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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Seyfert orchard store, Lebanon County PA
Peaches are ripe and ready for purchase at the Seyfert's Orchards in Lebanon County!
Click on photo to enlarge

"Don't Let The Old Man In!"

Message summary: Today our challenge to each reader; young and old, man or woman is: "Don't let the old man in!"

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin" (Romans 6:6).
"That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts" (Ephesians 4:22).

Please note: Today's message has two back stories that prompted the title and consideration of today's Scripture verse. So if you want to just skip to the spiritual lesson scroll down!

Back story 1: When we were young "older" meant anyone 50 or older. Now that we've reached that milestone and then some, "older" means at least 10-15 years older than us.
It will likely keep being that way as the years pass.

Ron HooverRon Hoover is an older friend we know through Convene, a business mentoring group he leads. By "older" he will celebrate his 80th birthday this Thursday! Early this month Ron and his wife Bonnie were visiting their daughter when he had a severe health crisis requiring several days of intensive care in the local hospital. In answer to many people praying for his healing he recovered. We were rejoicing in his near miraculous recovery and envisioned him laying low for a few weeks to get over his major health scare. But lo and behold I got an email about a meeting he would be chairing several days later! The subject line was "Back from Near Death and Focused on Not Letting the Old Man in!"

He shared two songs via links that he had found meaningful in his recovery. The first was a song titled "Glorious Day" from a youth convention that I wouldn't expect a man turning 80 to be sharing, but it did fit his experience. (Link to song below)

Back story 2:
I had never heard of the second song but was intrigued by the title, "Don't Let The Old Man In". I listened to it and it really has an interesting message. It was written by Toby Keith, who happens to be from Oklahoma, Brooksyne's home state. He tells how he was playing golf with Clint Eastwood, who was in his late eighties at the time. He asked Eastwood what project he might be working on and he told him he was going to make another movie! Toby asked him how he did it at his age and Eastwood answered, "I don't let the old man in" in the sense of keeping active and working through the inevitable pains and limitations common to the aging body. (Links below)

Spiritual lesson: Well, being a spiritually minded (most of the time) minister of the Gospel this prompted a consideration of another sense of "old man" based upon our daily texts. "Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin" (Romans 6:6). "That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts" (Ephesians 4:22).

The "old man" referenced in the Bible refers to our sinful nature apart from being redeemed in Christ. Thus in a sense all the redeemed, regardless of age, have an "old man" (modern translations render "old self" or "old nature").

But even for the redeemed the old man keeps trying to get back in and take us back to our BC days (before Christ) but we must not let him back in. Don't gaze in the rear view mirror but fix your gaze on the eternal Christ as Paul wrote about in Philippians 3:12,13:  “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

In the last several days I have used this as a spiritual challenge in ministry situations I encounter. Speaking to a believer who shared about his overcoming the battle of pornography I said, "Don't let the old man in!" In a restaurant the other night I engaged in a conversation with our server who confided to me that he was in recovery. I told him, "Don't let the old man back in!" and explained what I meant. Speaking to a young father seeking to raise his family in the ways of the Lord, I cautioned,
"Don't let the old man in!" (That's a caution we all need to hear regularly.)

Dr. Lloyd-Jones says the old man is "the man that I used to be in Adam. As a Christian I am no longer in Adam; I am in Christ. It is not my carnal, sinful nature. That is still here, but the old man has gone, he has been crucified."

The Enduring Word online Bible commentary observes,

In place of the old man, God gives the believer a new man – a self that is instinctively obedient and pleasing to God; this aspect of our person is that which was raised with Christ in His resurrection. The New Testament describes the new man for us:
· The new man, which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24).
· The new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him (Colossians 3:10).

So today our challenge to each reader; young and old, man or woman is: "Don't let the old man in!"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I want to spend the rest of my earthly life getting to know Christ and the power of His resurrection.  Help me to be willing to participate in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, so that I might also participate in the power of His resurrection. In so doing, I bar the old man from entering the door to my redeemed heart, reserving it solely for Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord to dwell, whose redemptive work has given me a righteousness not of my own which comes from the law, but that which is found through faith in Christ. This results not just in a change of behavior but a change within my spirit that lives beyond this life throughout eternity, and there I will forever praise and worship You. Amen.

Prayer thoughts from reading Philippians 3:7-14

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Glorious Day"  Video  Kristian Stanfill  (This was the first song that Ron suggested. This is a very high energy version!) We sing this at our church and it really has a great message. Here's a version from our church  Video

"Don't Let The Old Man In"  Video  Toby Keith (this clip shows Clint Eastwood, who looks pretty good for his age!)

Background to song  Video

"Don't Let The Old Man In"  Video  Frank & Joe Wells  (This is a cover sung by a genuine old man!)

"The Baptism Of Jesse Taylor"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band. A colorful story of a changed life!

"The Old Rugged Cross Made The Difference"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band. Has the old rugged cross made a difference in your life? In this song the Gaithers wrote about the  difference Christ made in an angry and harsh man, contrasting his old nature with his new nature, especially described in V. 2:

      Barren walls echoed harshness and anger
      Little feet run in terror to hide;
      Now those walls ring with love, warmth and laughter,
      Since the Giver of Life moved inside

"Psalm 8"  Video   Shane & Shane  We sure enjoy how this group lyricizes Scripture to music! This was just posted yesterday.

Further study on the "old man": Two natures from gotquestions.org

Oark General Store, Oark AR
The only connection we have with Toby Keith is that we've been to one his favorite hangouts, the Oark General Store in Oark, Arkansas. Open since 1890 it's the oldest continuously operating store in Arkansas. It's just about the closest to nowhere we've ever been! (Google map) (Video) Several years ago we enjoyed a good meal there. Brooksyne recalls visiting this store in her childhood when she and her siblings would spend a week each summer with her grandparents who lived about 20 miles from there at Mountain Top.

Hay harvest, Lebanon County PA
Hay harvest in Lebanon County.
Click on photo to enlarge

Old steel mill, Lebanon County PA
Yesterday I made a call to visit some employees working in a warehouse in a long abandoned Bethlehem Steel mill in Lebanon, PA. During successful times, Bethlehem Steel employed 2,400 at the Lebanon location and was the largest industrial employer in area.  For a short time, Bethlehem Steel’s Lebanon plant was even home to baseball legend Babe Ruth. Ruth was among many players who joined the “Safe Shelter League” during World War I. Since steel manufacturing was considered essential work to supply war efforts, employees were granted an exemption from the draft. Ruth played on the company baseball team as a steel employee and was on the mill payroll from September 25, 1918 to February 28, 1919. See here if you enjoy obscure history.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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