Daily Devotional for Saturday May 17, 2014
Who are the Saints?
(Leviticus 19:32; Proverbs 23:22; 1 Timothy 5:1,2)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, Illinois has passed the bill allowing same-sex couple to be married. Will our church come under attack if our pastor refuses to perform such a "marriage?"
ANSWER: It is a very good possibility. ANY pastor or church who would be part of such a perversion of God's Holy Institution of Marriage is an abomination in the eyes of God. No doubt, churches and pastors will come under pressure to perform such perverted ceremonies, but must take their stand since there is NO LAW that can force them to do such based on their religious beliefs.
Who are the "saints?" A few weeks ago, the world rejoiced as the Roman Catholic Church made two ex-Popes "saints." Sadly, this idea of calling men and women who have accomplished a certain spritual criteria "saints," is just another MAN-MADE TRADITION of the RC Church that has ZERO Biblical support. The reason? The Bible says ALL..ALL...ALL... who know Christ as their Savior are "saints!!!"
The words "sanctified" and "holy" come from the same Greek root as the word that is commonly translated "saints." Therefore, scripturally speaking, the "saints" are the body of Christ, Christians, the church! All Christians are considered saints! First Corinthians 1:2 states it clearly: "To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy." Christians are saints by virtue of their connection with Jesus Christ. Christians are called to be saints, to increasingly allow their daily life to more closely match their position in Christ.
Perhaps no segment of the Body of Christ has been more ignored and minimized today than our Senior Saints! I want to let you in on a secret. One of the great sources of strength, encouragement, and confidence that I have in my life and ministry, comes from thousands of senior saints worldwide that pray for me every day.
These are senior men and women that know God intimately because they have been walking with Him for decades. These are senior men and women that know every inch of the Throne room of God because they have spent so much time there. These are senior men and women that have calluses on their knees from spending tens of thousands of hours over their lives in prayer. Knowing that these seasoned veterans of the faith are praying for me each day, is like the security blanket that Linus (of Peanuts fame) always carries around with him.
Sadly, many churches don't give their senior saints the honor and respect that they are due. The reality is that many of these men and women helped form the foundation of the church. When work needs to be done, they are always there. When projects need to be funded, you can always count on them. When the doors of the church are open, that is where you will always find them. The senior adults are the pillars of the house of God!
However, the greatest contributions that these men and women of God can make is in the SPIRITUAL LIFE of the church. They are great prayer warriors. They know that the altar is not for flower displays, but for people to come and travail before God. They have the experience with God to know that their prayers may not be answered in the first 30 seconds, and will "wait upon the Lord" until He does answer!
They know the Word of God. All you have to do is look at their Bibles to know that they have been read over, and over, and over, and over again! God's Word is the "lamp unto their feet." These aged warriors also have incredible wisdom about real life. They have lived 60, 70, 80, 90 years on this earth. They have seen and experienced everything that this life has to offer, both good and bad. The church needs to start tapping into the decades of walking with God and the real life experiences that our senior saints have to offer.
For those of you that are struggling with issues in your life today, here is my advice. Men, seek out an older man in the church that will agree to stand with you. Women, you need to seek out an older woman in the church that will stand with you. They can give you great wisdom about life, wise counsel for the problems that you are facing, not to mention call out your name before God each day.
The fact is, these senior men and women are LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITIES to be used by God. I have several special men in my life that I speak to every week. I spend a good part of my life talking, that is what God has called me to do. But I can assure you that when I am speaking with one of these Godly treasures, I shut up and listen, trying to be like a sponge and absorb all of their wisdom that I can.
I love you and care about you so much. If you have given your heart and life to Jesus by faith you don't have to wait for some "council of men" to declare you a "saint," GOD ALREADY HAS!!! I pray today that the church will recognize this incredibly valuable and underused asset that we have in the Kingdom, our senior saints.
So many of our senior men and women have been asked to sit on the sidelines, when they still have so much to offer. I want to encourage the young adults today to love, honor, and respect those older men and women in your life, and MAKE TIME to spend time with them. The greatest gift that you can have in this life is wisdom. That is what you can gain from these senior saints, WISDOM!
Finally, let me say a word to those precious senior saints today. I have a special word for you today. GOD IS NOT THROUGH WITH YOU! Let me say it again. GOD IS NOT THROUGH WITH YOU! You are in a wonderful season of your life where God can use you to be a blessing to so many. You have lived lots of life, gained great wisdom over these many years, and now God wants you to share that wisdom with the next generation.
I read in the Bible how God used many men and women late in their life. The fact is, we NEVER stop serving the Lord. There is NO RETIREMENT from the work of God. So let me encourage you today to look for opportunities to share the great wisdom and experiences of your life with those of the next generation. Your greatest legacy will be in the lives that you touch for the Lord along your journey.
God has given you the gift of many days on this earth, and I pray that you will share that gift with as many as you possibly can before God says that your work here is finished and calls you Home. Thank you for your many years of service to our Lord. May all of us who follow you in the faith, be found as faithful as you have been in our Lord's service!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,