An Appointment to Keep
An Appointment to Keep
James Garfield was a Gospel preacher, elder, Civil War general and President of the United States. We have no way to discern what kind of leader he might have been, had he been given the opportunity to continue his presidency, because he was assassinated, after only 6 months in office. We do, however, know his character. Prior to his inauguration, when the need arose for him to step down as an elder, he said, "I resign the highest office in the land to become President of the United States."
On another occasion, a group of party leaders assembled at the White House, early on a Sunday morning, to discuss a Bill they thought should be passed by Congress. They were shocked to hear him announce, “I have a very important appointment” and will “talk to you this afternoon.” “But, Mr. President,” one man asked, “what could be more important than this?” President Garfield rose to his feet, walked to the door and turned to the group of men, saying, “Gentlemen, I have an appointment at the Lord’s table.” He then left with Mrs. Garfield and went to Sunday worship.
Hebrews 10:24, 25 (NCV) “Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day coming.”
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
It is my belief Brother Garfield took these verses seriously. We too have an appointment at the Lord’s table every 1st day of the week (Acts 20:7). I believe, as well, that we have an appointment in His presence every Sunday night, every Wednesday night, every time the elders announce an assembling of the saints, etc. . If his duties as President of the greatest nation on Earth were not enough to distract Brother Garfield, how can we let the mundane things of this life keep us away – work, games, sleep, TV, family, guests, the weather, the fish, the golf course or ____________ (you fill in the blank).
It is time for us to put first things first. We should be hesitant, extremely hesitant, to let anything come between us and our appointment with the Lord. In the end, when it is time to appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ and give an account of every deed (2 Corinthians 5:10), there will be nothing to forestall that appointment. On that day, what excuse do you plan to use to “justify” your erratic attendance?