Thursday, January 22, 2015

"The Hope of All"

    Within the span of a few hours today, I spoke to an audience averaging 10 years old, and to another averaging 80.  The former occasion involved a local Christian school, while the latter led me to a retirement community.

    "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:14).
    "Even to your old age, I am He" (Psalm 46:4).

    Such an opportunity happens occasionally, and reminds me of the blessed truth and application of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to every age and walk of the life.  The message is always the same, whether to the ten year old just embarking on life's journey, or to the octogenarian well into the pilgrimage.  The same Christ applies, as does the Scriptural affirmation of the God whose Truth meets us where and wherever we find ourselves, or more to the point, where God knows we are.  Illustrations differ, of course, and the Christian communicator may utilize a different voice, as it were, depending on the characteristics of his audience.  Still, the truths of Christ resonate in young and old as the Holy Spirit applies the provision of the Lord Jesus to the needs of human hearts.  Indeed, the Gospel is so simple a child can understand it, and so profound the most ardent and experienced believer could never fully grasp its infinite complexity.

    We must have great confidence as we communicate God's truth, confidence not in ourselves, of course, but in the power of His Spirit and His Word.  We operate from strength as we proclaim the Gospel.  The Holy Spirit precedes our sowing of Biblical seeds by tilling the soil of the hearts into which we plant.  He then graces the Scriptures we share with personal application to the hearts of our hearers, again, be they young or old.  Certainly we seek to sound a clear voice that accords with the particular characteristics and capacities of our audience.  Nevertheless, our primary concern is that we faithfully adhere to the Truth as it is, and confidently affirm the Word of God as the hope of the child, the hope of the elder, the hope of all.

    As the old country preacher once declared, "People is people!"  More importantly, God is God.  Our responsibility in sharing the Gospel involves trusting Him to form our message, and then enable delivery of it in precise application to the needs of our hearer.  This applies to preaching and to our personal witness as the Lord sends us to the hearts He loves, and as we discover the pertinence of His truth to all, including to young and to old.

"Old men and children, let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is excellent!  His glory is above the earth and Heaven."
(Psalm 148:12-13)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Come ye and let us walk in the light of the Lord.
(Isaiah 2:5)

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