Happy New Year! To begin 2019, we are sharing an article written by Billy Graham that was published in the January 1992 issue of Decision Magazine.
“Plane crashes, automobile wrecks and other tragedies remind us how quickly life can end. The Bible tells us that life is extremely brief; that ‘we spend our years as a tale that is told’; that it is ‘swifter than the weaver’s shuttle’; that it is like ‘grass that withers’ and as ‘flowers that fade.’
As we turn the calendar to a new year, we once again come face-to-face with the reality that our days on this earth are numbered. Yesterday is past. Its events are already in the books of God’s remembrance. . .
The older we become, the more insistent the clock seems to be. Millions of people go to work every day by the clock. There seems to be no pity and no mercy from the clock. People know the pressures of time: racing from engagement to engagement, fitting this in with that, giving five minutes here and 15 minutes there. Time haunts us all.
The Bible speaks of time this way: ‘What is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away.’
No thoughtful person can approach the new year without some introspection. We look back over the failures, the mistakes, the missed opportunities, and we vow that we will make better use of our time during the new year. . .
The prayer request that all of us should make as we stand on the threshold of the new year is this: ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.’ . . .
The only time we have is now. God’s forgiveness is now. The trouble is that although God says, ‘Today,’ we so often respond, ‘Tomorrow.’ We say, ‘Tomorrow I will begin a new life,’ or, ‘Tomorrow I will walk with God.’ Then when tomorrow comes, we are still saying, ‘Tomorrow’—and so the years pass. Will death come and find us still saying, ‘Tomorrow, tomorrow’? Don’t say, ‘Tomorrow’; say, ‘Today I will receive Christ.’ . . .
God has promised not only to live with us, but in us. God the Holy Spirit will come and dwell in our hearts now. Anyone who truly desires him, who will meet his conditions, may receive him. And he will take up residence now—today—in your hearts if we will obey the Scripture: ‘Harden not your hearts.’
What a glad farewell to the old year, knowing that all our sins and all our failures are gone! What a fearlessness is ours when we realize all that the future may have in store!”
*Scripture references (KJV): Psalm 90:9; Job 7:6; Cf. Isaiah 40:7-8; James 4:14; Psalm 90:12; Hebrews 4:7