October 18

Psalms 71:18-20 (NIV) 18Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come. 19Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? 20Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.

What difficulties will old age bring? What fears do you have of aging? Perhaps you are already there. God is with you. Just as He has been every day of your life, and if you have been walking with Him, you may find greater assurance and peace in your old age. Several saints have said that in their old age they do not have as many signs of God's presence because they had learned to walk by faith. Even so, He will not forsake you, even when your body lies in the grave.

The Psalmist asks for God's presence to pass on the stories of the power of God to the next generation. He wants to tell of all that he has seen God do during his life, as well as of his fathers. He wants all that will follow him to know of the power and might of God, of God's perfect righteousness, incredible acts, and incomparable greatness. Is that your desire, to pass on the testimony of Jesus?

Yes, God has made you see many bitter troubles, but they have all been for your good, to mold you into the image of His Son. Your last battle will be death, but don't fear. He has gone before you and defeated death. Your body will rise again, transformed, to meet your spirit in the air. You will forever be with Him. The Apostle told us to remind each other about this glorious end of the story. It helps us get through those many bitter troubles. It is a comfort to know it is all serving a great purpose with an ending that is beyond our wildest dreams.

Encouragement: Endure, aged brother or sister in the LORD. The best is soon to come.

October 18

Colossians 2:6-8 (NIV) 6So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

The mystery that had been a secret for thousands of years was finally revealed. The Christ was to come as a man in Whom dwelt all the fullness of God, and yet die for our sins as our sacrificial lamb. Now that they knew the secret of the ages, having received Jesus as Lord, Paul encouraged them to continue to live in Him. Moment by moment we must decide whether or not we will abide in Him or return to reigning over our own lives. It helps us to make the right choice when we realize the goodness of God in bringing this mystery to light.

More then merely living in Him, we need to sink down roots and grow strong in this new life. We know that the winds of adversity and temptation will come, so we should prepare for it. Go further today than you were yesterday in surrender, submission and love. Grow stronger in your faith by exercising the faith you have been given. Learn more of the wonderful truths of Christ from His word. Express your gratitude for all He has done for you frequently and at every opportunity.

There will always be false teachers that try to lure you back into letting the flesh reign. Their teaching can be cunningly clever, but you can recognize it by its similarity with human traditions and worldly principles. It certainly won't be based on Christ, God's answer to the need of man. Paul said this type of teaching takes you captive. If, like the Israelites, you wish to return to the old, someone will present you with a plan that can justify doing so. The only way to prepare yourself against such deception is to grow deeper in dependency on Christ. Live in Him. Sink down roots. Grow up strong in your faith.

Love Him more today than you did yesterday.