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Renewed Youth

Scripture: Psalm 103:1-5; Text: "Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's" (Psalm 103:5).

The passage of scripture before us contains many valuable lessons. It is marvelous to behold both fundamental and practical teachings. Here the psalmist tells of what God has done and is now doing for His people. Since man is a sinful creature, we do not deserve the favors and blessings of God. As we have received that which we do not merit, we are the objects of God's grace. All that the psalmist has enumerated is but a part of the gracious benefits which we have received. He calls upon us to consider the fact that God forgives our iniquities, heals our varied diseases, redeems us from destruction (through Jesus Christ our Lord) and crowns us with loving kindness and tender mercies. Then to all these gracious acts God adds a sufficiency of foods to satisfy our appetites that we may be renewed. This food includes both the temporal foods of our tables and the spiritual food of the gospel of grace. In all these blessings we have received, we can see God's grace in their supply. May we therefore join the psalmist to say, "Bless the Lord, 0 my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and forget not all his benefits."

In the midst of these glorious declarations of divine goodness, is found a simple but practical lesson of great worth. I have reference to renewed youth, which is the last statement of the scripture passage. In this passage of divine inspiration, the writer has presented a parallel between the objects of grace and the eagle. The idea simply set forth is this; as God blesses His people and supplies their food needs, they are enabled to renew their youth. But if we are to renew our youth, we must go about it in much the same way as does the eagle. In this parallel is a valuable lesson on service, given by God for our spiritual benefit.

I think it must be said that this lesson does not deal with the youth of the body or the juvenile vigor, but rather with the strength and youthful spirit of the soul. A person may be 9 or 90 yet without close fellowship and communion with God, they become weak and feeble. On the other hand, if the saved live close to God and feed their souls constantly on His word, they can remain youthful and strong in their souls. Isaiah prophesied, "Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fail: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:30-31). I have witnessed people in the prime of life, who had no strength when times of affliction came. Many people young in years do not have the power to resist temptation and say "No!" to satan. On the other hand I have watched people whose bodies had weakened with age, yet they stood strong in service to God and had the power to live holy lives. God's people of all ages need to understand the truth of this important lesson.

Perhaps you can recall a time in your life when you lived closer to God and enjoyed greater happiness in His service. It might have been long ago, when you first felt His grace and found your heart bursting with a love for God and His church. At that time you had great strength in service and power to live a devoted life. Somehow through the years that feeling has gradually faded and you have grown weak in your soul. Unfortunately, some people have allowed this apathy to grow into apostasy. I have often referred to the words of Peter, "But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire" (2 Peter 2:22). As repulsive and unpleasant as those thoughts are to us, yet it is more distasteful to God for His people to drift away from His fellowship and return back to the world and its sinful ways. If you recognize that apostasy has been the pattern of your life recently, then hear the words of the weeping prophet, "Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord" (Lamentations 3:40). Just as there was a road that the "Prodigal Son" took to leave his father, there was also a road by which he was able to return. The situation is not hopeless, my friend; for the secret of renewed strength is set before us in our text.

If mortals would desire and seek for renewed youth in the soul as intensely as they have for the body; we would all be a great deal more spiritual. Throughout the ages, people have sought to recapture the youth of the body. Ponce De Leon searched for a "fountain of youth" from which he and others might drink and miraculously regain their youth. Men have dreamed of drugs that would do the same, yet all such efforts have been in vain. We must accept the fact that our bodies are growing older with each passing day. If God allows us to live long enough, we will be able to echo the words of the psalmist, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread" (Psalm 37:25). Therefore, listen to these words Solomon wrote, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them" (Ecclesiastes 12:1). As the years pass and the body ages, we find less joy in life because "evil days" grow into years in which we have no pleasure. Aches, pain and often infirmities replace those youthful interest and abilities. Yet, in spite of these facts, there is a way that we can remain young in our spirits and be happy in the Lord's service. The youth of the soul can be renewed again and again, in much the same way as the eagles youth is renewed time and time again.

Neither we nor the eagle, are able to roll back the clocks and turn back the years. Yet as the eagle ages there are times of renewal. I am no authority on eagles and all that I now share with you I confess was gleaned from the writings of others who have a greater knowledge of eagles than I. By seeking an understanding of this unusual statement, which was made by the psalmist, I made some remarkable discoveries that blessed my heart and which I now gladly share with you. As the eagle grows older, the top beak grows longer and crooks downward over the end of the lower beak. Since the upper beak lengthens, there comes a point at which the eagle is unable to eat. Even though it is still capable of opening the beak, it cannot open wide enough to compensate for the extended upper beak. As the ability to eat lessens, its strength diminishes and proportionately, its ability to catch prey. While all of this can and does happen to the eagle, God in creation placed in them the instinctive practice of flying to some remote rocky cleft and then pecking continuously away at rocks, which grinds down the beak to an acceptable length. As animals of the rodent family must grind away their incisors to keep them from growing too long, so the eagle must also grind away part of its beak, if it is to survive. Some suggest that during this process of grinding the beak, the eagle is forced to fast and often loses feathers in the process. Yet when at last the process is complete and the eagle is once again able to resume its normal eating habits; new feathers grow, new strength is experienced and just as the psalmist declared, the eagle’s youth is renewed. As it experiences the renewal and soars in the sky, it is indeed a thing of beauty, the handy work of God.

