So on Sunday I talked about one main question: when does life peak? This is a pretty relevant question to me because I hit a big milestone on Saturday: I turned 30. So I wanted to explore what is the Biblical view of growing older? And we did that through looking at, of course, Joshua Slocum, Johnny Cash, and Isaiah 44.
We looked at how Isaiah 44 tells us unequivocally that God is about doing a new thing. We read this “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? “ God is about doing a fresh thing. God is about creating new life, new creation, and new transformation. The word new in Hebrew is “Hadash”. It means a new thing, a fresh thing. Its root means to renew or repair something, bringing out a freshness and a newness to something that wasn’t previously there. This isn’t the “cult of the new” culture. This isn’t “newer is always better”. This is God promising that the best is always in front of us. That he is always in the business of taking our lives and using them to bring new depth, new life, new meaning to the world around us.
The answer then to our question “when do we peak” is never. In God’s Kingdom our usefulness never expires. Our ability to contribute to the world is never over. If we follow the God above we never ever peak, but are in a constant search to pay attention to the new thing God is doing and join him there. We talked about how Joshua Slocum at 50+ fought off pirates, and sailed the world alone. We talked about how Johnny Cash at 70+ covered a song by Nine Inch Nails and brought such depth and beauty to it that he made it new. Because age never defines our ability to contribute to life. Our willingness to see and respond to the God who is doing a new thing is the crucial point. So we landed asking ourselves – do we believe that the best is before us? Do we believe in the God who does a new thing? Do we believe in the God whose future is full for us? Because God is clear, “I’m doing a new thing…it’s already started”.
So how do you follow God into the newness he has to bring through you? Well, first start to pray to God to use you, because it is only through God that we discover new life. God is the originator and creator of life, so it starts there. Then start to pay attention to what God is doing around you. God says it has already begun, it is before us, around us, and before us. So open you up your eyes and see what God is doing. Pay attention to the moments full of hope, promise, and life. Pay attention to the ideas, dreams, and crazy thoughts that capture your spirit and soul. That could be the new thing God is calling you to. It could be to start a business, to fix that relationship, to launch a new chapter of your life.
So that’s where we went on Sunday believing that God is never done with any of us. Believing that God wants to do a new thing in and through all of us, if we’d pray, pay attention, and follow. So as a new 30 year old I ended with this thought that I believe is true for all of us: I’m just getting started. And I think this is true for us in our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, or even 80+. So I’m just getting started because I follow the God of new life, and who does new things. What about you?
Big Idea God wants to do a new thing in and through us
- We are all getting older
- When does life peak?
- Our culture says, “Newer is always better”
- God’s newness, isn’t about new packaging, but new creation
- Our temptation is to believe the best is behind us
- “Forget all that…”
- God’s best is always to come
- God is in the business of transforming old things, into brand new things.
- I am just getting started.
- God is the one who wants to do a new thing in us
- We don’t need to force it to happen, we need to see it and follow it.
Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What surprised you? What made you think? What did you take away? What was new?
When do you feel “you’ve peaked?” Do you feel that the best days are before you or behind you? What makes you feel this way? What type of “new thing” might God want to do in your life? How can you start to pay attention to what God is doing? Are you ready to follow God into the newness he has for you? How can you get started?
Discussion Questions for Young Families: Talk with you kids a bit about getting old. Ask them, “How “old” is “old”? At what age are you old?” Then talk to them about not matter how old or young they are, God wants to use them. Ask them how God might want to use them right now (reach out to friends, feed the hungry, adopt-a-sponsor child etc)? And then follow through with how God is leading them.
Challenge for this Week: Let God do a new thing in and through you