“Yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you – I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus.” -Philemon v.9
There are three things we can deduct about the Apostle Paul from this verse: 1. He’s still ministry, 2. He’s old, and 3. He’s in prison for the sake of Jesus. To get a clearer picture of what’s going on in Paul’s life it’s important to know that his imprisonment at this time was not like the others. He’s not in a cell somewhere, cut off from society. No, he was actually under house arrest in Rome. He was not cut off from society completely, people were allowed to come and go as often as they liked, he wrote and sent letters to the churches and received letters from fellow believers. And most of all, he continued to proclaim the gospel and see many come to faith in Jesus; Onesimus, the young man discussed in the letter to Philemon, was one such person.
Now to those of you about to retire or are already retired consider this: Your work isn’t done yet! You may not be a carpenter, a salesman, an engineer, or whatever it was you did for the past 30+ years of your career, but you are still a Christian. In fact, your Christian experience is invaluable to the rest of the Church. If you have walked with the Lord for many years, then you have a lot to pass on to the younger Christians. So, don’t look at this season of your life as retirement, look at it as “rebranding”.
In the previous devotion we talked about the priesthood of all believers, and discussed the call on every believer in every walk and season of life to be a minister of the gospel. In this season of your life you have less restraints on your time even though you may be restrained in other ways. Paul, was restrained in a great many ways, yet because of those restraints he had time, time to mentor, teach, encourage, exhort, write, and so on. In a world as busy as ours, many young Christians need mature believers to dedicate their time to them, to listen to them and mentor them and exhort them in godly living. That person could be you! So don’t retire – rebrand!