Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Birthday Encouragement From Jonathan Edwards

Well, today is my birthday. I stated last year that I really do not like this day. Maybe it is just that I am very retrospective by nature, but every year on my birthday I am driven to think about my life.

The other day, I pulled out volume 2 of The Works of Jonathan Edwards. I pulled it out to show someone how intense it is. Meaning, it is not one of those books you decide to just sit and read through. As I pulled it out, I noticed there was a sticky note doing what it is supposed to do, sticking out of a certain page. I opened to the page and reflected back again on a discourse Edwards once wrote called "The Preciousness of Time and the Importance of Redeeming It." Once again, I was brought to think about the preciousness of time. The importance of time. The reason I usually do not like this day is that it signals one less year I have for the Lord. But as my son said the other night, "Yes, dad, you have one less you, but you are one year closer to being with Jesus." I guess that's the sort of response you want to hear as a parent from your children. 

It might sound strange to you, but reading this short article by Edwards gave me hope and encouragement. It makes me want to keep pushing on and keep redeeming the time. Listen to some of
"Time ought to be esteemed by us very precious, because we are uncertain of its continuance. We know that it is very short, but we know not how short. We know not how little of it remains, whether a year, or several years, or only a month, a week, or a day. We are every day uncertain whether that day will not be the last, or whether we are to have the whole day . . . This is the case with multitudes now in the world, who at present enjoy health, and see no signs of approaching death: many such, no doubt, are to die in the next month, many the next week, yea, many probably tomorrow, and some this night; yet these same persons know nothing of it, and perhaps think nothing of it, and neither they nor their neighbors can say that they are more likely soon to be taken out of the world than others. This teaches us how we ought to prize our time, and how careful we ought to be, that we lose none of it."
I don't know what tomorrow is going to bring, do you? So let's make the most of this day. Let's make the most of every hour we have with each other. Let's make the most of every minute. Let's redeem our time together. Our time is a special gift that the Lord has given us and I suppose that at some point in the future, we will give an account for our use of the time He has given. What will we say?

Look at that picture to the right. In many ways, I like this picture. Not because of the colors or the nice picture of Edwards. But because it stands as a reminder that he was a man. He was born in 1703 and he died in 1758. That means that he lived for 55 years. If God were to be gracious to me to live 55 years, that means I would have 17 years remaining. It is a reminder to me, what am I going to accomplish by His grace for His glory with His power in the next 17 years? For this to become a reality, I listen to his advice:
"Improve the present time without any delay. If you delay and put off its improvement, still more time will be lost; and it will be an evidence that you are not sensible of its preciousness. Talk not of more convenient seasons hereafter; but improve your time while you have it . . . You have need to improve every talent, advantage, and opportunity, to your utmost, while time lasts."
What do you want to accomplish in the next 17 years? What can you do to take advantage of your time?

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday! Here's to a year filled with many blessings, and countless opportunities to share love, spread the Gospel, and impact lives!

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