This morning I woke up and read in the paper that there are only 6 shopping days left till Christmas. I really haven’t thought of the holiday in that context before this morning, but I admit that a little chill ran down my spine when I openly realized that I haven’t bought any gifts yet. That’s right – none, nada, zip, zero… I had a physical therapy appointment early this morning and the receptionist was speaking about finishing up her shopping for the family. When I told her that I hadn’t started yet, she just started laughing – probably like you’re doing right now.
In my defense, I made arrangements to work remotely today, realizing that for part of the day I would take some time and start my shopping. In all honesty, it isn’t really as bad as it sounds. Janet is a a great person who loves to shop for the family members, so other than a random gift here and there that I pick up, she does most of the stuff for the kids and the grandchildren. That means the most of my time is spent shopping for Janet and those last minute things we get for the children.
For the record, this story has a happy ending – not only did I start my shopping – I finished it – done! True, I had a carefully laid out plan with stops defined in advance. I called ahead to make sure that the things I was looking for were available and in stock. I am sure that there will be some little items that I will run across to add to the list of gifts I have already purchased, but I should be good to go for Christmas morning. I even had enough time left over to fill up the car and take Lexie for a walk. It was a good day…
I should have been doing my shopping much earlier but as the title of this post suggests, better late than never. While there hasn’t been any damage done by my tardiness, I would have enjoyed the season much more had I been diligent in getting my shopping done earlier in the season. Which brings us to the point of tonight’s post.
Many people don’t see the value in getting themselves aligned with God at an early age. In fact, I can’t even count the number of people who have told me that it is too difficult to be a Christian and it is much easier to just be an atheist and then accept Christ as Lord and Savior right before you die. That way, the ill conceived logic goes, a person gets to do their own thing for all but the last moments of their life and they are still heaven bound if they profess their faith in Jesus prior to dying.
Unfortunately, there are several problems with this plan. What if you don’t have a protracted illness or know when you are going to die so you can accept Christ? What happens if you get hit by a truck or otherwise die without notice? Then, you miss your window and are eternally separated from God – and eternity is a long time. If you happen to hit the window you have created for yourself to accept Jesus in the last moments of your life, chances are you already have the idea that Jesus is God – or else you wouldn’t be planning on worrying about the consequences of dying unsaved. Which brings us back to the question of why wait?
Think of all the joy you would have in your life by not waiting till the last moment. It’s kind of like my problem this month – waiting too long to shop and missing most of the joy of the season. Only delaying a relationship with God is much more important than whether you get your shopping done early or not. And to those of you who have already deepened your relationship with God, you have the best possible set of circumstances. You have the joy of knowing Christ and the assurance of an eternity in heaven.
Tonight’s verse is from the book of Revelation and details the desire of Christ to have a personal relationship with you. John, the apostle who wrote the book, tells us, in Rev. 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
My encouragement this evening is that life is so much fuller when we have a life with Christ. And if you haven’t arrived at that conclusion yet, there’s still time – better late than never. My prayer is that you will live a long and joyful life – taking full advantage of all the blessings that God bestows on us each day. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…