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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN


Do It Now

Judy Tenuta writes, "My mother said, `You won't amount to anything because you procrastinate.' I said, `Just wait.' " Waiting can be a good thing. One of life's most difficult to-learn lessons is that God can't be rushed. Psalm 46:10 calls us all not just to be slow but to "Be still, and know that I am God." In his magnificent Take Time To Be Holy, William D. Longstaff wrote -- "Take time to be holy, the world rushes on; Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone. By looking to Jesus, like Him, thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see" (second verse). You can't hurry an acorn into an oak tree, and you can't hurry a soul into holiness. We must make and take time to be with Jesus (Acts 4:13). That having been said, there are some things we ought to be in a hurry to do! At the top of the list is get right with God. Haunting words from Jeremiah 8:20 remind us of the tragedy of waiting too long and being too slow to do God's will — "The harvest is past, The summer is ended, And we are not saved!" People in Jeremiah's day had dragged their feet when it came to learning and doing the will of God, and now judgement was near. Words from the apostle Paul remind us there are times when we need to get in a hurry. From a prison cell in Rome, awaiting possible execution, he writes and pleads with his younger friend and fellow-preacher Timothy who is hundreds of miles away in Ephesus — "Be diligent to come to me quickly. ...Do your utmost to come before winter" (2 Timothy 4:9, 21)." Paul desperately needed and wanted to see Timothy, but if Timothy didn't hurry up, the opportunity might be forever lost. Jesus Christ was not a procrastinator. He said, "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work."

Do you need to be baptized into Christ or memorize some scripture? Do you need to be more faithful in attendance at worship or renew a broken connection with the church? Is there a relationship you've been meaning to mend or an apology you keep intending to make? Is there a person in your life you love but you haven't been saying or showing it nearly enough? Maybe there's a child you need to hold. Or a teenager who needs you to talk with them about God and read the Bible, or attend their school play, or come watch them at a basketball game. Whatever it is, both Scripture and common sense demand that you do your utmost to do it right now. Don't wait until tomorrow to do what you ought to do today.  Here's hoping 2006 will find you getting closer to God and more like Christ!

Dan Gulley
church of Christ
Smithville, Tennessee