passed by the talebearer and would wonder who was that older person staring back at me. Eventually, in a fit of denial, I learned to quit looking in the mirror.  That worked until I turned fifty.  Then I began having morning stiffness, along with creaky joints.  There were other things, but I won’t go into those.  The point is when the body decides to complain, aging has to be reckoned with.

We live in a youth oriented society. Everywhere I looked the focus was on youthfulness.  Questions surfaced in my mind:  Were my useful years, my good years, passed?  What did I have to offer my family and the world as a senior?  Was I doomed to live out my remaining years in a meaningless existence?  Journeying to God’s Word, I found my answers.  Indeed, the Scriptures reveal that God is with us in this very special time of life.

Think On These Things

God’s promises to seniors:
“Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth.  Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  Isaiah 46:3-4 NIV

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.  They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.” Psalm 92:12-15 NIV

Purposes and actions for older men and women:
Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.  Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will


malign the word of God.  Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 
                                                                        Titus 2:2-6 NIV

I have heard it said that the only thing we can be certain of is change itself.  Life is constantly changing and it does appear that we can divide our lifespan into meaningful seasons.  We need to remember—
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

God has given us many biblical examples of seniors who found that the best was yet to come.

(Scripture Reference:  Luke 2:21-38)

The Scriptures tell of two seniors whom God saved the best for the last season of their lives.  One was a devout and righteous man called Simeon, whom the Holy Spirit said would not die until he had seen the Christ, and the other was Anna, a prophetess, who was very old.

Anna had been widowed after a brief marriage of seven years.  She remained a widow for eighty-four years.  Some quick mathematics reveals to us that Anna must have been over 105 when Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus to the temple.  Simeon’s age is not revealed, but we get the feeling that he too was very old.  God was with these two and gave them a privileged blessing.

(Scripture Reference:  Joshua 14:6-15)

This passage tells us that Caleb, one of the men that Moses sent to explore the Promise Land, and one who believed that they would have success in conquering it, was eighty-five years old when he was given Hebron as his inheritance.  Not only was he eight-five years of age, but also verse eleven says he was still as strong as when Moses sent him out. 

(Scripture Reference:  Genesis 17: 15-17, 21: 1-5)

Abraham & Sarah became the parents at their senior years.  While that may not be the desire of most of us, many grandparents do find themselves in a similar role as they parent their grandchildren.  God is gracious, and if that is His sovereign will, He will enable you.

The Scriptures are filled with men and women whom God blessed in their final season of life.  God respects seniors and often saves the best for last.  Time after time, we see Him rewarding their wisdom, and the discipline they have attained, with His blessings.

What Did I Learn?
What does God promise to do for us in our senior years?

What does He promise that we will do when we reach our senior years, if we are in Him?

How does God want older men to act in their senior years?

How are senior women to live?

What do senior men and women need to teach the younger generation?


What blessings did Simeon and Anna receive at the end of their lives?


What was the blessing received by Caleb?


What blessing was saved until old age for Sarah and Abraham to receive?


Based on the biblical examples given of seniors citizens who experienced God’s best in their latter years, what hope does that give to you as a senior and a grandparent?


Fill in the blanks of the following verse with your name and claim God’s promise for your golden years.


For I know the plans I have for ___________,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper _______________and not to harm him/her, plans to give ______________a hopes and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

I Will Apply What I Have Learned

STEP 1:  I will not believe the lies of Satan when he tells me my life is over and my usefulness is past.

STEP 2:  I will ask God to reveal His purpose and truth to me for my senior years.

STEP 3:  I will look for ways that I can serve my family, church, community and fellowman. 

STEP 4:  I will not focus on the fact that I am near the end of my life, but instead I will focus on the fact that I still have life.

Dear God,
      I praise You for these senior years, and I know that You have a purpose in these years.  Please guide me by Your Word, Your Spirit and the circumstances of my life.  Please show me how You want me to serve others and pour out Your blessings upon me.  I claim Your promises for my senior years, and like the blessed saints of old, I know You have something wonderful in mind for me, too.  Lord, help me this day to begin to live each day of my life in expectation.  In Jesus Name, Amen



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Lesson 2:  You Have Gained Spiritual Wisdom Regarding Your Life In Christ
Today’s Scripture Focus: 
. . . and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Psalm 71: 17 NIV

*Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you read God’s Word and seek His meaning.

When you accept the Lord as your Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live within you and stays.  He is our guarantee (Ephesians 1:13-14) that we belong to Jesus and have eternal life.  We can believe this because Jesus told us in His Word that it was so. 

The Holy Spirit has many roles.  In John 16:8 Jesus refers to Him as our Counselor or Comforter and John 16:13 states, But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. Because He guides, He teaches us and helps us as we grow in Christ. 

Because we have lived many years, and many of us have walked with Christ during those years, we have gained insight and truth from our life in Christ Jesus.

Rest assured that if you have just come to know Christ, the Holy Spirit will give you a bounty of wisdom and guidance to share with your family.  God uses the “life before Christ” times and contrasts them with the “after life with Christ” times to show us the wisdoms and blessings of following Christ. 

To those who accepted Christ at an early age, He has been training you in discipline and patience. You have also experienced the struggle between the flesh and the spirit.  You know the true meaning of overcoming through the power of the Holy Spirit.  You are to share what you have learned with your children and grandchildren, helping them to grow as children of the Lord. 

Think On These Things

I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.  Psalm 89:1-2 NIV

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry (to tell of His marvelous deeds), we do not lose heart.  2 Corinthians 3:15 NIV
Therefore this is what the LORD says:
“If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman.”  Jeremiah 15:19 NIV

But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.  Psalm 103: 17-18 NIV

What Did I Learn?
Using the verses listed above, answer the following:
What will you sing or speak of regarding God?

