Thursday, January 25, 2018
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It was Yogi Berra who gave us that unforgettable wisdom of the ages, "It ain't over 'till it's over." I'll tell you one man who believes that: John Glenn. Now, he had become an American hero in 1962 with his historic, manned, orbital flight around the earth. And, oh yes, he had gone on to become a United States Senator. That should be enough for one lifetime, right? Especially at the ripe old age of 78. But not for John Glenn! No! At an age when some people are just coasting to the finish line or riding around in an RV, John Glenn went back into space! It was just amazing to see him be part of the crew of the Shuttle Discovery, blasting into space with crewmen half his age. What a hero! At a time when a lot of people think all their important missions were behind them, John Glenn was still flying them!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "One More Mission."
As I watched John Glenn heading for one more mission at the age of 78, I thought to myself, "We need some spiritual John Glenns; some seasoned men and women who will take on new missions for Jesus Christ until God takes them home!"
That's the kind of warrior Caleb was, as exhibited in our word for today from the Word of God. We're in Joshua 14:10-12. Caleb is now 85 years old. At the age of 40 he had been one of the 12 spies sent by Moses to scout out the Promised Land. Ten of those spies told the Jews it would be suicide to go in against those giants and those walled cities, but Caleb and Joshua stood alone, encouraging God's people to claim God's promise and take the land. As a result of the unbelief of his comrades and his nation, Caleb got to wander in the wilderness for the next 40 years until every unbelieving adult had died off.
Now, four decades later, God's people are finally taking the land. And Caleb's planning a sweet retirement, right? Wrong! He tells Joshua, "Now then, just as the Lord promised, He has kept me alive for 45 years... while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, 85 years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites (those were giants!) were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as He said." Wow, listen to this guy!
Now here's a guy who could have said--like too many of God's veterans say, "Well, I've fought my battles. I've been hurt by people's bad decisions. It's my time to rest now." But, like an ancient John Glenn, Caleb says, "Give me that mountain! Bring on those giants! I've still got more battles to fight and win!"
Maybe you're the veteran of a lot of years or at least a lot of battles fought for the Lord. You've got the wrinkles, you've got the scars to prove it. It could be you've been going into sort of a cruise mode, thinking, "I've served enough." There's no such thing. If we live to be 200, we'll run out of time to serve the Savior who laid down His life for us to the last drop of His blood! In the words of Ecclesiastes 8:8, "There is no discharge in time of war." And since the battle for lives rages until Jesus comes, none of us gets a discharge!
My Dad believed, "It ain't over 'til it's over." Even when he was in the hospital, awaiting the last surgery - the heart surgery that would ultimately claim his life - he led his roommate to Christ! He lived as if there was always one more mission! That's how God's calling you to live!
Be a spiritual John Glenn. Be a Caleb! Go out fighting. Go out doing everything in your power to take someone to heaven with you. No matter where you are, no matter your limitations, Jesus can still touch and transform lives through you. There's no time for self-pity or criticizing or passivity. There's still too much to do for Jesus!
No matter how many battles you've fought, no matter how many scars, how many struggles - or how many birthdays - until you see Jesus, there is always one more mission!