You probably know people who came to Christ late in life or saints who fell away and repented only after years had passed. All of them lament, to one degree or another, the time wasted in the world.
They know how short life is. They are also aware of how much there is to learn and to do in the kingdom of God. They don’t let their regrets immobilize them, however. They are often among the most dedicated servants of the Lord.
We should embrace these former time-wasters. They can help us to see the preciousness of opportunity, the value of time, the urgency of faith.
For we ourselves may be lost, in our own way, even in the midst of religious ritual and the habits of holiness. We may have settled in to an easy truce with worldliness, made peace with the convenience of silence, found numbness in games, television, books, or surfing on the internet.
The latecomers and restored prodigals challenge our lukewarmness and shake up our established patterns that close us off from proper engagement with the world. They remind us that holiness and worldliness are not two points between which streches a gradual continuum, but a sharp line, a steep precipice, the difference between the brightest light and complete darkness.
The world is but a thought away. The flesh is activated by a single impulse.
And we ourselves may have crossed the line.
Just maybe we need the latecomers and prodigals more than they need us. We need each other, for sure.
For we are all in this together, amongst whom the goodness and truth of God strengthen and embolden.
“But I myself am fully convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another” Rom 15.14.
Those whose history of sin is most recent may well have more to teach us than the steady brother Freddie who has occupied the pew since childhood.
Every member of the body counts.
¶ After a short time on a new social medium, I’m impressed, again, with how coarse people are, even those who claim in their user descriptions to be Christians. Let us as true disciples take to heart the instruction to make every word edifying. “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth” Col 3.8 ESV.
¶ A friend, a brother, a shepherd, passed away yesterday. Jim Akins, of the Somers Avenue congregation in North Little Rock, Ark., left this earth after his body succumbed to cancer. His spirit never did.
¶ FHU Board Chair John Law has asked people to join in 10 days of prayer as they face the choice of a new president. “Our board of trustees believes that every good thing begins with prayer. During these 10 days, we ask all who love FHU to pray that God will guide us to the next leader of our university,” he wrote. The board set Tuesday, Oct. 25 through Thursday, Nov. 3.
¶ Several friends who have helped our ministry have had to stop for now, another sign that the hard financial times are causing pain to God’s people. May the Lord bless them all for their good hearts and dedication to the kingdom.
¶ In spiritual terms, up is good, down is bad. “The path of life is upward for the wise person, to keep him from going downward to Sheol” Prov 15.24. Upward is God, and heaven, peace, joy, and all good fruit of the Spirit. Here, upward does not connote the difficult mountain to scale, but the open skies of God’s presence and blessing.
¶ After much delay, a new GoSpeak report is out. “We may have to make the sacrifice of [eating] pizza.” That is a deep and spiritual thought, y’all.
¶ People don’t feel pain alike. Some have a high tolerance for pain. Others faint at the sight of blood. (I tend toward the latter group.) Such variations of tolerance seem to be an inherent trait.
People also deal with spiritual hardship differently. Some never seem to be shaken by it. Others are rocked to the core. In this, however, saints can learn to handle trials in a better way. We know how to build up our wisdom and strength for this, do we not?