By Paul J. Levin

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

A sad old man dying of cancer told a pastor friend this tragic story: “Years ago in Sweden, God called me to preach – to this agreed, if He would enable me to sell my farm. The very next day a man made me an offer, but I hesitated, telling him to return on the morrow.”

“After prayer, I promised God that I would preach if the buyer would agree to take my job as Sunday School Superintendent. The man said, ‘That is the very chance I have wanted.’ He paid me for the farm; but, rather than using the money to prepare for the ministry, I went to America.

“The first year in America, my wife died, leaving me with five children. Very soon after that, my oldest daughter died. Still I would not surrender to God’s will. I preached a little on the side but did not obey God in giving my full time. I lost a good business, pleaded bankruptcy and left town.

“Then I went into the hardware business and prospered for the time, but one of my sons who assisted me in the work began a systematic robbery of the till. Again I was forced to bankruptcy.”

“These things did not come upon me accidentally. They were the hand of God. Now I am dying of cancer – I have only three months to live.” Weeping he said, “I know I am saved, but, oh, the loss! I will soon be ushered into HIS presence to give account of a whole life of disobedience.”

What a tragedy! Wasted time, talents, treasure and testimony. He might become the “Moody” of Sweden.

Wasted Time

Think of the many years this man wasted. Lost time is gone forever. Life is too short to be frittered away on self. It isn’t how long you live but how you live that really counts.

David Brainerd, the great missionary to the American Indians, died when only 29. But his utter abandonment to the will of God, his crushing burden for the souls of men, his many hours of agonizing intercessory prayer challenge us to this day. He accomplished so much during his short life because he lived not unto himself “but unto Him which died for them, and rose again” (II Corinthians 5:15).

The love of Christ compelled him to follow the steps of hid Master who did “always those things that please[d]” the Father (John 8:29). At the Judgment Seat of Christ we will give account of precious time squandered in rebellion against God’s will.

Wasted Talents

It isn’t the number of talents you possess but your use of them that counts. You can shamefully waste them in sin, foolishly let them die under the rubbish of little petty things that eat up your valuable time and attention or wisely develop tem for God’s glory and service.

“Whatsoever ye do in words or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). What rights have you to misuse God-given talents, gifts and abilities rather than to use them to produce fruit and testimony for your Lord?

Wasted Treasure

Full surrender includes the purse and checkbook. God entrusted you with money that you might know the joy of using it to so speed the Gospel to the heathen, evangelize world-wide through the printed page, aid struggling preaches and Christian workers, relieve poverty-stricken suffering saints and in many other ways support God’s work.

The liberal soul enjoys a thrill that stingy, close-fisted, religious tightwad knows nothing about. If all God’s children would place their treasure at the wounded feet of their living Lord, every phase of Gospel work would prosper without the begging, pleading and driving for funds that characterize Christian work of our day.