Eternally Relevant

I just met a newly married young couple who head out to Turkey this Thursday for their first missionary assignment. They shared their personal stories and call to missions with the office staff over lunch, and we prayed for them as they face these last two days of whirlwind activities, goodbyes, adjustments, and instant "hit-the-road-running" ministry. Someone welcomed them into the family, and I added that, as the longest running missionary presently with the mission, I could honestly say that they would be well cared for.

Our newest staff member then asked me how long I'd been with the organization. When I replied that I was accepted for overseas service in 1975, his eyes bugged out—that the year he had been born!

Old isn't bad. Old can say some things with authority and personal experience. I could say that these kids would be well cared for because I know how I have been treated over these thirty-some years.

My verse for this morning brings to me a similar reminder. Paul writes: "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" —Romans 15:4.

Were the Romans thinking that the Old Testament was outdated? Were they considering that the experiences of the past were not relevant to their present reality? Paul quickly disabuses them of that notion. Old has authority to speak and experiences to share, that are very relevant to the present.

Hopefully, my new, young friends and colleagues will be encouraged simply by the evidence of my own endurance and I trust, by my continued relevance in mission today. Paul knows, and we all need to confirm in our own minds, that while human resources like me, may eventually get worn out and out of touch, God's divine resources never will. They are always relevant.


  1. Oh yes - old can definitely say the truth with authority - because it is time-tested (and you are NOT old. I'd been alive for a whole eight years when you were commissioned! wink).
    Great reminder of the eternal promises of God, that NEVER go out of date.


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