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Finishing Well in Life

1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us to do all things to the glory of God.  Ok.  Well, how do you get old to the glory of God? This message will explore the Christian perspective on old age and then how we finish well in this life.
The Christian Perspective on Old Age
1 – Old Age Is Good
Proverbs 16:31
Proverbs 20:29

These verses fly in the face of today’s youth culture. Youth is exalted.  Old age is pushed aside. Proverbs 20:29 uses a type of parallelism where the second line intensifies the first line.  So this verse is saying that old age is even better than youth because of the wisdom available to those who are old. The point being that by the time you’re old you should have learned humility, kindness, control of your tongue, etc. Pride is something that’s in the heart of every young person.  It must be replaced with humility as we grow.
Proverbs 17:6 – One other reason why old age is good!!!!
2 – Listen to Those who Are Older
Proverbs 23:22
Proverbs 19:20

Teenagers and young adults, you need to listen to the older people in your life. You shouldn’t be afraid of them! Talk to them. Listen to them. Learn from them. The tendency of the young is to pool their collective ignorance… (church, politics, business, etc.). Being in relationship with the older wiser people God has placed in your life keeps you grounded and keeps you from making foolish decisions.

This is what Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, failed to do when he took over the throne from his father. See 1 Kings 12 for this story. Rehoboam spurned the advice of his elders (1 Kings 12:6-7) and surrounded himself with a bunch of his peers who were all young. They pooled together their collective ignorance and came up with a really stupid idea that ended up completely destroying the nation. (1 Kings 12:8-11).

Finishing Well

So, the book of Proverbs tells us that old age is good.  But there’s something missing that Proverbs doesn’t tell us.  Proverbs doesn’t tell us what to do with old age.  It just says that old age is a blessing.  The NT tells us very clearly what to do.
We need to finish life well, for God’s glory and God’s name.  We need to finish full of faith.  We need to finish exalting him all the way.  We need to finish well.
1.     The goal is to finish.

There must be something more than a vague “I just want a long life and an easy death.” Consider how the apostle Paul was focused on finishing…

Acts 20:24 – AD 55
Philippians 3:14-15 – AD 61 (prison)
2 Timothy 4:6-7 – AD 64

There is a finish line. What will you do with the future years that God gives to you?  Who will you live them for? One day you will step into eternity.

“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” – C.T. Studd
2.     You will be remembered for how you finish, whether good or bad.

Practically – I only remember the end of my grandparents’ lives.  For the most part, I remember my parents as they are now, not as they were when I was 7.

King Uzziah – Notice the shift between 2 Chronicles 26:15 and 2 Chronicles 26:23. What happened??? 2 Chronicles 26:16

So, King Uzziah started really well, had great success, but then he failed to finish well. If you start well in life and you have done well to this point, then you need to feel the weight of finishing well. If you started bad or made serious mistakes and sins, then this can be a point of great hope for you. You can finish well from this day forth. But, good or bad, you will be remembered for how you finish.
3.     Before you finish…

God is not done with you if you’re still here, but what do you need to do before you finish this life?  Here’s four suggestions…

  • Make sure your family knows your testimony and faith in Jesus Christ. Don’t let them wonder if you are in heaven or not when you pass.
  • Invest in the next generation. We have to pass our faith down to our children and grandchildren. (Psalm 71:18, Psalm 78:4-6)
  • Put pride aside and reconcile with people. Don’t leave things unsaid.
  • Get serious about holiness. Jonathan Edward’s 7th resolution, “Resolved: Never to do anything which I would be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.”


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