You are getting older but ARE YOU getting better? Part 4

You are getting older, but are you getting better? Part 3

One of the older stand up comics was George Burns.

You may remember him in the movie, Oh God. 
PIC - George Burns in Oh God

You older people may remember way back a TV show Burns and Allen.

She played a flighty blond and he was the straight man. They close the show the same way each week. 
“Say goodnight Gracie. . .” 
PIC - George Burns and Gracie Allen

Some George Burns standup jokes in his nineties.

“It’s nice to be here. At my age it is nice to be anywhere.

People ask me about my age and the secret to longevity. I tell them don’t die. I can’t afford to die; I would lose a fortune. By the time you turn 80 years old you have learned everything. The problem is you just can’t remember it. I am in my nineties and I smoke between 10-15 cigars a day. At my age I have to have something to hold onto.

When I was a kid in school I still can’t understand why I flunked American History. Because when I was a kid there was so little of it. “You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you're down there.”

“The secret to a good sermon is having a good beginning and a good ending, then having them as close together as possible.”

 “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old!”

George Burns

This is the last part of a 3-part message: You are getting older, but are you getting better?

The longer you have walked with God the better you become.

One of the ways you can tell you are getting better as you get older is you are more calm.

The first thing God wants for us to get better as we get older is to Be calm.

       The older you get and the longer you walk with God the more patient you become. You do have control over growing in patience.

“Let patience have her perfecting, maturing work in you, that you may be mature, fully developed, lacking in nothing.” James 1:4

-     This patience is a fruit of the HS grown in our hearts and freeing us from hurry, worry, fretting.

-     We have learned by
“feeding on His faithfulness” Psa. 37:3

The second thing God wants us to have as we get older and better is to Be confident.
“Trust in and be confident in the Lord …and feed on His faithfulness.”

       A life that walks with God will grow in confidence in God and confidence in the Anointing He gave you. People will admire an older person who carries calmness, and confidence because they walk with God. You can visibly see people with a firm foundation with God manifest calm and confidence. They are unshakeable and you know they walk with the Almighty. There is one more characteristic that God wants you to have in order to get better as you get older

Be calm

Be confident

Be committed

Haven’t you met people who are Christians and have become mean, grouchy, negative, old people? If you don’t make a definite commitment to get better, then you will become one of those people you say you don’t like.

Ill. Like Mr. Wilson on Dennis the Menace movie.

PIC - Mr. Wilson

He didn’t like children at the beginning of the movie. He was grumpy and mean and selfish. But at the end he learned to value and love kids – even Dennis.

PIC - Mr. Wilson and Dennis the Menace

None of these things are going to just happen. You have to be intentional and determine you are going to get better with age.

By default, without determining to get better, even if you are a Christian, you will naturally get grumpy, grouchy, negative, complaining, cynical. You have to commit your way to the Lord for change to happen.

 

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose every care of your load on Him]; trust {lean on, rely on, be confident} also in Him and He will bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:4-5 Amp.

There are a lot of things competing to win your heart. Hell will dangle anything in front of you to get your heart to go after anything other than the Lord first.

“Delight yourself in the Lord. . .”

“Delight” = to find your joy in the things of God FIRST.

The Lukewarm church was at one time an on fire church that has cooled off. Why? “Left their first love.”

       God is to have first place in our hearts. If He does not have the priority of your life and time, then idols have grown in your life and removed God from first place.

“Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God”

       When Christians or churches lose their purpose and priority they start to decline. If they continue eventually with “a form of religion” they eventually die spiritually while physically alive.

You know churches that are dead – in form only. Somewhere between 4,000 and 7,000 churches close their doors every year. Southern Baptist researcher, Thom Rainer, He says between 8,000 and 10,000 churches will likely close this year. Why?

            The reasons may vary but the primary reason is they forgot their purpose.

Why are we here? What is the purpose for having a church here when there are so many other churches around?

We have a purpose and we must not forget our individual purpose.

The purpose for GT is to preach and proclaim the gospel of grace and bring a revelation of the grace of God that sets people free from sin, guilt, shame, and the bondage of religion.

WE have a Biblical example of God turning things around for God’s people in the book of the prophet Haggai. It was a time the God’s church was going down in decline. Attendance was low and money was so low that they could not maintain the Temple properly. The building was deteriorating as a sign that people’s spiritual lives were deteriorating. When the Temple of God didn’t have the money to maintain the ministry it was because the majority of the people were not putting God and God’s business first.

 

Haggai list the reason the Temple was declining in every way. God told Haggai the prophet the reason.

“Consider your ways! You have sown much but reaped little. You do not have enough. You earn wages and put them in a bag with holes in it. Consider your ways.” Haggai 1:5-7

 

The people of God were building their own houses and letting God’s house be undone. The solution was for the people to repent and make God’s house and business first and then He would fill it with His glory. The Lord aroused the spirit of the people and they came and did the work of the ministry, then God filled His house with the glory of the Lord!

But God said this to them. “Consider from this day forward”- in other words mark down this day to remember when things began to change. When you committed to put God’s house, business first – from this day forward consider you had seed in the barn, your fruit trees brought forth fruit, from THIS DAY I will bless you

The day they COMMITTED THEIR WAY TO THE LORD, making God’s business and house their first priority.

When Self interests began to replace God’s interests.

-     People lost their passion.

-     They lost their perception.

-     They lost their purpose.

Ill. Chicago Daily News was at one time one of the greatest news papers with huge circulation in the world. They won a Pulitzer prize for journalism. For 102 years it was in business then one day they announced they were closing the doors and going out of business. One journalist for the paper was asked why did this happen? His answer was simple but profound.

“We forgot our purpose.”

When their priority shifted from reporting news to making money they lost their purpose and eventually went out of existence.

Ill. April 3 this year will be 15 years for GT. If we would have had everyone who has come and gone in past 15 years this church would have been 2-3 thousand in size. Frustrated I have asked the Lord if I need to step down and let a younger person take over. He made it clear to me – no! Not now.

I want you to BE calm, BE Confident, and Be Committed.

A couple of weeks ago Pam and I made a commitment and covenant with God. Most of you know my wife has worked as a nurse and for an agency. Let’s pour all we have into church and getting things done, set up new programs etc. and Pam not get an extra job. Let’s put God’s ministry and God’s church first and walk through any open door He has for us to minister and see what HE will do in growing the church. Already we are seeing things happen in our life for better. Why? Commitment to God and His ministry first! I believe He wants to same thing to happen to each one of you!

I believe God is talking to some people here about the same thing. If you will make a covenant with God today and put His business first and do whatever He puts in your path and walk through every door, He opens and say yes to His business first – refocus.

-     Matthew 6:33

The Challenge from the Lord to us is to:

 “Commit your way to the Lord” = Put God’s business and ministry first in our life, then watch what the Lord will do.

Concl: God likes commitment from His people. It is like establishing priorities and remembering your purpose. I don’t know the specifics of what that will look like in your life but mark down the day you make this type of commitment. Because when you do things begin to change and get better in your life.

What God has been dealing with us about I also know He is dealing with the people I am called to lead.

-     It is not time to coast or step back and see what will happen. It is time to step up and “commit your way fully to the Lord”. His business first, His church first and then He will take care of your other things.