Christianity 201

June 19, 2011

Adding to “Male nor female, slave nor free…”

You know the verse.  In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female…  The ground is level at the foot of the cross.  But when it comes to serving God, sometimes I wish the verse also said, “…neither young nor old, academic nor uneducated, rich nor poor.”  The call to active service in ministry is open to all who have surrendered their lives to Christ, regardless of their station in life. Rick Apperson captured the heart of that this weekend at his blog, Just a Thought, with this post he titled, Age is Relative

You are never too young, too old, too uneducated, too poor, or too busy to serve the Lord!

I wasn’t much older than 20 when I was asked to be a youth pastor. I was the missions director of my church at 15. When I was 21, I traveled with an itinerant evangelist in his late 70’s. I could not keep up with his energy!

It is a sad, but true fact, that over the years, the church has relegated the young and the aged to the pews and youth groups. I have heard numerous stories of people who were told that they needed to be older in order to serve God. I have also seen the elderly members of a church ignored when it came to ministry opportunities.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10)

 How can we do good? By serving others, by loving others and by sharing the truth of Jesus Christ. For that job description, age doesn’t matter.
You may be familiar with this Scripture:
“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;” (Acts 2:17)

I like the following passage found in Joshua 14. Caleb is telling part of his story to Joshua and the Israelites and he says this:

And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, just as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. So now give me this hill country of which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the LORD said.” (Joshua 14:10-12)

He was 85 years old and still ready to go for God! However, even the youth can be mightily used by God! Remember, Samuel the prophet was called by God as a youth.

The Bible talks of two kings: Joash who assumed the throne at the age of seven; and Josiah who became king at the age of eight. The Bible says that both of them obeyed the Lord. (2 Kings 12:2, 2 Kings 22:2)

Nor do you need to be educated to serve God. True Biblical education happens when you leave the Bible College, the missionary training school, etc… . It happens just like it did for the apostles…when you rub up against the world. Remember that Peter and a few of the others were just plain old, uneducated fishermen. Yet God used these uneducated men to change the world!

I am not knocking education; however, any education or lack thereof, is not an excuse to sit idly by on the sidelines and hope others will share the love of Jesus Christ. Any one at any age can and should do that. The Great Commission is for all of us!

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