This Your Day!
by James Smith, 1860
When the work of Christ on earth was nearly finished, as he was riding toward Jerusalem, just as he was descending the mount of Olives — the whole city burst on his view. He foresaw all the sufferings of its hardened inhabitants — and he wept bitterly. As the tears were flowing down his cheeks — he gave vent to the deep feelings of his heart, and exclaimed, "If you, even you, had only known on this your day, what would bring you peace — but now it is hidden from your eyes!" Luke 19:42. Jerusalem had its day of mercy — and so has every sinner. Each one of us have our day, which is either improved to our salvation, or neglected to our eternal ruin. Let us dwell on this point a little.
"Your Day," that is now, the present time. It is called a day, not a year. It is a limited period, and it may be a very short one. If it extends to the whole of life — how short life sometimes is! Nor can we tell — but that ours may be a very short day.
Our day is a period of light. It is the short time in which we may avoid the danger, to which we are exposed by sin; and secure the blessings presented to us by sovereign grace. While we have the light, we should walk in the light, that we may bo the children of light. We should so believe the record that God has given of his Son, that we may escape eternal death, and obtain everlasting life.
Our day is an important period. Indeed no period in our whole history, will be so important as the present — for the eternal future depends upon it. Eternity depends — on time. Heaven is either won or lost — on earth. Now we may secure glory, honor, immortality — even eternal life. And if we do not, we shall be punished with everlasting destruction, as neglectors of salvation, as rejectors of the grace of God.
Our day is a period that is passing away. It flies from us. It glides by us. It hurries us on toward eternity. Every step taken, before salvation is secured — is a step lost. Every moment that is gone, if we have not fled to the hope set before us in the gospel — will bear witness against us, rising up in the judgment to condemn us.
This is our day, and if we lose it, we not only lose time — but eternity too. O how rapidly times flies! What is our life? But a vapor, that vanishes away. O for grace to improve it, and turn it to good account!
The DESIGN with which our day is given us, is that we may secure salvation. Salvation, which makes life on earth, happy; and life in Heaven, glorious beyond description. Salvation, which shuts out all evil from us; and shuts in all good with us. Salvation, in which embraces body and soul, and clothes both with glory and splendor, and fills both with health, peace, and joy!
Our day is given us, to form a character — a character which we shall wear forever. We form the character in time — which we shall wear in eternity. Eternity renders permanent, what is changeable now. We should therefore seek grace to conform us to the image of Jesus, and beg the Holy Spirit to mold us into his likeness. If holiness characterizes us now — it will characterize us forever; but if sin characterizes us in time — it will characterize us in eternity. As the tree falls — so it will lie forever. It is given us to benefit others.
No one should live unto himself, or for himself — but having secured his own salvation, should seek to be the means of saving others. To make others happy, and to make others holy — should be the grand object of the Christian's life. Happy is the man, who is a blessing to all around him, and whom multitudes will have reason to bless.
Our day is given us to conquer our foes:
the sin that does so easily beset us,
Satan, who lies in wait to deceive us, and
the world that would tyrannize over us!
These enemies will overcome us — if we do not overcome them.
They will destroy us — if we do not conquer them.
Earth is our battle field.
Life is our time of warfare.
Eternity will be for triumph and rest.
Our day is given us to obtain a glorious crown. For this, like Paul, we should fight. For this, as he exhorts us, we should run. A crown, a kingdom, are presented to us — to be won now, and to be possessed and enjoyed forever.
In this our day:
we may secure salvation;
we may form an excellent character;
we may benefit our fellow men;
we may conquer all our foes;
we may obtain a glorious crown.
Lord, make us wise, courageous, and constant, that we may wisely improve our day!
It is our only day. The day which God, in his mercy has given us. The only opportunity that will be afforded us, to make our calling and election sure. The only period allotted us between two eternities. Eternity past, in which we have no particular interest — and eternity to come, which will be to us most glorious, or most terrible.
The only day in which our choice must be made, for we choose now, what must be our portion forever. God sets before us life and death, blessing and cursing — and exhorts us to choose the former, and avoid the latter. Some choose death, in the error of their way; and some, like Mary, choose the good part, which shall not be taken away from them.
On the present period — our eternal state depends.
This is our day of grace — in which we may secure pardon, peace, and everlasting life. This is the day which thousands neglect, and will forever rue their folly.
Who can tell the value of this day? No one, except he who has entered into all the joys of Heaven — or felt all the horrors of Hell. No one could grasp the extent of eternity, except he who experienced the honor of the saints — or witnessed the disgrace of the lost! As this is impossible, no one can even guess the value of this brief period of time, called our day.
Let us endeavor, as much as we may, to realize the value, brevity, and design, of this our day. Let us seek to improve it for our own benefit, the good of others, and the glory of God. Let those who now live unto the Lord — look to its close for rest, for our reward, and for endless enjoyment! But if we trifle with it, waste it, and neglect the great salvation; let us not forget, that it will end in torment, and everlasting contempt! O the folly, the consummate folly, of those who waste time, and lose such an opportunity as the present!
Our day given to make our calling and election sure.
Our day given by an infinitely gracious God, that we may have time te seek reconciliation with him, the pardon of all sin, and a fitness to dwell with him, in the most glorious part of his vast universe. May that gracious God, who has given us our day — give us grace to take advantage of it, to improve it, and so use it, that we may bless and praise him for it, through all eternity.
Gracious and Holy Spirit, open our eyes to see its value, inspire our hearts that we may secure all its blessings, and may we so spend it now, that we may look back upon it with pleasure, from a death bed, and the judgment-seat of Christ!
Jerusalem neglected her day, and the Romans laid her low, and she has remained a trophy of God's just wrath for many generations! Thousands since then, have followed her example, and are tormented in the flames of Hell! Multitudes now, are despising the day of their visitation, and it is to be feared will rue their folly too late!
Reader! How is it with you? This is your day — and perhaps your day is far spent! Are you safe? Are you housed from the storm? Are you sheltered from the tempest? Are you safe in Christ? Is it so?