1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
A friend once told us the following story: it seems that Satan and three of his cohorts were lounging around after dinner one evening, discussing what might be done to win people's hearts for hell.
One junior tempter exclaimed eagerly, "I've got it! I've got it! Let's tell people there is no God!"
Satan looked at him with disdain and replied, "That's ridiculous. The knowledge of God is written into people's hearts; you'll never get away with a lie like that."
Then another young devil chimed in, "I know! I know! We'll tell people there is no heaven; there is no hell."
To which Satan responded, "You fool! Everyone knows that there's often no justice in life. You'll never convince more than a very few that there is no justice in eternity."
Finally, the tempter leapt to his feet. "I have it!" he shouted. "We'll not say there is no God, no heaven, no hell. We'll just say there is no hurry."
Satan's face lit up as he rubbed his hands in glee. "Excellent!" he responded. "The perfect lie. With it we'll win the world."
Time and again, in spiritual conversations with people, talking about the relationship with the Lord Jesus, we encounter people who seem receptive. They aren't belligerent. They don't close the door in our faces. Yet, they ignore the invitation of God's grace. They might tell us, "This fall when the kids are in school, we can start making it to church. Or they might say, "After Christmas when things calm down -- that's our resolution for the New Year." Or sometimes we hear, "This spring when the weather is better, and it's not such a hassle getting around."
After all, what's the hurry? We'll get there.
Sadder still are Christ's own people who believe, or at least act as though they believe, Satan's "No hurry" lie. They put off sharing their faith, waiting for some golden opportunity when the stars align, the weather's just right, when they're all studied up on the Bible to speak about Jesus. That, as we may expect, may never happen. In the end, sadly, Christians trot out many of the same excuses used by unbelievers for not responding to God's Gospel invitation.
The fields are white now, Jesus says in Matthew 9:35-38, the harvest is ready now. The laborers are ... us. If we have failed in the past, we can begin again, and again, if we have to -- and we will have to. Because -- no surprise here -- failing is what we do. Thankfully, our Lord Jesus forgives us and empowers us by that forgiveness to go and tell His story to a world that needs to hear some really good news now.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, it's easy to think there's always tomorrow to do what we can do today. We seek the Holy Spirit's help to listen when necessary and to speak when we should so that others can know about Jesus' love. In His Name. we pray. Amen.
From The Lutheran Layman, October 1981 issue, "There Is No Hurry," by Jane Fryar
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