The Elderly Christian – The Fathers and Mothers of the Church!


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Our Friday Night Article for the Elderly Christian
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Grandpa and Grandma

Grandpa and Grandma

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When I was young, we had many older individuals around us including my Grandparents, who had lived through WW2 and even in WW1 who were retired and living in our community. These men and women astounded me with their stories of either being overseas serving in the forces or working in Britain for the War Effort and it had a tremendous affect on me as a person. Growing up with these individuals created within me a real respect for the older generation and it made me appreciate just how valuable they are to us as a community and as a Church and it’s a trait I hold very close to my heart.  Unfortunately, a respect and care for our retired is sorely lacking in many communities today and many are marginalised, ignored and some are even forgotten about in the hustle and bustle of modern life and even worse, in some of our churches today. It’s for this reason I write this message tonight as an encouragement to the Church Pastor to consider our Elderly Christian and, as a message to our Elderly Christians, to never think your time is done with God!
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As most will know, I am a Christian Pastor (albeit in a more relaxed role for a time) and the Elderly being marginalised in the Church is something I’ve witnessed first hand as well as thankfully, having been able to help in some cases and from this, I can only assume it’s a more widespread issue within Christian Assemblies. One such case was an Elderly Woman in her seventies who is an absolute Prayer Warrior who might have put some of the Apostles to shame, in just how much and how faithfully she prays for everyone.  This woman, grew up as a small child through WW2 and was evacuated from lower England like many, to escape the German’s Blitz Bombings on large British Cities and she can remember so well, being taken away from her home and friends to live in an unfamiliar town. This woman not only possessed a Godly character and Spiritual Gifts but a tremendous amount of life experience to share with the younger so as you can imagine, it broke my heart to hear her say – “I just feel useless now I’m getting older”.
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There was a saving grace though, this event took place about 2 weeks before I was to preach publicly one of the subjects of “The Principles of the Gathering” – Elders, Deacons and The Deaconess and although I’d always been taught to never preach a message at someone, I knew God would use the sermon to alleviate her fears.  It was so evident that this was something which clearly grieved the Spirit, that someone of that woman’s stature, character and faith would ever feel that way within an assembly of Christian believers.  Afterward I had the privilege to reassure her not only showing God’s mind from the scriptures, but to give her an encouragement to come along side the younger with her goodness and her wealth of experience.
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This was a situation which left quite an impression on me and those words of Paul the Apostle, to his Overseer of Overseers Timothy, became even more real to me than they had before to ‘Rebuke not an Elder but entreat them Fathers and the Elder Women as Mothers’.  Think on it for a moment, this Epistle wasn’t written to the Church Congregation but to the Overseer of Ephesus Timothy, for HIM to respect and use the Elders he had at hand to help minister to the assembly.  This fact is reinforced even further in Paul’s Epistle to Titus, for him to encourage the Christian Elder Men in Crete to teach the Young Men and the Elder Christian Woman, to teach the Young Women among them.  Forget for a moment that Paul wrote these words because we know, the scriptures are God breathed so this is the mind of God – NO Elder is useless in the Kingdom!!!
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I hope, that God will speak to the Christian reader whether a Pastor, Young Christian or Elder through this Article to impress upon you just how important this message is.  My attempts to explain are probably feeble in some ways due to the limitations of this Article but please friend, consider the Elders, they are without doubt treasure chests of knowledge, experience and advice and not taking advantage of this, would only serve to weaken the assembly. Let me leave you tonight with a further reinforcement of this teaching by the words of the Apostle and also the Elder Peter, commissioning the Elder Reader….
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Elder – (Greek – Pres-but-er-os – Elderly)
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(1 Peter 5:1-3) “…The Elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder,  and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the Glory that shall be revealed.  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly, not for filthy gains, but of a ready mind.  Neither being Lords over God’s Heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of Glory that fades not away…”
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I do hope this message has blessed you wherever you are and if you are an Elder, experienced Christian and don’t know it, God holds you in a very high regard in the Kingdom.

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God bless

Steven

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About Pastor Steven

Steven Birnie is a former local Church Minister and the author of Christian publications which include non-fiction, fictional and teaching eBooks with audio sermons. From the north-east coast of Scotland, Pastor Steven is married to Sharon and together, they have two young children called Emily and David. After seven years of training, three years of overseeing youth and young adults and, three years of being the Assistant Pastor in his local Church, Pastor Steven moved on to focus on writing Christian Publications. In the future, he hopes to open a Christian Children’s Home in his home town and write The Tribulation Soldier, his newest Series of Fictional, Military EBooks on the End Times, the Rapture and the Tribulation Period, as a 2.5 Million Word Series. But despite continuing pastoral work and writing, Steven remains devoted to his children, enjoying his family life with caravan holidays in the Highlands, fishing, canoeing and his favourite pastime, riding his motorbike through the Scottish countryside.