Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. Psalm 71:9.

David entreated the Lord not to forsake him in old age. And why did he thus pray? He saw that most of the aged around him were unhappy, because of the unfortunate traits of their character being increased with their age. If they had been naturally close and covetous, they were most disagreeably so in mature years. If they had been jealous, fretful, and impatient, they were especially so when aged.51The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 3:1148.

David was distressed as he saw that kings and nobles who seemed to have the fear of God before them while in the strength of manhood, became jealous of their best friends and relatives when aged. They were in continual fear that it was selfish motives which led their friends to manifest an interest for them. They would listen to the hints and the deceptive advice of strangers in regard to those in whom they should confide. Their unrestrained jealousy sometimes burned into a flame because all did not agree with their failing judgment. Their covetousness was dreadful. They often thought that their own children and relatives were wishing them to die in order to take their place and possess their wealth, and receive the homage which had been bestowed upon them. And some were so controlled by their jealous, covetous feelings as to destroy their own children.

David marked that although the lives of some while in the strength of manhood had been righteous, as old age came upon them they seemed to lose their self-control. Satan stepped in and guided their minds, making them restless and dissatisfied….

David was deeply moved; he was distressed as he looked forward to the time when he should be aged. He feared that God would leave him and that he would be as unhappy as other aged persons whose course he had noticed, and would be left to the reproach of the enemies of the Lord. With his burden upon him he earnestly prays: “Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” 52Testimonies For The Church 1:422, 423.
Conflict and Courage p. 186
Prayer Requests
—-Please pray for my brother Dennis. He has a tear in an artery in his neck which caused him to have a mild stroke. Please pray for the doctors that God will give them wisdom in how to deal with this condition. Ron
—-I am still receiving some very strong implied death threats from some very dangerous people. Please pray for a hedge of protection to be put around me and my whole family. Thank you so much. Connie
Dear Friends,
When I was a little girl, my grandfather told me many stories of the long ago when he was a boy “riding the rails” up and down the east coast of the United States. As he rode along, he would pretend that he was the engineer driving that huge, cinder-spouting engine. That was his goal and ambition, but it was not to be. He was forced into learning the family trade of bookbinding. It was much against his will, but somehow his father was able to force him into it. To compensate for the long hours inside the bindery, he often dreamed that the huge arm of the press he used to bind the books was the throttle of a gigantic locomotive.

Many of his stories were about trains. He looked upon the times that he spent “riding the rails” as the happiest times of his life. He had felt the train’s power. He had felt so free. Often, on the way home from work, he would stop by the rail yard just admire the powerful engines and wish that he were a part of it all. Sometimes, he would take me with him, so we could watch the trains together. He would explain every detail and instilled within me a love for trains also. For awhile, I even decided that I would someday become an engineer just as my grandfather had wanted to be. Of course, my interests changed and I did not pursue that career.

As I look back upon my grandfather’s life, I now can see how unhappy he really was. He was in great demand as a bookbinder because of his skill in that occupation, but it brought him no pleasure, no satisfaction. He just went through the motions. His heart was not in it. Even so, it is possible for us to do the same in our walk with Christ. We can have a form of godliness, but deny His power thereof to change us. (2 Tim 3:5) We desire to follow our Dear Saviour, but never quite do so. We talk about religion, but it never seems to change our heart. We dream of the place He has gone to prepare for us, (John 14:1-3; Rev 21, 22) but we fail to fulfill the conditions for entrance into His Heavenly Kingdom. The free gift of salvation has been provided, but we must reach out and take it. It is not forced upon us.

God never forces. Force is the devil’s way. God loves us enough to give us the freedom of choice. He plainly sets before us in His Holy Word the way to life and blessing and explains the everlasting death we will receive if we turn away from His great gift. With tears in His eyes, He pleads with us, “choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured.” “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Deut 30:19; Isa 1:18-20; Eze 33:11; Matt 11:28-30

Our Great Redeemer has provided the way for us to be saved, but we have to ask for it, to reach out and take it. This most familiar of verses brings us the hope of a better life to come for those who do. The verses following are full of meaning as well. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John 3:16-21

“Playing church,” going through the motions, does no good. We must have a daily heart-changing experience, a daily conversion.
Our Loving Redeemer promises, “a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Eze 36:26,27 Peter advises, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” 2 Peter 1:10 John adds, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:15-17 “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.” 1 Thes 4:3

How are we sanctified? How can we receive that change of heart that we so much need? In that great prayer of Jesus, we find the key. Our Dear Saviour prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17 David adds, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Ps 119:9-11 Solomon adds, “My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.” “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Pro 7:1-3; Ecc 12:13

May we accept God’s Great Provision, serving Him in singleness of heart from this day onward, not just going through the motions, not just “playing church;” but having that heart-changing experience He longs for us to have by daily studying God’s Holy Word, that we may as “with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, [be] changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor 3:18


Growing Old Gracefully