Thank you, Jesus: I think that we take for granted too many of the gifts that God gives us. Have you ever thought that when God takes something away from you, though many times he takes things that hurt us, or takes things to test our faith, but that there may be times when God is saying, ‘I have given you a gift, but you did not make any use of it whatsoever for my glory. Therefore I am disciplining you by taking it away’?Here is a list of glorious things that God has given to me, that I might take for granted. I often fail to remember that life is short.
Time: I think we will all recognize this one. Time with other believers. Time with our non believer friends. and our time by ourselves. Le’ me just give you a quick example of a time with another believer that I wasted. I was helping a friend of ours, Mr Lanny, move to his new home. He is in his sixties, and has been a Christian much longer than I have been alive, and is one of the wisest men of have ever met. During that time, I had several opportunities of speaking with for long periods, as we drove back and forth to his house. But in stead of taking the time to fellowship with him, for the most part I simply sat back and took a lazy nap. Later, when I thought about it, I felt immensely guilty for my foolish disregard for the privilege I had. It was as if Christ had said to me, ‘you should have taken advantage of that time. You may never have such a chance again.’ you can imagine how this felt. A little afterwards, I wrote this down in my journal: “O, that life were a little longer, a thousand years perhaps, for if I spent my entire earthly life striving towards holiness, in the end I would be little better than the lowest saint.” I have wasted to many years of my life. I cannot afford to lose any more. But I will expound no more on this point, except to remind you “Redeem the time, for the days are evil.”
The nearness of God: this is something we seriously take for granted. I used to think that if you were a Christian, you would live continually live in the prescence of God. But over the last few months, I have come to see that this, like faith, comes in many different volumes. God can at any moment take his nearness from us, not completely, for that would be a terrible thing indeed, but to the extent that we no longer feel that nearness. Gives it out of extreme grace, that we may use it to learn to follow him even more, but when we get to comfortable, and begin to take that grace for granted, or when we look to sin, he takes it away, in order to discipline us, andor to depend more wholly on himself.
[now, if Mr Ron were reading this, he would say that my post were to long. I confess this may be a little lengthy for most of my normal readers, so look out for a future post entitled ‘things we take for granted, part two”.]