Thursday, June 28, 2012

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I know I really need to exercise. My blood and my pulse - they don't really get going very fast as I sit many days doing my work. You know, like what I'm doing right now. I'm sitting at a microphone, and I haven't made too much progress in my form of exercise since my childhood. Well, you know, I used to chug around on my bicycle when I was a little kid. And when I was little, it was for fun or just basic transportation.

But then it became a discipline; I had to get on my bike. And it was fun occasionally, especially when I sped down a nice long hill like we had near our house. When I did that I experienced a law at work that was responsible for the excitement: the closer I got to the bottom of the hill, the more I picked up speed.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Picking Up Momentum As You Near the Bottom."

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Joshua 14. Here's a man I think you would say was nearing the bottom of life's hill. This is Caleb; he's 85. Time to go to Florida, right? Well, listen to what he says. They are now in the Promised Land. He comes at the age of 85 to Joshua and says, "Now then, just as the Lord promised, He has kept me alive for 45 years since the time He said this to Moses 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 now as I was then. Now, give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there," (those are giants, by the way) "...and their cities were large and fortified. But the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as He said."

Oh, by the way, that's exactly what 85-year-old Caleb did. As he nears the bottom of the hill in his life, he's picking up momentum like me on my bicycle. Now, Americans look forward to this place on the horizon called retirement, and we talk about our IRAs, and our condo, and our favorite place to go and retire, retirement communities, and I guess there's nothing wrong with retiring from your job. That's fine!

But I don't understand how you can retire from God's work. How can we retire from ministry? How can we retire from making a difference? How do you retire from Kingdom leadership, from reaching a lost world, from spiritual challenge? How do you retire from saying, "God, give me my mountain. Until the day I come to see You, I'm going to go after mountains for You." I think Caleb gets not only the Senior Citizen of the Year award; he gets the Senior Citizen of the Centuries award. "Give me my mountain, Lord!"

Somehow we have allowed our potential Calebs to basically retire from the war, except to cut the church lawn, or write some checks, or serve on a committee. But these are the people who may know the most, who've walked with the Lord the longest. Older believers are sometimes almost programmed to fossilize at a time when they should energize. There may be physical limitations, of course, but is there any such thing as retiring from active service; retiring from making a difference for Christ?

The Chinese have an old proverb. They say, "To the foolish, old age is winter. To the wise, old age is harvest time." Listen, if you're an older believer or a veteran in the work of the church who feels like, "Well, I'll just let somebody else do it now" or you're someone with physical limitations, don't just pull off the road as you get near the bottom of the hill. God may want to call you to a mission that will use all your wisdom, skill and experience that it took a lifetime to acquire.

One lifetime, no matter how long it is, is not enough to serve Christ. We only get one; use every day to the max. Look for a mountain; look for giants to fight! And let your definition of retire change. Yeah, you should retire; you should re-tire and get a new set of tires on and drive faster and farther than ever before.

You should be picking up momentum as you get closer to the bottom of the hill.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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