Lest Time Run Out On Us
By Lois J. Stucky
Here at Herald of His Coming we have been deeply involved in making the move from Kansas to Indiana. It has seemed a race at times to keep up with daily incoming and outgoing mails and still make the necessary preparations for moving. One seldom realizes how much has accumulated that must be sorted and packed until the process has begun. Then there is the rather dismaying discovery that some things require more time than anticipated and allotted. We fear time will run out on us and we will not be ready.
Various times during the moving process I’ve chided myself that I hadn’t begun earlier to go through the accumulation of things or that I had let them accumulate at all. I cannot point to time that has been wasted in the past when things could have been kept more up-to-date and ready. I seem to have been plenty busy. But apparently somewhere in the busyness not all decisions about priorities were made wisely.
To be ready on moving day is a challenge that others have mentioned to me. It seems a rather common problem. Have you encountered it?
If so, perhaps it has brought to your mind what it is bringing to mine. Will I be ready when Jesus comes for His own? In our earthly moves, we may find ourselves taking care of this and that after the midnight hour when we are ordinarily at rest. There’s no other way we’ll be ready on time.
In the parable of the ten virgins, given to us by Jesus Himself in relation to His coming again, He says, "At midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh: go ye out to meet Him....and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut" (Matthew 25:6,10). When Jesus comes, there will be no time to make last-minute preparations that would take us beyond the midnight hour. Jesus’ coming will be sudden-- "in the twinkling of an eye" (1 Corinthians 15:52). No time for preparation then!
"Be ready!" is wise exhortation. To have last-minute preparations to make might mean time will run out on us. "It happened sooner than we expected!" some might gasp, "more suddenly than we imagined! So instantaneous!"
Sister Moore frequently dated letters she wrote: "One day nearer the coming of the Lord!" Every tick of the clock means a moment nearer that momentous day. In the light of that, we need to redeem the time. Give ourselves to the most important things. Do not get in the habit of putting off to a more convenient time. Make the most of the present moment. Live not for the pleasure of today. Keep eternity’s values in view. Be ready for the coming of the Lord!
And there is more to being ready than having a cool, calculated, efficient, businesslike demeanor. Some might be able to maintain that but lose the heart out of it. It is all too easy to become mechanical in our worship and service to God. Jesus spoke of "first-love" devotion. True readiness includes that.
Many times we have heard the challenge given by the remarkable missionary, William Carey: "Attempt great things for God; expect great things from God." Ours is a God with whom nothing is impossible, absolutely nothing! We have good reason to expect great things from God.
But has not God a right to expect great things from us as well? Has He not given to us His own beloved Son, the dearest treasure Heaven had to give? And "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). Ah, yes, God has given us infinitely much in giving us Christ. God has a right to expect much from us, a return from that which is given to us.
It is true that the world, the flesh and the devil are much with us. They can easily overcome us, but greater is our Christ who is within us than he that is within the world.
Christ is our victory over the world: "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world!" (John 16:33).
Christ is our victory over the flesh: "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him [Christ], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him...Yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God" (Romans 6:6-8,13).
Christ is our victory over the devil: "And having spoiled principalities and powers, He [Christ] made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Colossians 2:15).
Christ is God’s provision for us. Christ won victory for us. Oh, that we might not fail God, that we might not fail Christ by failing to appropriate all the victory provided, living in it, serving in it, accomplishing that which is on God’s heart for us to do.
It is perfectly reasonable that God should ask that we present our bodies a living sacrifice and that we give Him wholehearted devotion and service. Let us not look around and measure our devotion by what we see in others. Rather, look to God, look to Jesus, and note the measure of their sacrificial love to mankind. Then we can know what kind of sacrificial love God expects of us. It is "first-love" devotion God desires and requires of us.
How can we maintain that? Did not it encourage you to read the articles in this issue about revival, when God pours out of His Spirit in great, unprecedented measure? What else can hold the Church in enthusiastic, ardent readiness? This is good incentive as we pray and labor for revival. Let us keep as part of the vision, a Church filled with the Holy Spirit, aglow with love, counting not their lives dear to themselves.
I write not as one who has attained, but as one pressing on to have my heart fired anew from off heaven’s altar, where all is pure and perfect love.
As we make the move to Indiana and begin working in a new situation and with new personnel, we need your prayers very much, that we will not miss a beat, so to speak, in doing what God wants to accomplish through Herald of His Coming. This is a marvelous hour in which to be serving God. God is being very gracious beyond anything we could ask or think. His mercies and His grace are unfathomable and they endure for ever. Pray we will not be distracted by the newness of our situation in Indiana, but that we will be devoted to that at hand to do. The part of Herald of His Coming in the overall operation of God is so small, but even the little cog, the little bearing in the great wheels of operation need to perform to the full. That’s what we want to do.
You, with your gifts and prayers, are a vital part of the ministry. Let’s keep the wheels at Herald of His Coming rolling along in perfect keeping with what God intends. God so richly bless you dear ones who are faithful with your support. Might your every thought of Herald of His Coming become a prayer for God’s full purpose to be accomplished in it. Then we will share alike in the "Well done!" of the Father on reckoning day.
It seems I can almost hear now Brother Moore’s voice leading us in a chorus as years ago we joined in pouring out our hearts together in prayer in the little chapel in Los Angeles:
"Keep me true, Lord Jesus,
Keep me true.
Keep me true, Lord Jesus,
Keep me true.
There’s a race that I must run,
There are victories to be won.
Every hour, by Thy power, keep me true!"