It has been said that “It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action”. This captures the same thought that James expressed when he said: “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only”. Paul underlines this same concept when he declared, “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified”.

To know, and not to do, is not to know. It is a sad thing to “sit up and take notice” and then lie back down again. Solomon talked about the lazy man in bed: “As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.” It appears this lazy fellow may have sat up to take notice but when the door closed again, he lay back down on his bed to toss and turn. He refused to get up and get on with living and doing.

Life is to be lived. Life is to take action. Life is to sit up and take notice, to see what needs to be done, and get up and be doing. Again it was James who told us: “to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin”. Do we know any good we ought to be doing, and are not doing it? Why not? Because we do not know? We know. We just are not doing what we know we should be doing. Why not?

Solomon told us that: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” The difference between those at the judgment seat who will be exalted, and those who will be rejected, may well be the difference between those who, after sitting up and taking notice, got up and did what they ought to do with all their might, and those who lamely said: “I know I should, but I just haven’t gotten around to it”.

One definition of a truly educated person is one who does what ought to be done, when it ought to be done, whether they want to do it or not. All too often we say: “we don’t feel like doing it right now”. Unless we are too ill to get up and be doing it, get up and do it. Sometimes those who are truly ill and suffering greatly put healthy robust people to shame. The sick ones are doing what they can with what they have, right where they are. Sometimes the healthy ones simply lie back down again to wait until they feel like it.

Few worthwhile things in life would ever get done if we only did them when we felt like it. If it is right to do, and it should be done, and we can do it, then get up and get busy. The best possible way to live is by forgetting ourselves and becoming absorbed in the doing of God’s will.

Paul did not let what he called his “light affliction” stop him. He said: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”. His light affliction included poor health, beatings, shipwreck, privation, a stoning and imprisonment. His “light affliction” endured for the rest of his life, yet he called that only a “moment,” which it was, in comparison to the eternal life that was laid up for him. He will receive his “crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give him at that day”. Not only will Paul receive it, but all of us also “who love his appearing”.

Let us then be wise to sit up and take notice. Then let us get up and do what we notice we should be doing. We often sing in our hymn, “Life is the time to serve the Lord, to do His will, to learn His word; In death there is no power to know, Far less in wisdom’s way to go. Then what your thoughts design to do (sitting up and taking notice,) Let willing hands with zeal pursue; (getting up and taking action) Since no device nor work is found, nor faith, nor hope, beneath the ground”.