Just as the eagle is able to eat and regain its strength, even so, the child of God is able to be renewed in a similar way. But we too must go through a process of getting rid of that which hinders us from feeding on the word of God and deriving strength thereby. You see, we may have a beak of sin that has grown so long in our lives, so that we are not able to feed upon the word any longer. When sins are allowed to grow in the heart and life of a child of God, it will hinder their ingestion of divine truths. We begin by denying some scriptures, so that we may continue in our sin; and if a minister preaches against our pet sin, they become a meddler. This process continues as the word is misinterpreted to suit the sinner, until at last, the word has little or no bearing on the life of the sensual one. People who profess to be Christians, have in our day endorsed all manner of sins. The Ten Commandments are broken without discrimination. Sports, recreation, TV, and almost anything else, may be put ahead of God today, with no remorse. Many in our nation have become "... lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:4). The images that we love most are those inscribed or printed on our money. Money and material possessions have become the idols of many. Paul said, "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1 Timothy 6:10). Many others take God's name and day in vain and defile both with no afterthought. Parents are dishonored, disobeyed and often forgotten. Unborn babies are murdered by the millions and far too few even care. Adultery, fornication, homosexuality and pornography abound on every hand and far too few are concerned with the fact that God denounces these actions as sins. People steal by fraud and deception, as well as with weapons. Lying has become acceptable, if the end is worthy. We covet, some even burn in their lust; all desiring that which we do not posses. We are so caught up with what we don't have and want; that we seldom take note of God's blessings and thank Him for what we do enjoy. As a whole, we have become a people both unthankful and unholy (2 Timothy 3:2) and thereby manifest the fact that we are living in "perilous times" (2 Timothy 3:1). Even the spiritual minded are negatively affected by all the ungodliness of our day. We no longer frown on sins which once were strongly denounced by the church. Jesus said, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matthew 24:12). Where is the love that gives God the preeminence in our lives, that battles to prevail against personal sins; all because God condemns them. How many today strive to live a holier life, with greater devotion to God? No wonder that too few today feel that youthful vigor of the soul, that claims every promise of God and denounces every sin. Our beaks of sin have grown too long for us to feed our souls properly. We are slowly starving our inner man (2 Corinthians 4:16) without even realizing it. Little by little the sinful beak grows and pride denies that it is happening. Slowly the beak of sin protrudes as we indulge in more sins and allow them entrance into our homes. If you will not acknowledge that the beak of sin is too long, then you will not likely take any action to remedy the situation. Some of you may hold on to your sin, until it gradually weakens and starves your soul. Many will finally die to the service of God and have only to wait upon His judgements. "The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:30-31).

Hopefully, many of you will understand why you have lost some of the vigor and energy that you once enjoyed in God's service. If you recognize today the need to renew your youth like the eagle, then I happily share with you the process. Just as the eagle flies to a desolate place and pecks continuously at the rocks, so you must withdraw yourself into the solitude of prayer and peck at your Rock - God. Moses said, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he" (Deuteronomy 32:4). In the New Testament, Paul made reference to the rock that was smitten by Moses. He said, "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4). There is today a Rock that is not far from everyone of us and it is Jesus Christ our Lord, and God our loving Heavenly Father. As we commune with our Father in prayer and approach Him in the blessed name of Jesus, then we are pecking the Rock that will grind away our beak of sin. Now, it must be said that the eagle did not complete the process in a few gentle pecks. It was through persistent pecking, that the work is accomplished. Even so, we must pray and continue to pray, about every sin that keeps us from feeding our souls on the milk and meat of the word of God. Jesus taught a parable about persistent prayer, saying, "... that men ought always to pray, and not to faint" (Luke 18:1). In the verses that followed He told of an unjust judge that gave in to the persistent petitions of a widow. The conclusion is obvious, "And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?" (Luke 18:7). No wonder Paul admonishes us to "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We ought to carry in our hearts a spirit of fervent prayer, because "... The effect fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). If you are not serious with God, then God will certainly perceive it and your prayers will be fruitless. But if you genuinely desire to be closer to God, to feed on His word; to be more than a hearer and become a doer of the word (James 1:22); then as you peck away at the "Rock of ages", you will find that the sins gradually weaken and you gradually strengthen. When you rid your life of the sins that easily beset you (Hebrews 12:1 )and disrupt your fellowship with God (Isaiah 59:1-2), then your soul will start to feed again upon the word of God. The Bible will take on a new meaning. It will become a pattern for living, by which you will become more spiritual and your life will be richer. Listen to the words of Jeremiah the prophet as he spoke to God, "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, 0 Lord God of hosts" (Jeremiah 15:16).

Do you believe that you belong to God?; then live for His glory (1 Corinthians 6:20). Are called by God’s name?; then humble yourself and pray (2 Chronicles 7:14). As you receive the word of God, do you feel the joy that Jeremiah expressed above? If not, then perhaps it is because your soul is not being fed. We all need more contact with God through prayer and need to grind away our sins through communion with Him. Then again, the word of God will feed your soul and you shall soar like the eagle, to heights not now enjoyed. You shall have your mouth satisfied with the good things of God's word and your youth shall be renewed like the eagles. I have seen others experience it and I know that if you are an object of grace, you too can experience the spiritual exhilaration of renewal.

Some of you would not want to regain physical youth, even if it were possible to do so. Many would not want to face the worsening times that seem to loom ahead of us. They simply want to fill their remaining days with the service of God and enjoy youth of the soul, as they do so. That being said, I sincerely hope that it is the desire of each of us, to achieve this renewed youth. Seek it at all times and you will live to the glory of God. Thank God for this wonderful blessing of renewed youth. It is possible for the eagle and for us!

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This page last updated on June 7, 2014