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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Too Late"

January 11, 2007

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...now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2b

CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN, INDEED!

An “A” for honesty; an “F” for promptness.

Those are the grades I would give to Bob Nuranen. Bob recently returned a book he had borrowed from the Hancock, Michigan, library. He returned the book 47 years late. Bob explained, “I figured I'd better get it in before we waited another 10 years. Fifty-seven years would be embarrassing.”

That kind of story naturally brings forth a number of questions. I’ll try to answer them:

1. No, Bob didn’t finish the book. He only made it halfway through.
2. No, the book hadn’t been lost that entire time. Bob confessed that while his mother had originally misplaced the book; it showed up, every once in a while.
3. And YES, Bob did pay the late fees. He brought in a check for $171.32 to pay the fine which had accumulated since 1960.
4. No, Bob doesn’t hold the record for the most delinquent book returned. Jim Pavon recently returned a book to the Oakland, California, library which was due in August of 1927.

Still, if I claim the record for Jim, some of you will find a case even older. Truth be told, who holds the record isn’t that important. What is important is this: People procrastinate. You … me … people. We all procrastinate. My procrastination is this: it’s the second week of January, and I’m still putting off making my New Year’s resolutions. Your procrastination? If you want an answer to that one, ask your best friend. He or she be glad to tell you.

If they don’t put it off.

Now in the whole scheme of life, it doesn’t make much difference if you wait until Thanksgiving morning to take the turkey out of the freezer; you can always have scrambled eggs for dinner. Nor does it much matter if you’ve been banging the TV remote control on the arm of your easy chair rather than getting up to replace the dying batteries. These things don’t matter.

But procrastination does matter when it comes to a person’s faith.

“A-h-h-h-h,” I can almost hear you say with a sigh of relief. “You can’t get me there, Pastor; I’m already a Christian.” Good, I’m glad you are. By the Holy Spirit’s power you know and believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. You know that His life has given you eternal life; His death has conquered eternal death.

But …

Isn’t there somebody you know who is not a Christian? Isn’t there somebody, someone near and dear to you, somebody you’ve always intended to speak to about the Savior? Have you been procrastinating when it comes to sharing the Savior with that someone?

If so the Lord says, “now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” That’s God’s way of saying, “don’t procrastinate.”

I tell you what:

I’ll finish making my New Year’s resolutions, if you, today, go to that special person and say something like, “Hey, look, you’re important to me, and where you spend eternity is important too. I’d like to introduce you to Jesus.” And then, after you’ve picked them up off the floor, invite to pick them up for church this Sunday.

Today's Bible Readings: Job 5-7    Matthew 8:18-34

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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