Seize the Moment

by Rocky Fleming

 

 

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)

 

I’m greatly familiar with this verse.  I memorized it several years ago and can recite it in a moment’s notice.  Like so many of us who can capture the words of a verse theoretically, until we do so with our personal experience with its truth, we do not fully appreciate it.  I’m not sure that I realized this verse’s relevance when I memorized it until now, for the social climate we are now in because of the Coronavirus threat has created a greater need for encouragement.  We now require social distancing to hopefully prevent the aggressive spread of this pandemic we are in.  But we need community and mutual encouragement all the more as we walk cautiously through this viral minefield.

“As you see the Day drawing near,” is part of the verse that has intrigued me the most.  The “Day” is referring to “the day of the Lord,” as referenced in both the Old and New Testaments.  It means the day that Christ returns, which then leads to the day of judgment.  With Christians it is the day of accountability to the Lord for the way we served His purposes, or not, while alive on this earth.  I suggest that you research the scriptures about this time each of us will have before the Lord.  If you do so it might make you, as it has done for me, to see our life through the responsibility of being a good steward of our time and purpose rather than a poor steward who squanders the numerous opportunities we have to honor Him.  He has given us a mission to love Him and others, to serve the needs of others, and to make disciples.  In what ways are we doing this?   I believe this will be His question to us.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”  2 Corinthians 5:10 (ESV)

“The Day drawing near” is also a wake-up call.  It is to wake the Church from her slumber.  It is to tell us to seize the moment.  It is to remind us that this place is not our home.  We are here to serve in a foreign mission from home, and our homecoming is close at hand.  This thought stirs me and excites me.  In the most challenging times in my life I have found comfort in a thought that the trial is temporary, that I must persevere through this momentary trial or challenge until it turns out for the good.  God’s word promises it:

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”  Romans 8:28 (ESV)

Therefore, as Christians I’m assured that either way, our circumstances will turn out for the good with the virus and social distancing that we must persevere through, or that the “Day” is upon us and it will be a homecoming party to go to.  Either way it will turn out for good.

The reason we encourage one another is to remind ourselves that our momentary trial will end, and it will turn out for good.  We “consider how” to do this.  In other words, we must be creative, but we are to be active in some way.  Right now, we may not be able to gather for a while physically, but we can do so through technology or through telephone services or through mail and letters.  We do so prayerfully, and we bring encouragement to all.  We give encouragement and then we receive it from God and maybe other people.  It is a two-way street … going and coming.  But as a Christian we must be the initiators, the reconcilers, the encouragers that turn eyes and hearts toward Christ in this challenging time in most people’s lives.  I tell you the truth.  If we will do this, we will have no concern about standing before Christ.  This is where we hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

My exhortation to those of you who are reading this blog is that we should be proactive in lifting other people up to find encouragement and hope in the Lord.  Ask Him who and what we should do with a person or persons He brings to our thoughts.  Always pray for them, but in some way touch them at their point of need.  He will tell you what that is.  Perhaps you will share what happened when you did this?  It would be good to read your reports and share them with others.  I believe this will be in fact living out the verse I focused on.  I think this is where it goes from theory to experience, as we live it out.  Seize the moment!