by Weylan Deaver
And it went fast, wouldn’t you say? Not long ago we were wishing in 2007 and now we’re about to see it out—a year gone by in a blur. Another year that none of us will ever get back. Another year for the history books. Another year of achievements or failures recorded on heaven’s ledger (which, unlike some of our books, is always accurate and up-to-date).
So, as you reflect on the past twelve months, are you satisfied with what you’ve done and where you are, spiritually? No feeling is so satisfying as knowing you are doing God’s will. Likewise, nothing rests so uneasily in the pit of your stomach as knowing you are not giving your best to the Lord.
Did you read your Bible in 2007? Did you make it all the way through the New Testament (or, maybe the entire Bible)? If not, what stopped you? Was it too much television, or too much time in the yard, or too many trips, or too many newspapers and magazines to read? If you didn’t read your Bible, are you happy with the reason why?
Did you come to Bible classes to study God’s word with brothers and sisters in the Lord? Did you make every effort to worship and grow with them—even on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights? Considering the congregation meets to worship and study about 156 times per year, what percentage of those opportunities did you take, and what’s the real number of how many you missed? Are you satisfied? Are you confident that God is satisfied? Could you do better?
Did you go see the brother who needed encouraging? Did you visit the sister in the hospital? Looking back over 2007, could you have done more to be a brother’s keeper? Should you have done more?
Did you come in contact with someone whose soul is lost? Did you make an effort to reach him with the gospel (with a word, an invitation to study, a teaching tract, a “Searching for Truth” DVD, etc.)? If not, what hindered your light from shining in a world of darkness? Will you let it happen again, or will you determine to get to work for God?
Did you do battle in 2007 with the devil? Did you put up a fight when faced with temptation? Did you send Satan off to look for greener pastures because you refused to cooperate with him? Or, did you give in to temptation too many times? Did you allow the devil to become a regular guest in your living room, in your computer, in your mind? If 2007 had its battlefield defeats, could you enlist God’s help to take the devil to task next time around?
As long as the world turns, there is hope for a more faithful tomorrow. It could be that the best thing about 2007 is that it was followed by 2008—if we each determine to give God our all in the coming year. None of us is perfect, and we all have our areas of needed improvement (not least, the one writing this article). Why not make 2008 the year you grow in faith like never before? It’s up to you. Time is ticking. Let’s make sure it’s not wasting.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10, ESV).
May the Lord grant time, mercy, grace, and help, in proportion to our need and, in Dickens’ words, “God Bless Us, Every One!”
Time is ticking. Let’s make sure we don’t waste it.