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We will INVEST in the generations following us.

Updated: Apr 29

God calls us to invest our lives into each other and even more so in the generations that follow us (Psalm 71.17,18).

I wanted to show you the seven essentials graphic again as a reminder of how our decision to continue growing as Christians and as persons is at the center of everything we’re talking about in this series. In other words, growth undergirds and energizes the other six essentials.

And the fourth essential in the series is the importance of investing in the generations following us, beginning with our families. The whole idea of investing is to pour our lives and/or resources into something for which we expect a return. I believe God wants us as aging people to invest our lives and His truth in others, not only for their blessing and benefit, but so that we can see something of our return on investment. The apostle John said in Third John verse 4, “I have no greater joy that this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.”


Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to say that about your kids and grandkids? Let’s find out how that can happen as we dive into this session. I’m often asked, “What is the value of aging?” Well, in my mind the value comes into full focus when we understand that God wants us to invest what He has given us in the lives of others. Our emphasis here is on spiritual investments, without denying the importance of caring for our families materially.

Psalm chapter 71 verses 17–18 are key to the importance of investing spiritually in the people God places around us. Listen to this psalmist’s prayer for God to grant him spiritual  impact with those who will come after him. “O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.” This is a declaration of confidence in God as well as a prayer.


Let’s face it. Our aging years are often a time of alienation, of feeling alone and unnoticed. It’s easy to feel distant from other people. We’ve all known older people who wonder why God has left them here. They feel that their value is used up, and will say things like, “I don’t want to be here anymore. I just want to go to heaven.”


Well, here’s an answer to that sense of being forsaken, even by God. I am here as an aging person to tell the generations coming behind me of the value of trusting God with their lives. If you have adult children, they still need your encouragement and example of what it means to live for Christ. And your input may be even more vital for your grandchildren as they face this crazy world. We also need to consider the people at our church because its’s a place where we are surrounded by multiple generations who need the unique wisdom and perspective we have to offer.


The value of an aging generation is that we exist not only to grow ourselves and to be there for each other, but to tell successive generations who God is and the value of trusting Him. I can't say enough about the importance of that in this culture. More than ever, we need older people to stand up and declare God’s goodness and power to the generations coming behind us.


Let me give you a biblical example from the book of Genesis. The patriarch Joseph was 17 years old when his jealous brothers sold him into slavery. You can read his entire story in Genesis chapters 37 to 50, but the part I want to point to in this study is what Joseph said at the end of his life. God had used him to save his family from starvation, and Joseph lived to the age of 110. He got to see multiple generations of his family, and he wanted to make sure they knew of God’s promises to His people as they were about to go forward without him.


So near the end of his life, Joseph gathered everyone around him and said in Genesis chapter 50 verse 24, “I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you and bring you up from this land [Egypt] to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.” Joseph had learned the value of trusting God throughout his life, and the end he was saying, “I want to share with you the impact of God's work in my life, and His promises to you.” Joseph’s last words were a testimony of God’s faithfulness to him and a message of hope to the generations of his family standing around his bed, so to speak.


What a great message to leave with our families and others following us: “I trusted God with my life, and you can trust Him with yours as well.” Imagine the incredible generational impact we could have in our churches if every aging member instilled this message in the younger people: “Trusting God has been the best thing I’ve ever done, and I want you to know the same blessing.”

So back to our chart. Investing is giving our lives away, spending time sharing our stories, being deliberate and intentional about sharing with following generations the work God has done and is doing in our lives. There are barriers, of course. Satan uses all the distractions of technology, busy schedules, and social media with our kids and grandkids to try and keep this impact from happening. And don’t forget, we can get caught up in this stuff ourselves.


That’s why I urge you to think intentionally about the spiritual truths and experiences you want to share with your family. It’s also important that we take the time to make these things a priority. Let me remind all of us that nothing in the Christian life is automatic. I have to be deliberate in telling my adult children, my grandchildren, and anybody else in those generations that God puts in my life about His love, power, and goodness to me.


Now the tendency in life is to hang out with our own kind, those of our own age group and interests. But God says, “Habecker, don't do that. Reach out to the generations to come and pour your life and My Word into them.” I make it a practice at church to look for younger people around me, to get to know them, spend time with them, find out what their issues are, tell them my story and listen to their stories—in other words, to investin them. I think it's one of the reasons God has left you and me here.


So as we begin this session on the importance of investing in others, let me ask you some key questions. Is investing in others the pattern of your life? Do you take time regularly to stop and invest in younger people, sharing in their lives? There is incredible value in sharing with younger people the struggles you have faced and still face as a Christian, because they are going to face many of the same things.


On the screen are drawings of Simeon and Ana, two aged servants of the Lord who met Jospeh and Mary as they were bringing the baby Jesus to the temple. You can read in Luke chapter 2 verses 25 to 38 the blessing and prophecies that these two elderly believers made about Jesus, and how their words impacted Joseph and Mary, and everyone else who heard them.

If I had a wish for you and me as aging people, I would wish that we would bless the younger generations and give our lives to helping them follow Christ faithfully.


I love this quote you see here by Bob Buford.

Let’s pledge together to invest our lives in the generations coming behind us, for their good and God’s glory.

May the Lord bless you in the rest of your study in this session and the ones that follow. And as you study with us, think about your life and the impact God wants you to have in younger generations during theirs and our very important years that God has entrusted to us.

NOTE: This text is an edited transcription of the ESSENTIAL FOUR: INVEST video by Dr. Hal Habecker, edited by Philip Rawley.


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