Yesterday I was praying for an 80-year-old woman and she wanted prayers to help her handle the effects of growing old and I told her that that is a wrong mindset.
In Genesis 1:27 we read that ‘God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.’
You and I are made in God’s image. So, there is the Divine in you. But it does not stop there.
In Genesis 5:1 we read “In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him.” So, not only are we made in God’s image, but we are also like Him.
Image refers to semblance, how we look, our features. Likeness refers to behavior, how we act.
In other words, we are created to look like God and to act like Him.
This fact is corroborated by Psalm 82:6 which says ‘I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.’
Jesus also reaffirmed this in John 10:35when He said ‘he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken’.
What does this mean? It means God is the big God and you and I are the little gods.
Ask yourself this, does God grow old? No!
God does not grow old.
In Daniel 7:9 we read “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool’.
What do we learn from this Scripture verse? This verse of Scripture teaches us that God grows Ancient and He does not grow old. But even further than that, it teaches us the meaning of Genesis 1:27 where we had earlier read that ‘God created man in his own image’.
Notice that the Scripture says God has hair and a head. Does that not sound familiar?
You have hair and a head.
God does not grow old and you and I who are believers do not grow old. We grow ancient just like our Creator.
Make no mistake about it, there is a difference between being old and being ancient.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines old as being worn out and aged. The Oxford English Dictionary defines ancient as having the qualities of age or long existence.
The difference between old and ancient is that when you are old, you are worn out but when you are ancient you have long existence but you still retain your value.
Two weeks ago I was at Oxford University in England and a member of their union gave me a tour. They showed me their colleges including Jesus College and other colleges. One of their colleges, Merton College was built in 1288, 750 years ago.
Do you know that Merton College is so beautiful and timeless? Other colleges are 700, 600 and 500 years in existence. But these buildings are not old. They are ancient. They are still beautiful. But the unique thing about these ancient buildings is that the older they get, the more valuable they become.
That is what it means to be ancient. You increase in value as you increase in age, but to be old means that you decrease in value as you increase in age.
Let me tell you this. If you buy the latest and most expensive Mercedes, the highest you will spend is maybe half a million dollars, but a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R was sold for $29.65 million in 2015 at an auction in England.
Next year, the latest Mercedes that you bought for half a million would start to lose value, but the value of the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R will keep on increasing.
Do you know why that 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R has so much value? It is because the car is ancient.
Change your mind set. Don’t be afraid of growing old because that is not what will happen to you. You will grow ancient. You will increase in value as you increase in age.
Look at what Deuteronomy 34:7 said about Moses ‘Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated.’
This is a man like you and I. Yet at age 120 he was not worn out. His eyes were not dim and He was still vigorous. Why, because Moses knew that he was not growing old but he was growing ancient and that means increasing in value as he increased in age.
And view death in the same way! Do not be afraid of death. Death is not what you may think. How do I know?
Look at what David said in Psalm 23:4 ‘though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me’.
Notice the words ‘valley of the shadow of death’. Death is only a shadow.
Do you know how you make a shadow? A shadow is made when a physical object is blocking light. That is the only way a shadow can be created.
When David talks about the ‘shadow of death’ he is only telling you and I that our physical body is a shadow that is blocking the Light and we must exit our physical body in death and there will be nothing blocking us from The Light. Remember, God is our Father and He made us in His image. Now, what does James 1:17 call God? ‘The Father of lights’.
That is why when you see angels being described in the Bible they are always said to have a radiance of light.
And what did Jesus tell us will happen to us after death and our resurrection? Matthew 22:30 ‘At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.
If we will be like angels and angels are creatures of light and God is the Father of lights, it means that in death the object blocking us from the Light will be removed and just like the pupa becomes the butterfly, so also will we become spiritual beings of light.
This is the true meaning of Psalm 23:4 ‘though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me’.
So, in conclusion, have no fear of growing old, because if you are a believer in God through Christ Jesus, you won’t grow old, you will grow ancient and increase in value as you increase in age.
And have no fear of death. At the other side of the shadow of death is the Light, which is why Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:8 ‘to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.’
.Omokri is the founder of the Mind of Christ Christian Centre in California