Living On Borrowed Time
By Jefferson David Tant
“The days of our years are threescore years and ten, Or even by reason of strength fourscore years; Yet is their pride but labor and sorrow; For it is soon gone, and we fly away” (Psa. 90:10). Having reached that milestone of threescore and ten a few years ago. I feel that it is by the grace of God, the skill of doctors, and a wife who looks after my health that I am still in good health and among the living. At this stage of life, one has a different perspective on the past, and on what lies ahead. In a sense, those who are living past a certain age are living on “borrowed time.”
We have all borrowed things from others from time to time. We may borrow some clothes for a special occasion, or borrow some dinnerware if we are having a crowd over for dinner. And there are times when we might borrow someone’s car when ours is sick or dead. When we borrow things, we generally take extra care of them, knowing they are not ours, and we will have to give an account if we damage the things borrowed.
How do we regard our borrowed time? In truth, all of our time is borrowed, as we owe our time to the Lord, whether we are young or old. This is particularly true of those who are Christians, because we have been bought with the blood of Christ, and we belong to God. “Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own; for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Paul evidently considered that everything he was and had belonged to the Lord. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20).
In view of the brevity and uncertainty of life, we are admonished to be “making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16).
In my search of the Scriptures, I have not found the passage that speaks of the Christian’s “retirement years,” other than the heavenly rest. I have seen too many older saints who “take life easy,” because they have already done their duty. When I see someone like that, I suspect that they have been taking things pretty easy all along the way, for one who is fervently serving the Lord in youth is not apt to let the fires cool when they are older. Because of persecutions and hardships, evidently Jeremiah had determined not to prophesy any longer, but found he could not contain himself. “And if I say, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name, then there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with forbearing, and I cannot contain” (Jer. 20:9).
What can older Christians do, who often have spare time on their hands. Consider a few suggestions. (1) They can encourage those who are younger, who may be struggling. A few words of encouragement or wise counsel can do wonders. (2) They can work with Bible Correspondence Courses. Some are doing this on-line, as well as through the mail. (3) They can teach the gospel. I have known more than one elderly saint who was teaching others, even into their 90s. (4) You can write letters of encouragement to those who are preaching the gospel in other places, especially those whom the church where you attend are supporting. (5) You can teach skills to those who are younger, as mentioned in Titus 2:4-5. (6) Visit or call those who were absent from the assembly. (7) Perhaps by reason of infirmity, many of these things are beyond your ability, but there is still an effective work you can do–pray for others. “The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working” (Eph 5:16).
If you are living on borrowed time, use it carefully, so that you can give it back in good shape. – Selected
By Tom Miller
The story was told of a preacher who began showing up late for services and even missing the “prayer meeting” altogether. The straw that broke the camel's back was when he did not show up at all one Lord’s Day because he had taken a drive in the country to see the beautiful fall colors. The “church board” met and decided to fire the man. The secretary summed it all up in the minutes of the meeting by saying, “It was clear he cannot be a minister here if he insists on acting like the rest of our members....”
I suppose we would all laugh if we could not see so much truth in the notation made by the secretary. Most preachers would be fired if they tried to get away with what some of the members do. Whether we admit it or not, like it or not, we do have a “double standard.” I am not suggesting, by any means that the preacher should be allowed to get by with what some of the members get by with. Neither am I suggesting that we should hold the preacher up as our standard for Christianity, even though he should strive to be a good example (1 Cor. 11:1).
What I am suggesting is that we ALL bring our lives up to the standard Christ set for us. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Pet. 2:21). May we, one, and all, act like true followers of Christ, and not try to get away with behavior that is anything less. After all, it’s a losing proposition to try and get away with anything that is wrong. “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Eccl. 12:14) – Selected
By Jeff Smelser
In an article yesterday titled, “On climate change, it’s time to start panicking,” Matthew Rozsa of Salon says, “If we do not resolve the problem of man-made climate change, it could quite literally spell the end of human civilization.”
God says: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Gen. 8:22-NKJV).
Surely, we have a responsibility to use the blessings God has given us wisely and to be good stewards of them, but the end of this world is in God’s hands. And until the time He chooses, it will persist, mankind will persist, seedtime and harvest will persist. While Rozsa is worried about “the total destruction of our species” due to “global warming,” he should be concerned about another sort of warming, the condemnation from “Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Editor’s Note: In general, the world is concerned about things that they cannot change and they leave undone the things they can change such as being obedient to our Creator who, “...dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:24-26). Such people need to be concerned about and prepare for the “global warming” the Apostle Peter spoke of when he said, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” (2 Pet. 3:10-12). — tgmc