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John 9: 4
The Romans had a pagan god named Janus.
Janus was the god of gates and doors and new beginnings.
He was two-faced -- he looked both ways.
Our word, January, is named after him.
January is where we are once again.
It doesn't seem possible!
What happened to Easter? Summer? Thanksgiving? Christmas?
The ancient worshipers of the pagan God, Janus, would have put it, "Tempus Fugit!"
Jesus reminded us that time flies as He said to His disciples:
"The night cometh, when no man can work." (John 9:4)
Life's final curtain often falls suddenly and unexpectedly, reminding us that time flies.
- The Scottish writer, Thomas Carlyle, wrote on the flyleaf of his first book, "Cometh night."
- Robert Murray McCheyne, the powerful Scottish preacher, reminded himself and his friends
that time flies by ending his letters to his friends with Jesus' words, "Cometh night."
But McCheyne never dreamed, as he wrote those sobering words in his letters, that his days were
so limited that he would die in his 30th year.
- English author, Samuel Johnson, remembered how quickly time flies, and so he had inscribed
on his watch the Lord's warning, "Cometh night."
- Scotland's greatest novelist, Sir Walter Scott, had the words, "Cometh night"
sculpted on the sundial of his cottage home.
There, where Scott spent so many pleasant years, one can read the noted novelist's last words
entered in his diary: "Tomorrow we shall..."
But, for him, tomorrow never came.
- Catherine the Great, the 18th century ruler of Russia, came to the end of her sixty-seven years sighing,
"I am an accumulation of broken ends."
She learned -- too late -- that time flies.
- When Raphael was carried into the studio to take a last look at his majestic painting,
"The Transfiguration," he sighed, "Alas, it will never be completed!"
He died in his 37th year.
- Australian composer, Franz Schubert, at the age of 31, was working on his, "Unfinished Symphony,"
when death came suddenly.
- Frank Grasso, conductor of the Tampa, Florida, Symphonette Orchestra,
died suddenly as he was directing the last number of a concert.
Ironically, the number was Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony."
- English novelist, Charles Dickens, whose imagination has thrilled generations,
was touched by the angel of death and quietly laid down his pen in the middle of a sentence.
- When England's Queen Elizabeth I lay on her deathbed, her last words, so it is said, were:
"Time! Time! Give me one more moment of time.
I would give my kingdom and all I possess for one more moment of time."
But, not one minute could she buy.
Because time flies, we ought to prize it, highly.
We should guard it, carefully.
We should enjoy it, fully.
We must use it, wisely.
We must pray over it, faithfully.
We should give thanks for it, continually.
Henry Edward Russell once presented a chart showing how the average person spends his or her seventy years:
Eight years in amusements.
Three years in education.
Six years in eating.
Eleven years in working.
Twenty-four years in sleeping.
Five and one-half years in washing and dressing.
Six years in walking.
Three years in conversation.
Three years in reading.
And, six months in worshiping God.
Most of us must confess we do not use our time very wisely.
We are foolish to waste it or misuse it because it is the stuff of which life is made,
and it is a scarce commodity.
5000 years ago, a wise man wrote in Sanskrit about the value of time:
"Yesterday is only a dream, and tomorrow is but a vision.
Yet, each day, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this one day, for it and it alone is life."
In his book, Time for God, Leslie Weatherhead, who was pastor of the City Temple in London for 25 years,
mathematically calculated a 24-hour lifetime that compares to the "three score and ten" years of the Bible.
Weatherhead said, that if one lives to be 70 years of age, life would be broken down like this:
- If you are 15 years old, it is 10:25 am.
- If you are 20 years old, it is 11:34 am.
- If you are 25 years old, it is 12:42 pm.
But if you have passed the half-century mark:
- If you are 30 years old, it is 1:51 pm.
- If you are 35 years old, it is 3 pm.
- If you are 40 years old, it is 4 pm.
- If you are 45 years old, it is 5:16 pm.
We could add that if you are 80 years old -- time is running out!
- If you are 50 years old, it is 6:25 pm.
- If you are 55 years old, it is 7:34 pm.
- If you are 60 years old, it is 8:42 pm.
- If you are 65 years old, it is 9:41 pm.
- If you are 70 years old, it is 11 pm.
We should take a serious look at this chart and be sobered by it!
"Tempus Fugit," we exclaim!
An anonymous poet expressed the swiftness with which time flies and our poor use of it, when he wrote:
"Hadn't time to greet the day,
Hadn't time to laugh or play;
Hadn't time to wait a while,
Hadn't time to give a smile.
Hadn't time to glean the news,
Hadn't time to dream or muse;
Hadn't time to train his mind,
Hadn't time to just be kind.
Hadn't time to take a rest,
Hadn't time to act his best;
Hadn't time to pen a note,
Hadn't time to cast a vote.
Hadn't time to sing a song,
Hadn't time to right a wrong;
Hadn't time to lend or give,
Hadn't time to really live.
Hadn't time to heed a cry,
Hadn't time to say goodbye;
Hadn't time to read this verse;
Hadn't time -- he is in a hearse."
Because time flies, we ought to heed the admonition of Benjamin Franklin:
"Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today."
Say it today because time flies!
- Is there someone who you need to say, "I love you"?
Then, do it today!
- Is there one to whom you ought to whisper, "I forgive you"?
Then, do it today!
- Is there one to whom you should say, "I'm sorry"?
Then, do it today!
- Is there a struggling friend, who needs to hear you say, "I believe in you"?
Then, say it today!
Then, by all means, do it today -- because time flies and night is coming.
- Is there a call you need to make?
- A good deed you have planned to do?
- A visit waiting to be made?
- A hurting friend you have meant to telephone?
Have you ever received Jesus as your Saviour?
Time is passing!
It is urgent that you take advantage of this opportunity to have your name written in the Book of Life.
You can have your sins forgiven, and you can have a home in heaven for all eternity
by calling upon the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come into your heart as your Lord and Saviour!
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at email@example.com