The Best Business
"I must be about My Father's business." Luke 2:49
The Father's business should be the great business of every true Christian. Every heart that has been thrilled by the Savior's love — should throb with love for the perishing. Every soul that has tasted of the bread of life — should hasten to offer it to others who are famishing. Every foot that has found the way of peace — should run after those whose steps take hold on Hell. Every hand that has grasped the cross — should be reached out to rescue those who are swept away in sin's dark tides.
There are physicians, who have no patients. There are lawyers, who have no clients. There are business-men, who have no business. There are working-men, who have no work. In the same way, there should never be one Christian out of business. The Father's work offers employment for every one. There is no man too hard-worked to have his head, heart, and hand full of it. There is no one too ignorant, or too lowly, to have a place in this field, next to some blessed angel. There is no child too young to work in the Father's business, just alongside of Jesus himself. As in the great city, there are thousands of different kinds of work — work for the skilled artist, for the educated man, for the tradesman, for the child — so there is work for every grade and kind of workman in the church of God.
There is something for you to do, dear reader — whoever you may be. There is some weary heart waiting, somewhere — for the word which hangs trembling on your tongue. There is a thirsty one, somewhere — longing for the cup of water which you can give. There is some sick one wasting away in a dark room, somewhere — wondering why you never come. There is some poor, discouraged one, somewhere — who needs your cheering words and your helpful love.
You have a strong arm, and there are prisoners of sin waiting for you to come to break their chains. There are hearts that seem as hard as stone — which will melt when your hot love-tears fall upon them. There is work given to you — which will never be done until you do it. There are souls which are perishing, waiting for you go to them with the message of love.
Then the Father's business is earnest business. It has to do with immortal souls, which must be saved, if ever, before they pass down into the shadows of death. Soon they will be gone, and then the word cannot be spoken; then the cross cannot be held up before their eyes; then the bread of life cannot be offered.
My sister traveled night and day, many hundred miles, to see another sister who was dying. And when she reached the house, they met her at the door, and said, "You are a few minutes too late. Ella has just died!" In the same way, there are souls that are waiting for the coming of your feet — dying souls.
It is a bitter thing when one has known an impenitent neighbor for years, and has not spoken once to him about his soul, to pass his house and see death-crape on his door; or to take up the morning paper and see that he is dead.
It was a bitter cry that wailed forth from that father's heart, when he rushed into his pastor's study and said, "Oh, sir, my daughter is dead, and she has never heard a word of prayer, nor a breath about her soul, from my lips!"
Close the eyes. Fold the arms upon the bosom. Smooth the tangles out of the hair. Put flowers on the coffin. Read the burial service over the body. Put a stone on the grave. But all cannot soothe the anguish in the heart of him, who, after years of unimproved opportunities — came too late to do the Father's business, to offer eternal life to the lost soul.
Let every one do his work promptly. Answer every call of God's Spirit at once. Tomorrow there may be death crape on your friend's door — or on yours — and the deferred business may never be done.
There will be a reckoning in this business of the Father. The Lord is coming again to sum it all up, and to call every servant to account. It is a fearful responsibility to be great, to have great power, to have much money, to have large influence. Every shred of the gifts from God, must be accounted for.
Dear reader, when the Master comes to reckon with his servants — what will you have to bring to his feet? He has given you money. He has given you a tongue to speak of his love. He has given you a soft and gentle hand to bind up the wounds of others, to lift up fallen ones, to bear up weak ones, to put the cup to burning lips, to smooth the wrinkles out of the brow of care. He has given you tender sympathy to feel for others' woes, to bear sweetness and comfort to homes of sorrow. He has put the gospel into your hands with pardons for guilty and condemned souls, with heavenly bread for the starving, with pillows for the sick, with staves for the lame and aged.
What are you doing with your gifts for Christ? How will it be with you, when the Master comes to reckon with his servants?