walk in the word
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:12-15
On Sunday night, October 8, 1871, D. L. Moody was preaching the gospel in downtown Chicago. He challenged the listening crowd to go home and “think about what I’ve said about the gospel and come back tomorrow and tell me what you’ve decided about following the Lord.”
Sounds OK, right? “It’s a big decision. Don’t rush into it. Weigh your options.”
About the same hour that meeting was breaking up, a few blocks west of downtown, a blaze had begun in Patrick O’Leary’s cow barn. By midnight the fire had jumped the Chicago River’s south branch and by 1:30 a.m., the entire business district (where Moody had been preaching) was in flames. By 3:00 a.m., the inferno had raced northward, jumped the main river, and devoured over 100,000 homes. Not until after midnight the following day was the fire extinguished as a steady rain left Chicago smoldering and in rubbles—with hundreds dead.
Many of the people who had heard the gospel on Sunday night perished in the flames. By not deciding to follow Jesus the moment they heard the invitation, they had missed their opportunity to respond to God’s good news.
D.L. Moody’s ministry was changed forever. He said, “From now on, every chance I get I will urge upon people a decision today, today. Today, sir, make a decision today. Although you can choose your actions; you cannot choose the consequences.”
“Today if you hear His voice, don’t harden your heart.” The writer of Hebrews repeats that warning three times (3:7, 3:15, 4:7). And while it applies to those who would respond to God’s call of salvation, it also applies to followers of Christ at some point of obedience.
It all comes down to this: when you hear what God’s Word says, do something about it. God often uses this in my own heart. If you want to go further with God than you have in years gone by, decide today that every time God shows you something, you’re going to get after it. If He lays it out for you, don’t put it off.
What action or point of surrender has God been prompting you to make that you haven’t acted on yet? What are you waiting for? Do you feel the weight of obedience right now in some area of your life? Don’t ignore His prompting. How quickly this life will end; how soon eternity will begin.
Get on doing God’s thing right away. You don’t know how long the opportunity will be yours.
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