15–21 March 2015.

Psalm 71 (click to read).

Have you ever noticed how companies give different levels of service to different people? If you have been a long-time customer, many companies treat you differently. They treat you better for your loyalty. Sadly, sometimes people think that God acts in the same way: that he gives long-term believers more love and attention. I have often heard from new Christians that they don’t feel like they have the right yet to ask for God’s help. But this is an idea that Jesus fought hard against. In Matthew 20, Jesus tells us that regardless whether workers began early in the morning or late in the day, they all receive the same pay, the same love and generosity from God.

Today’s psalm begins like many others, with the writer pleading for God to save him from those who are cruelly hurting him (v.4). But as a justification for God’s help, in verses 5–9 the writer mentions how he has always been loyal to God, his whole life long. As an old man looking back on his long life with God, the writer prays for God to honour his loyalty and save him one more time. For those of us who are new Christians, please don’t let this worry you! God’s love and compassion isn’t measured by how long we have followed him, it isn’t measured by how long we have been faithful. God’s love can’t be measured at all, it’s limitless! So even if you are new to faith, you too can depend on God and trust in his love today.

But for those of us who are new Christians, we also have a great blessing: we can learn from the experiences of older believers. Those who have depended on God their whole lives help us to see just how trustworthy God really is. We can see how God has answered their prayers. And we can see why they can proclaim, like in verse 14: “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” The lives of older believers stand as testimonies to a faith we are learning to hold in our own lives. And they remind us that God is always dependable.

Pastor Stephen Lakkis