Thought for the Week: Get busy for the Lord while you have the opportunity

The habit of keeping a diary was once more common than it is today.

Rev David McMillan of the Free Presbyterian Church
Rev David McMillan of the Free Presbyterian Church

In Christian circles, the diary of the Rev Andrew Bonar, a 19th century Presbyterian minister, has been greatly used of God.

It is very profitable to read over the account that Bonar kept of his life and ministry. It is a book that every Christian should read; especially those who are full time in the Lord’s service. As Bonar’s inspirational ‘Banner of Truth’ publication states on the dust cover of the 1984 edition: “His diary and life is one of the great treasures left to the Church from the 19th century, and deserves to be widely and eagerly read”.

On April 29, 1848, Andrew Bonar made this entry: “Spared to see my 38th year, while others are taken”. The reason that he wrote those words was because so many of his friends and family had been taken away in death while they were still very young.

Just consider the following examples: three of his siblings died in infancy; his father died when Andrew was just eleven; his own son also called Andrew died as a young child; his dear wife Isabella passed away in middle age, and his very good Scottish ministerial friend the Rev Robert Murray McCheyne had died before he reached his thirtieth birthday, a fact that Bolnar reflected upon regularly for many subsequent years.

As Bonar thought of the lives of others coming to an end so swiftly, he pondered carefully and seriously the question - “Why am I spared? What is the reason that I am not taken away?” The diary reveals that he meditated upon that question on more than one occasion. It is a question that I have been caused to consider earnestly myself in recent days and you would be wise to consider it also.

Ask yourself just now: “Why am I spared and others taken?” Why has God allowed you to live so long – when he has taken away some of your friends and loved ones in the prime of life? If you are a believer then there is only one answer to that question. The Lord has kept you alive (Joshua 14:10), not so that you can make more money or make a name for yourself, but because your work for Him is not yet finished.

There is still a work for you to do for Christ. The first time American acclaimed evangelist D. L. Moody met fellow US evangelist R. A. Torrey he said to him: “Young man you had better get to work for the Lord”.

That is still the Lord’s message for you today. He would say: “Go work today in my vineyard’” (St Matthew 21:28). Get busy for the Lord while you still have the opportunity.

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