TODAY IS THE DAY!...
Dr F.W. Boreham tells of the day he called upon an 80 year old man. "My friend, will you not trust the Saviour?" Pastor Boreham enquired. "No, no, I'm too old!" replied the aged man. The next day he met a teenage youth. "My friend, will you not trust the Saviour?" Dr Boreham asked. "No, no, I'm too young!" the youth replied. "Too young to accept Christ? Too old to accept Christ?" asks FWB in his early book, The Whisper of God. He wrote-
And betwixt that "TOO OLD" and that "TOO YOUNG" we all go dancing to our everlasting doom. What a strain on the mercy of God!
Dr. F.W. Boreham, THE UNOBSERVED GREY HAIRS, The Whisper of God, 1902, page 98
FWB was troubled. He was troubled about people's apathy to spiritual things. He noted how urgently ambassadors of Christ must be to transmit the Gospel to young people. He cites a major research project conducted by Dr Starbuck who investigated at what age a person converts to Christ. A good number of the 1200 people interviewed said they came to trust Christ as Saviour between the ages of 7 to 9. A few more came to Christ between 9 to 12. Most came to Christ between the ages of 12 to 16. FWB reports, "...fewer still between twenty to thirty; and after thirty they are very rare." (pg. 92). "If these figures do not startle us to our duty, nothing will."
"...as physical decay may assail a man without his knowing it, or even noticing the grey hairs that announce it, so his spiritual life is declining, and he notices neither the declension itself nor the symptoms that proclaim it. Alas, and is it so with us? A neglected Bible, listlessness in prayer, coldness towards the Master, indifference towards sin, the shunning of Christian companionships, carelessness as to attendance at the house of God, callousness as to the eternal welfare of others-- these are grey hairs that appear upon us, but we neither notice them nor the fearful declension of which they tell."
FWB, page 95
Boreham's mortification at the spiritual apathy around him led to take drastic action during his pastorate in Hobart Tasmania. Upon arrival in Tasmania in 1906 he was appalled that in his first Winter month there he could only get 300 attenders to Church on Sunday nights! He summoned his elders and presented this most urgent spiritual challenge. He proposed that after their 7PM Sunday service ended at around 8:30PM they should proceed to the Hobart Town Hall for a special series of evangelistic meetings. They agreed. FWB would then preach in the usual fashion at the Hobart Baptist Tabernacle in Elizabeth Street North Hobart then catch a horse-drawn cab down to the Hobart Town Hall where crowds of up to 1000 gathered to hear him preach the Gospel. They soon saw their Winter Sunday night attendances swell to 500!
How old do you have to be to be "on-fire" for Christ?
¶ But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
It seems that the call of Christ does not come at particular age but it also appears that it more commonly comes to you when you are young. That is, the Spirit of God wants people to trust Him with their lives as early as possible. But it is even more apparent that God desires for us to increasingly desire to be surrendered to Him! Therefore-
As it is said,
"Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."
God calls us to respond to Him afresh each day. We must guard against hardening our hearts and becoming prematurely spiritually "aged" rather than spiritually 'mature.' I know people in their 80s who love Jesus and have done so from the earliest of age. They continue to devour the Word and learn all they can. They pray fervently and have not been put-off by God saying "No" or "Not now." They live for 'today', not in yesterday, and not for "some day". They have heard the call of the Psalmist to hear the voice of God today and enjoy the kind of youthfulness that Isaiah said comes from waitering on the Lord. Conversely I have met people in their 20s, 30s or 40s who have become spiritually dull and 'aged' in attitude. God no longer grips their heart. The Word no longer fills their mind. His Spirit no longer stirs their soul. When God said, "Today!" they eventually responded with, "Can't today. I might be able to in a few days though."
And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating.
JESUS CHRIST, Luke 12:47
I want to walk with God today. I want to hear God's voice today. I want to respond to God's Word today. I want to be used by God to reach young people today. I pray that we will be a "today" people. And if you have not yet began to trust Christ as your today-Saviour, then I pray that today you will.
Father, help us to live surrendered lives to You today! Help us to reach out to the world with Your love and Word. Help us to be salt and light to a savourless and dark world. Give us the courage of our convictions to not be silent about Your grace and great love for all people. Help us also to live a demonstration of that truth and grace. May we see the hurting, the lost, the spiritually dead, all redeemed and added to Your church family, for Your glory, we pray, Amen.
Eph. 3:21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.