Yesterday, When I Was Young
by Ray Harmer
I wonder if I was the only child who thought life on earth was forever. As a young boy, I frolicked about my neighborhood seemingly without a care. Whilst growing up, I was taken to church every Sunday. Everything the priest said was for old folks, I thought. I will listen to that “religion” stuff when I get older was my mindset. Although my particular church did not interpret the Holy Bible correctly (leaving out the need for a personal relationship with Jesus), it taught me that there was a God in Heaven who attends to the affairs of this world and cares about its inhabitants.
Now that I have grown older, my perspective has changed. I realize I will not live on this earth too much longer. I have more years behind me than ahead of me. But, believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I will now reside forever in Heaven with Him. Solely based on the sacrifice that Jesus provided on the Cross. Nothing that I have done at all (Ep. 2:8,9). I repeat-nothing at all!! If we think we had anything to do with our salvation, we are saying we had to help Jesus with it; that His death was in vain. My friend, that is blasphemy on the high seas. If you feel that way, please do not do so in my presence. I do not want to be caught in the nuclear holocaust that will envelope you someday.
Last night we had a lovely time, with friends and family, watching a live rendition of the Nativity. I remember thinking there may be people in the audience who know nothing of the Saviour; who think it a mere tale. Then I looked at the little donkeys, and thought, no one had to tell them of a Saviour, for they believe. Think of the connotation there! As the shepherds did on the night of Christ’s birth, we too should praise God for all He has done (Lk. 2).
We have become so materialistic at this time of year. It is a dreadful time (if we look at it with human eyes). Praise for God is far from most of our minds, but looking for the biggest and best toy is. My father told me, when he was a little boy, that he was lucky to get a piece of fruit Christmas morning. Can you imagine? But there was more of a dependency on God in those days and we were better for it.
My nightly reading read, “LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him! Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away” (Ps. 144:3-4). Please do not wait until the eleventh hour to come to the Lord; He may come at 10:30! God has a gift for each one of us. Our only obligation is to open it!