What will you do in regard to God?
            1.
            2.

What is your ministry to your children and grandchildren?



If we repent, what will God do for us?

What are we to do for Him?

What type of words are we to speak and why?

What promise does God give those who keep
a right relationship with Him?

I Will Apply What I Have Learned

STEP 1:  I will share something that God has done.

STEP 2:  I will point out the beauty in nature to my family (sunset, flowers, snow, trees, clouds).

STEP 3:  I will speak only helpful and encouraging words to my family.

STEP 4:  I will spend time in fellowship with the Lord, praising Him for all that He has done for me and mine.

Gracious Father,

I thank You for reminding me that I need to be sharing how You have worked in my life.  Also, thank You for reminding me to speaking encouraging words, not negative ones to my family and friends.  Show me exactly how You want me to share Your marvelous deeds and provide those opportunities for sharing with my family and friends, especially my grandchildren.  Thank You for Your promise that Your Righteousness is with my precious grandchildren.  In Jesus Name, Amen

©Janet Teitsort. Permission to reprint must be granted by the author.
Please message me on Facebook. Thanks and God bless.



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

ALIVE: A TWELVE WEEK BIBLE STUDY FOR GRANDPARENTS

Hi Grandparents,

Over the next twelve weeks, I want to share (daily—honest, I’m going to try--you can pray for me) a Bible Study for Grandparents that I have written. Below is a summary of what to expect if you decide to accompany me on this journey. While it may not be easy to do a study via a blog, let’s try it. Won’t you join me?
           
ALIVE:  A Twelve-Week Bible Study for Grandparents is written for the vital “Fifty-Plus Generation.”  Grandparents are Alert to a changing world, Love in action, and Involved with community, family, friends, and the world.  Vitality radiates from their fit bodies.  They are Encouragers to each other, and to the upcoming generations.  No rocking chairs or recliners for this active bunch; they’re too ALIVE!

The study will help grandparents identify their role and point them to their mentoring responsibility before God.  The study is written in two sections.  The first section is five weeks long and deals with the grandparents’ personal concerns.  The second section consists of seven weeks, which focus on grandparents as mentors and teachers to their grandchildren. Get yourself a notebook and let’s dive in!

Week 1:  God’s Blessings on Grandparents
Scripture for the week: 
Since my youth, O God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God,
till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.  Psalm 71: 17 & 18 NIV

Lesson 1:  You Possess Wisdom Gained Through Experiences
Today’s Scripture Focus:  Since my youth, O God, you have taught me. Psalm 71: 17

*Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you read God’s Word and seek His meaning.

All of us have a spiritual history whether we have followed God or not, for it was His will and desire that we should be born. God works in our lives in spite of us, drawing us to Him.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, there comes a moment when our eyes are opened to God’s goodness and we make a decision about our Lord.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s 
womb . . . My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  Psalm 139: 13, 15-16

I remember when I was a child of six or seven, dashing out in front of a car.  I had one thing on my mind and that was to get across the street to my friend’s house.  I had failed to check for traffic.  I remember how frightening it was, the screech of the car brakes and my life had been spared.  Looking back, I realize it was God who spared my life.  Before I surrendered my life to Him, He was already working in my life.  In fact He began at conception and has followed me through every day that I have lived.

I have also been told that I had the whooping cough at age two and nearly died.  When I was five, a huge dog bit me and almost ripped the skin off my face. Again, God intervened.  He was always there, even before I knew Him, working in my life.
           
When just a toddler, my parents took me to Sunday school and church.  Thus, I was blessed with the opportunity to hear about Christ.  Another adult has shared how they didn’t get to church until adulthood when God strategically placed a bold Christian in their path to share with them.  Someone else shared that their grandparents were instrumental in bringing them to church and providing a way for them to know God. God was working with His perfect timing in all of our lives.

The specific things that I have mentioned about my life happened before I was saved.  Now, I can see how God was at work, surrounding me with His angels, guiding and caring for me.  Since I’ve come to Christ, there has been many more blessings (happenings) where I can say, “It was God’s leading, or God’s protection, or God’s intervention.”

Think On These Things:
Take a few minutes and make a list of how God has provided, intervened, protected and shielded, or healed you.  Start with the earliest memories you can think up, and then consider each decade of your life. 
You will be amazed.

Birth to age 5:
Age 5 to 10:
Age 10 to 20:
Age 20 to 30:
Age 30-40:
Age 40-50:
Age 50-60:
Age 60-70:
Age 70-80:
Age 80-90:
Age 90-100:

What Did I Learn?
In your own words, write what you learned from today’s lesson.  What has He been doing for you since your youth?



How does that make you feel toward God?


I Will Apply What I Have Learned

STEP 1:  You can apply what you have learned by sharing how God has cared for you with your children, grandchildren, and other family members during family conversations.

STEP 2:  Ask God to provide opportunities during the course of the days and weeks ahead to boldly share. Praise Him for all that He has done. 

Gracious Father, 
Throughout my life, from the moment of my conception, it has been Your will that I should live and breathe, and know You.  You have kept me safe in moments where no other explanation can be given except that You intervened on my behalf—because it was not in your timing that I come home to be with you just yet.

Father, I just want to thank You for your protective care, and that you loved me before I first loved You.  I want to thank You for all the marvelous ways you have worked on my behalf (go back and look at your list and name them one by one, thanking Him for each one.)  Glory to Your Name, Holy Father.  May my life be a testimony to others as I share what You have done for me.  In Christ’s Name.  Amen. 

Come back tomorrow for lesson two.


© Janet Teitsort. You must contact the author for permission to reprint via message on Facebook.