Reflections on the Evening
At evening withhold not your hand. - Ecclesiastes 11:6
In the evening of the day opportunities are plentiful: Men return from their work, and the zealous soul-winner finds time to share widely the love of Jesus. Do I have no evening work for Jesus? If I have not, let me no longer withhold my hand from a service that requires wholehearted endeavor. Sinners are perishing for lack of knowledge; he who loiters may find his shoes red with the blood of souls. Jesus gave both His hands to the nails. How can I keep back one of mine from His blessed work? Night and day He toiled and prayed for me. How can I give a single hour to the pampering of my body with luxurious ease? Up, lazy heart; stretch out your hand to work, or lift it up to pray. Heaven and hell are serious; so must I be, and this evening I should sow good seed for the Lord my God.
The evening of life also has its calls. Life is so short that a morning of manhood's strength and an evening of decay make up the whole of it. To some it seems long, but a dollar is a great sum of money to a poor man. Life is so brief that no man can afford to lose a day. It has been well said that if a great king were to bring us a great heap of gold and bid us take as much as we could count in a day, we would make a long day of it; we would begin early in the morning, and in the evening we would not withhold our hand.
Winning souls is far nobler work; so how is it that we quit so soon? Some are spared to a long evening of green old age; if such is my case, let me use any talents I still retain and serve my blessed and faithful Lord to the final hour. By His grace I will die with my boots on and lay down my commission only when I lay down my body. Age may instruct the young, cheer the faint, and encourage the despondent. If evening has less stifling heat, it should have more calm wisdom; therefore in the evening I will not withhold my hand.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Ezekiel 23
verse 2 Psalms 70, 71
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.