Quite Suddenly

A funny quirk that we as humans have is that we seem to think that life as we know it will always be ‘life as we know it’. We seem to live our lives surprised when things change!

The Ford Plant in Minnesota has been a stable business in St. Paul and has provided jobs for multitudes for many years. Many people would tell you that they never imagined the plant ever closing its’ doors; and yet the Ford Plant is closing its doors for good!

I know a man who, when he was in college, had a full head of hair; almost lion like. Now, he is half-way to baldness. His wife and family would tell you that they never imagined it disappearing; and yet it is almost all gone!

All around us we see stores such as Kohls having “3-Day” Sales: “Only 3 Days Left!” or “SALE Today ONLY!” Many people would tell you that they never imagined the sales ever really ending; and yet they do (of course they start a new one in 3 days!).

In 2006, Dayton’s changed the name of their stores to Macy. Dayton stores have been a stable business and a household name for many years. Many people would tell you that they never imagined it changing its name; and yet they did!

Businesses suddenly end in foreclosure or bankruptcy. Buildings that house schools, stores, or favorite places we like to visit suddenly close up and end up sitting vacant. Families suddenly move away from towns in which their ancestors for many generations had lived. Many people would tell you that they never imagined it; and yet it happens!

What about a loved one suddenly dying? Death is all around us daily on the news and yet we are always surprised when it happens to those we know.

You might be thinking to yourself; “Tom, what is your point?” My Friends; our opportunity to get out and tell the world the Good News will one day come to an end and Jesus will come to take us home. And yet, we live our lives hiding our ‘lights under a bushel’; holding back from sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ and His plan of salvation.

Why? Because we seem to live a state of denial; believing that life will always be as it is. My dear Friends, I hate to break the news to you, but this world as we know it will come to an end. Even non-Christians will tell you that they don’t believe that we can go on the way we have as the human race: killing one another, not taking care of the environment, etc. Many people would tell you that they never imagined September 11, 2001 happening; EVER! And yet it did happen! And this fragile world of ours has never been the same!

We are exhorted in Scripture to redeem the time, to look for opportunities to witness for Christ. We are to be as alert for witnessing to the lost as bargain hunters are looking for great deals. Yet we often neglect to use circumstances that come to us in our lives to say a word for our Lord and endeavor to point the lost to Him. Our intentions are good, but like the sale we meant to get to, the opportunity passes us by, and before we realize it, the person to whom we should have spoken to is suddenly beyond our reach. Heaven closes its doors and those who don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior are lost for eternity. Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

QUITE SUDDENLY

Quite suddenly – it may at the turning of a lane,
Where I stand to watch a skylark soar from out of the swelling grain.
That the trump of God shall thrill me, with its call so loud and clear,
And I’m called away to meet Him, whom of all I hold most dear.

Quite suddenly – it may be in His house I bend my knee,
When a Kingly voice long hoped for, comes at last to summon me.
And the fellowship of earth-life that has seemed so passing sweet,
Proves nothing but the shadow of our meeting round His feet.

Quite suddenly – it may be as I tread the busy street
Strong enough to endure life’s stress, and strain, its every call to meet,
That through the roar of traffic, a trumpet silvery clear,
Shall stir my startled senses and proclaim His coming near.

Quite suddenly – it may be as I lie in dreamless sleep.
God’s gift to many a sorrowing heart, with no more tears to weep.
That a call shall break my slumber, and a Voice sound in my ear,
Rise up, my love, and come away! Behold, the Bridegroom’s here!

From “The Continual Burnt Offerings” by H.A. Ironside. © 1994by Loizeaux Brothers

BE IN TIME

Life at best is very brief,
Like the falling of a leaf,
Like the binding of a sheath,
Be in time.
Fleeting days are telling fast,
That the die will soon be cast,
And the fatal line be passed,
Be in time.
Fairest flowers soon decay,
Youth and beauty pass away,
Oh, you have not long to stay,
Be in time.
While God’s spirit bids you come,
Sinners do not longer roam
Lest you seal your hopeless doom (original line)
Lest you lose your way back home (new line)
Be in time, won’t you be in time.
Lord I want to live for you,
Give all I can give for you,
Help me, Jesus, to make
The most of my time.
Fleeting days are telling fast,
That the die will soon be cast,
And the fatal line be passed,
Be in time.
Lord, help me be in time.

Lyrics By Anonymous & Phil Keaggy © 1986 by Marquerite/Emmaus Road Music