Today I have the privilege of officiating a funeral of an older gentleman who was part of our church. Last Thursday evening, he went home to be with the Lord. He was a kind and gracious man, always having a smile and quick with a joke. He was 74 years old, but looked much younger than that. I would never have guessed his age. As I have been thinking about the funeral, I was struck with these words that Richard Baxter gave for those who are growing older in their physical life. There is no day like today to make sure of your salvation.
"You should highly esteem every minute of your time, and lose none in idleness or unnecessary things; but be always doing or getting some good; and do what you do with all your might. For you are sure now that your time will not be long; how little have you left to make all the rest of your preparation in for eternity! The young may die quickly, but the old know that their time will be but short. Though nature decay, yet grace can grow in life and strength; and when 'your outward man perisheth, the inner man may be renewed day by day,' 2 Cor. iv. 16. Time is a most precious commodity to all; but especially to them that have but a little more to determine the question in, Whether they must live in heaven or hell forever. Though you cannot do your worldly business as heretofore, yet you have variety of holy exercises to be employed in; bodily ease may beseem you, but idleness is worse in you than in any." (Baxter, Richard. A Christian Directory, 521.)