Last month I celebrated, or should I say tolerated, my birthday. I am now at an age which definitely places me firmly in the category of middle age. After my birthday dinner that was a gift from my wife at my favorite restaurant, I had some time alone to reflect, and I was actually startled by the reality of my age, my past, and my future. I am now 15 years away from the age of my Grandfather was when I was born. And, thinking back 15 years, I remember the birthday I celebrated which was a seminal event in my life. I could not believe it had been 15 years ago, and as the saying goes, it truly seemed like only yesterday.
The Scriptures teach us to “number our days” (Psalm 90: 12) and “make the most of our time” (Ephesians 5:16), because life is short (cf. James 4:14). I recently have begun to read the biographies of great Christian men and preachers, and it has totally transformed my thinking and revived my spirit. I am currently reading several wonderful books on America’s greatest theologian and preacher, Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). Edwards was a remarkable man of God, and I have learned so much from his godly example and ministry.
Jonathan Edwards experienced the new birth at the age of 17 and soon after became the pastor of a church in New York City. At the age of 18, Edwards began to compose his Resolutions in which he laid out over period of a year (1722-1723) the course and character that he would pursue for the rest of his life. In the preamble to his Resolutions, he began by affirming his total dependence on God’s grace, and in his first resolution he makes his primary goal the glory God. Thus, Edward’s life was characterized by the grace of God and the glory of God. He wrote a total of 70 resolutions, but given the above theme, I want to focus on resolution 5 in which he committed to “never lose one moment of time.”
I so clearly see how much time I have wasted in my life and what a wicked thing it is to not make the most of the life that I have been blessed with. Edwards surely fulfilled his resolution to not squander time, and really lived life to the fullest because of his understanding of God’s grace and his resolve to glorify God in everything all of the time. We are exhorted in Scripture to do all “for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31), and if this our passion, then we will make sure that we are being good stewards of the precious time that God has given us on this earth. Let us all commit to following the example of Jonathan Edwards to a life of discipline so that we may cherish and use our time wisely for the glory of God, always dependent upon his grace.