December 26, 2010
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12,13).
As long as life lasts, it is never too late to start loving God. Nevertheless, it is of the utmost importance that we start loving God as soon as possible. We must not wait any longer than today to begin doing this thing that we were created to do. When we finally realize what it is like to love God – and more important, to be loved by God – we will wish that we’d learned this enjoyment earlier. We will begrudge the time we lost in other pursuits. However early in life we embark on our journey toward God, we will wish we had begun this adventure much sooner.
And what will it be that we regret? It will not only be that we’ve lost some of the joy that could have been ours in this life. More than that, it will be that the days that are now lost forever could have been given to God. It will seem to us that what is left of our lives is too little a gift for God. We will regret that what we have to give is not more complete, more perfect.
The truth is, every day that we live in this world is a difficult day. We are surrounded by influences that push us into selfishness and pull us away from God. In its present condition, our world is enemy‑occupied territory. It is so much under the dominion of the evil one that he is described by Jesus Himself as “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). So we live on somewhat of a battlefield, and since we do, it is all the more necessary for us to be careful. The temptations are great, and the opportunities for devotion to God are not unlimited. The apostle Paul wrote, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15,16). Like a commodity in short supply, our days need to be “redeemed.” Without wasting any more time than we already have, we need to “buy up” every day that is left on the shelf. The entire length of a long human lifetime is too little to give to a God who has loved us as our true God has. But if the days that are left are all that we have to give, it is another token of God’s grace that God will accept this as our all.
“Too late I loved thee, O thou Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late I loved thee!” (Augustine of Hippo).