The Baptist Beacon
ADVANTAGES OF EARLY PIETY
By Deacon Travis Lewis
"Piety" is a term not commonly used in present society, however is no less important a virtue today than decades ago when the term meant "dutifulness in religion", or "affectation of devotion". In the earliest archives of inspired writings, the very Architect and Creator of mankind went on record commanding piety on the part of mankind toward God, and children toward parents, as well as toward others in our society.
As Solomon reached the twilight of a life marked with both grandeur and shamefulness, he was inspired to record for posterity the advantages of seeking the early virtue of piety. In Ecclesiastes 12, he warned that as surely as one lives, the time will progressively come when physical pleasures, beauty and strength will subside and give way to reflections of the past _ an irreversible past, with which we must face, and give answer to, Almighty God.
Solomon's own father, David, prayed "O satisfy us early with thy mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days." Psalms 90:14. Mercy, saving mercy, the mercy of God against whom we have sinned, should be our grand objective in youth. The utmost importance of obtaining God's mercy should be stressed early in a child's life.
"The real beauty and peace to be found in God's mercy and grace should be exemplified before a child until he or she sees the need and develops a thirst for it, a thirst culminating in a true salvation experience."
A grateful sense of duty toward God, (Piety) is a beautiful flower at any age, but most so in early life. To have been truly saved through God's mercy brings a source of joy and gladness for which the young, unsaved soul, will search in vain all the days of his or her life. "Blessed.. (happy) is the man whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sins are covered." True happiness is a mixture of many ingredients, the base on being the knowledge that one has a deed to an abode in Heaven. The unsaved may rejoice in many things, but only while they have forgotten their true condition. To have free access to the fountain of God's mercy and grace will be the sole possession which can banish Satan's fiery darts of suspense and dread.
To be saved and learn true "Piety" early in life will also be a great source of enjoyment in the study of truth. Knowledge of any kind is food to an ingenious mind, but science alone will never afford the richness and fulfillment attended by the gospel truth.
"Astronomy, physics, biology and other sciences may amuse us, but the knowledge of God's mercy and grace will render all these even more interesting."
The study of nature, along with its vast mysteries and beauty, is a source of great pleasure, but to discover and mature in the gospel truth is true joy.
Another advantage of being saved and developing "Piety" early in life is the support it affords under afflictions. Regardless of how hard you may work, or regardless how much material wealth you may accumulate, remember, it may either vanish or be rendered worthless to you in an instant. If you have truly been saved, you will never have lost it all. Even if your material lot in life is less than some of your peers who have worked less but attained more, never despair, the hope afforded by the gospel can give you rejoicing which the world will find it difficult to understand.
Hopefully we can see that the earlier we are truly saved, the greater and richer life can be. Early piety will be a source of prevention of much wickedness and will prevent a multitude of sins.
"Evil habits, especially those practiced throughout a lifetime, become more and more difficult to break."
Those who return to God in old age seldom either do much for Him or enjoy much from Him. Without God, a young parent can lead himself and his family into a sin_filled life, a life out of which will be impossible to lead them once he is old, even though he may be saved in middle or old age.
Young man, or young woman, you may be blessed with long life ahead, but rest assured, time flies and waits for no one. Sooner than you think, those personal relationships you now form in your youth, will begin to dissolve with old age in death. Your youth and its pleasures will ever so slowly give place to old age when troubles not only increase, but become less tolerable. Then, at last, its all over, you approach the point of leaving your family, your wealth, your position behind, and look back upon a well_spent life and declare as the Psalmist, "O God, thou hast taught me from my youth; and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works." Or, will you still be in your sins with no hope, facing a horrible eternity. To spurn the invitation to seek the Lord for mercy is the most tragic mistake one can ever make. Young saved person, to life the most exciting and creative years of your life with the Lord secondary in your priorities will be the greatest regret you will ever have.
Remember, no rational person has ever reached the end of life and honestly concluded, "I wish I had done less for the Lord." Any claim we have on His promises demands we accept responsibility in His work. Piety, holy devotion, early in our Christian life will be our greatest treasure when we lay down our working tools on earth and give account before the judge of heaven.