Tag Archives: retirement

Leviticus 24:1-26:13

I started working a ‘real job’ when I was 16 years old. I hope to retire when I turn 66, the Lord willing. So in a way, I am looking forward to a year of Jubilee. That is, the 50th year after seven times seven years of labor. I have to admit that I’m getting excited thinking about this.

Leviticus 25:10-12 “And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you, in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your unattended vine. For it is the Jubilee, it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.”

What could I do with unconstrained time for a year? For sure, I would pursue a deeper walk with Christ. That might come with intentional immersion in Bible studies, or committing to a yearlong study with the C.S. Lewis Fellows Program, or even enrolling in a Biblical course in a Christian college. I also long to develop meaningful relationships with Christians of other countries and cultures.

Also, thinking about how God would have me spend time with others, I take the commandments in Leviticus 25:35-38 seriously. “If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may lie with you. You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit. I am the Lord you God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.”

Lending to the poor is an oxymoron to me. Whatever I give to someone in need, I do not expect to receive the same or more back. I would just hope that the person on the receiving end would someday return a similar kindness to another who is in need. Yet, I have felt restrained from doing more for the poor because of travelling for my job, working late hours, or volunteering for extra duties at work. There have been times when I was jealous of my Christian sister or brother who provided more than a ‘love offering’ to a poor soul in need of long-term support. Even members of my extended family have needs that I so much want to be involved in resolving.

This divided heart that I have may be an attempt to rationalize insensitivity or inaction towards others. I confess that, as well. Yet my love for others is summed up in my profession’s code of ethics which states, “Do no harm.” How many times have I missed hearing the cries of the lonely or those who were hungry? What energized my conditional acceptance of those who were unproductive according to my standards? I would hope that contemplating holiness unfettered by my own distractions from seeking wealth, position, or comfort would open my heart’s window into God’s great love for the poor in spirit and the weak.

My own soul needs to meditate on how the Year of Jubilee is also the year of redemption. Leviticus 39-55 explains how a person may be redeemed, by a brother or by oneself. Of course, we now know from the sacrificial work of Christ Jesus on the cross that we are redeemed by His blood. There are still millions who do not know or believe this beautiful truth. What opportunities will there be in my retirement to spread the Gospel? Will I rise to the call or lounge on my couch? Will I take hold of the promises of God? For He said, “For I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm My covenant with you. You shall eat the old harvest and clear out the old because of the new. I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people,” (Leviticus 26:9-12). If having more time at home with family, friends, church, and community means walking alongside God, I can’t wait!!

Dear Lord, God, going deeper with You, learning how much You love me, and being filled with Your Spirit to follow You and serve others – this is my prayer for now in however much time You give me. And in my Year of Jubilee, I pray that You open wide the doors to receiving even more of You! Flood me with Your Presence now and always! Amen.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Joshua 14-17; Luke 17

I have always been impressed by the story of Caleb. A true story at that. Caleb and Joshua were the two spies who gave a positive report to the people of Israel about entering the Promised Land. Joshua 14 is a recounting of what Caleb now wanted 40 years later as Israel went into the land.

6 Then the people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God in Kadesh-barnea concerning you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him word again as it was in my heart. 8 But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God. 9 And Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ 10 And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, just as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. 11 I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. 12 So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.”
13 Then Joshua blessed him, and he gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. 14 Therefore Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 Now the name of Hebron formerly was Kiriath-arba. (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim.) And the land had rest from war (Joshua 14:6-15 [ESV]).

Caleb was 80 years old and as positive as ever. Probably not one person reading this blog post today is 80 years old (if so leave a comment). Caleb chose some of the most difficult region of Canaan to settle. He had to fight against some might people and well fortified cities to conquer his portion. He was as positive as ever and at 80 years old he was not ready to retire.

Do you have retirement plans? Are they collecting seashells along the beach? God may have something much more important and significant for you and it may include some of the biggest challenges you have ever faced. But it may be just what is needed to move God’s Kingdom forward. Caleb’s story is one of optimism and courage. Let that be your retirement legacy as well.

1 Comment

Filed under Joshua, Luke, Uncategorized

Joshua 18-19, Psalm 149-150, Jeremiah 9, & Matthew 23

The closer I get to retirement, the more I think about what I will leave to my small family.  When I pose this as a question to God, He answers, “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?”  (Joshua 18:4).  In this question to me is a challenge to claim what God has already given. Material things are not the first possessions that come to mind when I look at what God has given me; His greatest gift is salvation.  I’ve spent hours meditating on the promises that my family will be saved and many years waiting patiently for the Lord to reveal His plans for my family.  I’ve believed the Psalmist who says, “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation” (Psalm 149:4). Yet I have to confess that many more hours I have not made time to meet with Him; I have been too busy with doing life; I’ve allowed the world’s calling to capture my eyes, mind, and heart.  When called home, I’ve walked the opposite way.

Consider the Lord of the universe.  Every other creature knows Him. Yet man is still running away.  I am still running away so that I can do my own thing, be my own boss, avoid living on my inheritance.  Time is running out.  Oh, I may have a few years yet to work and save up for retirement, but what is the most precious possession in my life that I can pass down?  Certainly not land, wealth, or heirlooms.  A tender, humble heart then.  That is what I would like my children to inherit.  Can I do that?  Is there any way that my life’s letter will testify to the peace and joy of surrender to Christ?  Even as I see the challenge of chicks running amok, I long to call to them to stand still long enough to be caught up and nestled in safe places with Christ where sadness, tears, tragedy, and turmoil will cease.  This longing for them reminds me of Christ’s longing to tenderly and lavishly love on the Israelites.  In Matthew 23:37, Jesus says, “Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem … how often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” So He knows my deepest desire is to see my family gathered together in His house of worship. This is what I know: Jeremiah 9:24 – “But let him who glories glory in this, that he understand and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.  For in these I delight.”  To me, this is the land of promise. To leave my family with praise on their lips for the God I serve, like every other thing that has breath, to praise the Lord (Psalm 50:6). I want that to be my legacy.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized