A father once said, "Son, you gotta set a goal and never quit. Remember George Washington?" The son said, "Yes." "Thomas Jefferson?" "Yes." "Abraham Lincoln?"
"Yes." "You know what they all had in common?" “No! What?" The father said, "They didn't quit, son! They didn't quit!" Then he added, "Do you remember Olivander McTavish?" The kid said, "No. Who was he?" "See, you don't remember him. 'Cause he quit!"
When the Honeymoon's over; when the new wears off; when the excitement fades; what do you do? When it's not fun anymore; when boredom sets in; when the daily grind gets you down, what do you do? Many people give up – they quit! They aren’t in it for the long haul. Its sad to say, but many marriages end in divorce because neither party is willing to put forth the extra effort needed to make it work. If we get behind in school we drop out. If we get into debt we declare bankruptcy. And if we get tired of Christian service we drop out and quit!
I remember growing up on the farm and watching every cow, horse, and goat stretching their neck through the fence to eat the grass on the other side. We would occasionally put old bales of hay just outside the fence to keep the ditch from washing out. The dusty hay the cattle wouldn’t touch in the feed trough somehow became a rare delicacy when it was outside the fence. Aren’t we often like that? Something different always looks more appealing. If we’re told its not good for us or that we can’t have it – we want it all the more.
Today we’re honoring three of our members that have weathered the storms of life for more than 80 years. In the case of Brother Tom, it will be 90 years in May! There are many things we could say about them. We admire their tenacity, their work ethic, and what they have made of their lives. All these good things have come to pass because they refused to quit! They and others like them built this country. They raised their families, worked hard, and paid their debts. But best of all, they have given themselves in service to their Lord and their God! And God can and will continue to use them in the future.
I. God’s Use Of Older People In Bible Times
A. Abraham and Sarah were past 90 when Isaac was born
B. Moses and Aaron were both past 80 when called to lead Israel from Egypt
C. Joshua and Caleb led the conquest of Canaan and served till past 100 years of age
D. Daniel was past 80 when he served as governor in Babylon. It was during this period of his life that he was cast into the lion’s den
E. Simeon and Anna were waiting for God to reveal the Messiah. Both were past 80 when Jesus was presented to them
Note: These are but a few of the examples we could name
II. God Still Uses Seniors Today
A. Elders led the early church
1. Men to pastor and serve
2. Women to set an example
B. There is still a need today
1. The retired have time to do many of the things that need doing
2. Hospitality and benevolence are needed
3. Edification and evangelism are essential
4. Prayer, visitation, even phone calls are helpful
It is good to be able to retire from working in the secular world. But nothing should ever cause us to retire from Christian service. Other cultures do a better job of revering and honoring their parents and grandparents than do we.
We have chosen this day to honor these three: Tom Blair, Lois Pewitt, and Mary Ellen Stevens for their hard work through the years. May the Lord allow you many more years of service before He calls you home.