Vol. 4, No. 9
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What do we know for certain about tomorrow? What will the weather be? Will the market be up or down? Who will win the big game? Is there a major tragedy or triumph in our future? There are those who claim to have the answers to these questions, and similar ones, but they don't. The only certain prediction about the future is that it remains uncertain!
It is not wrong to look to the future, but we must consider the uncertainties. James wrote: "Now listen, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that. As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil" (James 4:13-16).
I am reminded of something Ahab, king of Israel, said to Ben-hadad, king of Syria. Ben-hadad demanded of Ahab all of his gold and silver, and the best of his wives and children. Believe it or not, Ahab agreed. Then Ben-hadad went a step further. His representative would enter Samaria and seize anything of value. That, too, would become Ben-hadad's property. This was more than Ahab could stomach. He had agreed to forfeit his silver and gold. He would even allow Ben-hadad to take his wives and children. But that was it. He would not agree to more. His second demand rejected, Ben-hadad boasted that within twenty-four hours there would not be enough of Samaria standing to give each of his soldiers a handful of dust. Ahab, replied, "Tell him: 'One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.'" The next day Ben-hadad and his army were driven from Israel (1 Kings 20, 21).
All our plans should be contingent upon God's will. HE is in control. We don't know what tomorrow holds, but he holds tomorrow in his hands. Through the prophet Isaiah, he declared: I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come (Isaiah 46:10). Because of this, we can have confidence in his promises. We can live in hope, not fear. And, we can know that whatever tomorrow brings, as his children, all is well.
Do you face the uncertainties of tomorrow with fear and trepidation? In Jesus Christ, there is no need for fear. Do you know him? Have you obeyed him? Are you living for him?
Benjamin Franklin wrote: "Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that's the stuff life is made of. If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality; since lost time is never found again and what we call time enough always proves little enough. Let us then be up and doing to the purpose; so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity. Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy. Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure. Since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour." Jesus observed: "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4).
Time is a precious commodity. Life's moments are fleeting. Moses observed: "We spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is there strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away" (Psalm 90:9-10).
Tragically, too many people do squander time. They spend the present regretting the past or dreading the future, neither of which should be our greatest concern. We cannot change the past, and there is no future if we neglect the present. The crucial question is not, "What have we done?" Nor, is it, "What are we planning to do?" The important question is, "What are we doing now?" That is especially true in the spiritual realm! Now is the time to live for Jesus. We must not rest on past laurels, nor should we delay our response to his call for another time. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Do you believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God? Are you ready to repent of your sins? Will you be baptized for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:39)? Now is the time to act. Tomorrow may be too late!