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By Stan L. Caldwell

Youth is a fearful time in some respects. It is a time when young men and women are determining what direction their lives will take. They may know the truth and they may desire to obey it but they are pulled by the cares and lusts of the world to experiment with things that are evil before the Lord. Their friends may not be spiritual minded and even unwise and they may follow the multitude in doing evil.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 says, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them". Many a youth have fallen by failing to heed this charge. They have done many things for which they later greatly regret. They have suffered much and failed to gain the really good things of life by engaging in sin in their youth.

Old age is also a fearful time in some respects. Many an old person has stopped trusting in the Lord as they grow older. Asa, King of Judah, was such a great king but in his latter days he put his trust in the Syrian army rather than in the Lord and when he became sick he trusted in the physicians rather than in the Lord. King David put his trust in the multitude of his people rather than in the Lord and sinned in numbering Israel in his old age. Solomon went after other gods as he got older in an effort to please his wives and in this displease God.

Proverbs 16:31 says, "The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness." Older individuals have lived most of their lives and now may rest content in their standing before men and they may turn from righteousness and from their strong faith in God. Proverbs 30:8-9 is a good prayer which might help us to remember what is really important as we grow older, "Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." When we do not act as Christians as we grow older, our hope of heaven begins to dim and our influence for righteousness dissipates. Let us beware!

Be thankful for the directions that are given in God's Word and hold on to them. Proverbs 20:29 says, " The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head." Youth and old age should be some of the best days of our lives and they will be if we listen to and turn to and obey God. Let the following passage instruct us, "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing", Jer.10:23-24.

Our wisdom comes not from ourselves but from the Word that God has given us. When we live according to it we are wise but when we leave it we sin. Thanks be to God for His great Word! From youth to old age let us serve the Lord.

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