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Text Sermons : J.R. Miller : September 5. The Night Comes

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"As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work." John 9:4

Even Jesus felt the pressure of time's brevity, and the necessity for doing promptly and quickly, the work which had been given Him to do. How much more should we feel this pressure, and hasten to improve the moments as they fly. We all have some work given us by God Himself. We are in the world on Divine missions — sent from God to take some specific part in blessing the world.

To do this work, we have just a "day" of time. Each one's day is his lifetime. A day is a brief time: it is not long from the rising to the setting of the sun. It is a fixed time: when the sun comes to his going down, no power in the universe can prolong his stay for one moment. When death comes — he will not wait one instant. Unfinished then, unfinished forever.

Yet the day is long enough for God's plan. The sun never sets too soon for His purpose. Each little life is long enough for the little part of the world's work allotted to it. This is true even of the infant that lives but an hour, merely coming into this world, smiling its benediction, and flying away. It is true of the child, of the young man or young woman, of him who dies in the maturity of his abilities, with his hands yet full of unfinished tasks. No one can ever offer as an excuse for an unfulfilled life-work, that the time given to him was too short. It is always long enough if only every moment of it be filled with simple faithfulness.

To have our work completed at the end, we must do it while the day lasts. M'Cheyne had on his watch-dial a picture of the setting sun, and over it the words, "The night comes!" Every time he looked at his watch to see the hour he was reminded of the shortness of life, and of the urgent necessity for earnestness in duty. We should all catch the lesson.

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