LABOR AND LIGHT
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
It is the Labor Day weekend. A foreigner might get the wrong impression from the way our phrases and titles are framed. It is not a special day to labor, but a day to rest from labor and reflect on the blessings of labor, and the God-given ability to do it. There are similarities between labor and light that come to mind. Think about it!
God’s people are to labor, in fact with much difficulty, to have and to walk in light, letting the light of their spiritual life shine in a darkened world. But we do not have a specific day set aside to just reflect on our Christian labor. Perhaps there is a reason for that. Perhaps it is because like resting from labor on Labor Day, we tend to cease from our Christian labor every day. Presently, the hourglass of time is fast running out of sand, and it is so important that spiritual labor be renewed. And just what might that be? Simply put, it is receiving light and walking in light. After all, “There’s a call comes ringing over the restless wave: send the light, send the light!” Jesus is light, and He is life. The repetitive biblical admonition to all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is to walk in light. It is there that we have fellowship with Him. It is there that our life reproves the darkness of sin and rebellion toward God. Moreover, we are not left to guess how such a walk is to be accomplished. David of old said, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. John put it this way in I John 1:6-7: “If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
To walk (manner of lifestyle lived) necessitates action. Too many church members have made a profession of faith, but are doing little to nothing as a labor to advance in the light Jesus brought to men, and in which He continues to walk. How appropriate then it would be to not only be thankful for the ability to labor on this holiday, but to be thankful for the opportunity to labor spiritually; to walk in the light of truth as a workman who needs not to be ashamed, but who is able to rightly divide the word of truth.
A Great Man Once Said:
It is for us to dig the well, it is for God to send the rain and the water.
It is for us to plant the seed, it is for God to make it sprout and grow.
It is for us to cultivate the field, it is for God to give the harvest.
It is for me to witness, it is for God to give the increase, so save the soul.
When I have done the best I can, then God must do the rest, and He will.
1001 Excuse Avenue
Dear God Up In Heaven,
I wanted to write you and let you know why we don’t attend the services of the church faithfully.
You have chosen for Your day, a day that comes at the end of a hard week when we are all tired out. Also, it comes just after Saturday night and that is the night we feel we should enjoy ourselves and take in a movie or a ball game, or a party; and it is usually after midnight when we get to sleep. You have chosen the very day on which we need to sleep late. Then, too, my family demands a big Sunday dinner; and when I get up so late, I can’t get all this prepared and make it to Bible study and for preaching. John likes to read the Sunday sports page thoroughly, and the kids want to read all the funnies. I mean no disrespect, but it seems to me that You picked the wrong day.
Then, too, we must think of John. John works hard all week, and Sunday is about the only day he has to catch up on odd jobs around the house. I also feel like he should have one day a week to sleep, fish, golf, or visit the folks he doesn’t see during the week.
Please try to understand and don’t hold this against us.
Last Sunday we meant to go to church but had company. The Sunday before, we meant to go, but it was raining. The Sunday before that you know how cold it was. I was telling John last night that we just had to get back to church or people would thin we had quit. You know how people like to talk.
IT MATTERS WHOSE HANDS
Parson to Person
Most people are good at doing something. Some are good at doing many things. There seems to be a few who are good at doing most anything. That is not this writer.
A musical instrument, no matter how fine in his hand is utterly useless: he has difficulty with a kazoo! A surgeon’s scalpel in his hand is only good for slicing butter or his body. The list could go on for a very long time. On the other hand, a musical instrument in the hands of a master musician is a wonder to behold and to hear. Beautiful music from the instrument fulfills its purpose in the right hands. A scalpel in the hands of a skilled surgeon performs life-saving surgery fulfilling its purpose of existence. It is a matter of whose hands it is in.
In the wrong hands a musical instrument instead of sounding soothing, beautiful music tends to make one want to jump off a building or whatever else to get away from the awful noise. In the wrong hands, a surgeon’s scalpel does not neatly create a door to a highly defined, troubled area. Rather it is little more than a meat carver and an instrument of death. It matters whose hands it is in.
To trust refined instruments of specific purpose into unskilled hands is a fool’s doing. How much more then should every eternal creature exercise extreme caution about whose hands he places his eternal destiny? Men are given to trusting their deeds, their religious organizations, certain religious rituals, etc. to be the keeper of their immortal souls. Surely, this is the apex of all acts of stupidity.
Jesus said of His sheep, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:27-28.
Now think about it! God became a man to pay the sin price that no mortal could pay. No one took his life from Him, rather He had the power to lay it down and the power to take it up again in resurrection. He did just that. He is the Creator God Who will bring the entire universe into total subjection and harmony with Him. Now in His hands, by faith is the one place that is safe and secure for anyone to place his immortal soul. I would have no other words, works, powers, or hands than His! The good news is that all that God requires of any person to be saved was accomplished by Jesus on the cross, and He may be had by faith!