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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Aging: Purpose of Long Life"

September 17, 2004

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Even 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. Psalm 71:18

All too often society looks at the aging as a special group in need of help. What programs need to be provided for the aging so that they will be able to survive this difficult period?

Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone of us bears responsibility for growing old with real purpose in life. The psalmist suggests a profound purpose for living: to declare God’s power to the next generation. That’s what aged Jacob did when he gathered his 12 sons together for a final blessing before he died. He reminded them of God’s promise to Abraham by asking to be buried with his fathers in Canaan.

How exciting to picture the elderly reaching out in service to one another and telling the following generations about the power of God! Simeon and Anna, waiting for the Messiah, rejoice at Jesus’ birth. John, the beloved disciple, in his later years provides the comforting vision of God’s kingdom in the Book of Revelation. Veteran pastors help younger colleagues face the demands of pastoral ministry. Elder statesmen continue to provide leadership for our country. White-haired men and women take their grandchildren by the hand and show them love and guidance. Older women teach young women the almost-lost art of quilting. Retired businessmen offer advice to young people starting small businesses.

Through all of these examples runs a common thread. The aging live with a purpose – declaring the love of God to younger people by word and deed. When we become self-absorbed and self-pitying, He shows us our sin and points us to the self-giving sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. Forgiven, we look beyond ourselves to others who need forgiveness and love. We declare God’s power until He takes us to continue praising Him before the heavenly throne.

PRAYER: Dear Father, fill us with Your purpose all the days of our life. Amen.

(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit

Today's Bible Readings: Isaiah 17-19    Ephesians 4

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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