For it is by grace you have been saved...

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Birthday Wish

As I celebrate another anniversary of life in this world, I can’t help but reflect on the whole idea of getting older. And as I think of that, I begin to consider the issue of what’s truly important. On May 15th, 1887, C. H. Spurgeon preached a message from John 12:36 – “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” The emphasis of that message is on the importance of believing the light of Christ while that light is still available, because the time will come when that’s no longer the case.

The issue of growing older fits here because of the line in that sermon which says: “as it is with the pastor, so is it with the people, we are all getting older. We have entered middle life, the great mass of us, and consequently our mortality is largely increasing; and every time we meet we may be positively certain that we shall never all of us meet again here.” His plea is that people will hear and respond to the message of Christ’s grace before it’s too late. I would say this fits into the category of “what’s truly important.”

This being Valentine’s Day, this also fits into the category of a message of love. Because I love you, I want you to know the greatest love of all, that which God demonstrated in the death of His Son as an atoning sacrifice for sin. To plea with you to know the light and love of Christ is the most loving message I can offer.

And so, for my birthday, I offer you this gift. Here is a part of that message from Pastor Spurgeon urging you to embrace the light of Christ while there is still time.

"Do not reckon upon always having it, for the light may be removed from you. My dear hearer, the day may come when you will have to go away from this country, and be found far off in the bush of Australia, or the backwoods of America; or you may even in this country be located where you will not be able to hear the gospel, for what you will hear will not be the gospel, and you will be obliged to confess that it is not. Therefore, while you have the light, remember that it is a favorable season for your decision for Christ. The day may come, as I said before, when the voice that has thrilled you again and again, and that wakes the echoes of your soul’s most secret chambers, shall be silent in death; the time may come when, although your minister and you yourself are left still in the same place, yet, so far as you are concerned, the Holy Spirit will be gone, and so the light will have departed from you.

Take heed, I beseech you, lest it really be so; and use the light while you have it. It may, perhaps, seem to some of you that I am raising a needless alarm; but indeed it is not so. I do not think that, for many a day, I have come to this platform to speak to you without being informed, during the day, of some one or two who have passed into eternity out of this congregation. Years ago, the bulk of us, as church-members, were young, and we lost comparatively few by the stroke of death; but, as it is with the pastor, so is it with the people, we are all getting older. We have entered middle life, the great mass of us, and consequently our mortality is largely increasing; and every time we meet we may be positively certain that we shall never all of us meet again here. Between this Sabbath and next Sabbath some in the ranks of our membership will have passed into heaven, and some out of our congregation will have been called to stand before God.

I feel, therefore, like the guard of a train that is just ready to start. The time is up for us to be off, and the guard’s whistle has been blown, but there is somebody who wants to talk to me about politics, or there is another person who wants to discuss a theological difficulty; and I feel bound to say, “Sir, the time is up, we must start at once; will you come on board, or must you be left behind? While the train is here at the platform, enter it, take your place, and journey with us to Zion, for now it is time for us to go. We cannot stop here for ever.” Time and tide wait for no man; neither will God for ever wait for men to turn unto him and live; but the hour shall come when all opportunities will be past, when the gate of mercy will be finally shut. You remember how it was with the wise virgins and the bridegroom, “they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.”

God bless that word of warning! He can bless it, however feebly it may have been spoken."

I pray instead of the light of candles on a cake, you would see the light of Christ’s love and embrace His glorious, saving grace today.

2 comments:

Gregg said...

Here's hoping your Birthday Wish comes true!

PuzzlingChristian said...

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

In case you have forgotten,
Remember Valentine's Day,
Give cards, candy or flowers,
And celebrate it every day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!