Changing Seasons

Our hot and unusually wet summer here in southeastern Pennsylvania has produced a different kind of autumn. I assume that the abundance of moisture caused confusion for many of the trees. In normal years, the leaves would all be on the ground by early November. Not so this year! There are still holdouts refusing to turn loose of their host and drift downward to await the winter snows. It’s like they’re stalling, hoping to turn back the calendar.

But, the calendar will advance. The leaves, even the most stubborn holdouts, will fall. Time stands still for none of us. And those falling leaves are a gentle and beautiful reminder of a coming appointment we all must keep.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Cor. 5:10, ESV).

This is a sobering thought. But for the apostle Paul, it was also a thought that filled his heart with joyful anticipation. We are going to stand before Jesus! We are going to see His face! And if we are faithful to make choices that please Him, we will hear His words of commendation. “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

This was what motivated Paul to say, “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him” (2 Cor. 5:9). In other words, there were only two days on Paul’s calendar: “today,” and, “that day.”

Every choice we make on this day will influence what words we hear from Jesus on that day. Let’s make it our aim today to “please him” – to keep on becoming God’s kind of husband, God’s kind of wife, God’s kind of parent or grandparent, God’s kind of friend, God’s kind of church member.

Someday, just as sure as those leaves are falling outside my window, we will stand before the Lord who loved us and gave Himself for us. By His grace, let’s give ourselves back to Him today.

About Sam Harbin
I am the President of Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA as well as the Chair and Professor of Pastoral Theology.

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