There was never any reason to be careless.”
–Charles G. West (Hell Hath No Fury)
“You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say ‘Yes’ when they really mean ‘No’?”
–2 Corinthians 1:17 (NLT)
I have enjoyed finding these little nuggets of some of the heroes of the faith. Those who dared to live their faith despite the threats, torture, and death. Here is a story, again from Robert J. Morgan, about Joseph Alleine.
He was a man dedicated to the task. While a chaplain at Oxford his friends would complain that he neglected them for his studies. To which he replied, “It is better they should wonder at my rudeness than that I should lose time; for only a few will notice the rudeness, but many will feel my loss of time.” By the age of 21 he was devoting every moment to studying, preaching, and evangelizing.
In 1655, he began pastoring a church in the western part of England. He married but continued on with his duties. “Joseph habitually rose at 4:00in the morning, praying and studying his Bible until 8:00. His afternoons were spent calling on the unconverted. He kept a list of the inhabitants of each street and knew the condition of each soul. ‘Give me a Christian that counts his time more precious than gold,’ he said. At the beginning of the week, he would remark, ‘Another week is now before us, let us spend this week for God.’ Each morning he said, ‘Now let us live this one day well!’
“But his time was nonetheless cut short. The restoration of England’s monarchy in 1662 resulted in the Act of Uniformity, removing 2,000 preachers from their pulpits in a single day. Most preached their farewell sermons August 17, 1662. Joseph, however, continued preaching. The authorities descended, and on May 28, 1663 he was thrown into prison. His health soon declined.
“‘Now we have one day more,’ he told Theodosia when he was finally released. ‘Let us live well, work hard for souls, lay up much treasure in heaven this day, for we have but a few to live.’ He spoke truthfully. He died on November 17, 1668, at age 34. But he had spent his years well, outliving himself not only in the souls he saved, but in the book he left, a Puritan classic entitled “Alleine’s Alarm”.”
This man was dedicated to the Lord and to the task which he was given. He definitely understood the words of Paul, “Act like people with good sense and not like fools. These are evil times, so make every minute count. Don’t be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do.” (Ephesians 5:15-17, CEV)
Ponder This: “If history records good things of good men, the thoughtful hearer is encouraged to imitate what is good. Or if it records evil of wicked men, the religious listener or reader is encouraged to avoid all that is sinful and perverse and to follow what he knows to be good and pleasing to God.”