Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Weekly Devotion: "Almost" "Persuaded"

“Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.” Acts 26:28, 29

One of the saddest words in the entire Bible has to be “almost”, and it goes hand in hand with the very saddest word, “lost”. It reminds me of super bowl XXXIV when the Titans lost to the Rams; their potentially game winning drive ended one yard short of the goal line as time expired. The Titans “almost” won that game, but they lost, and so it was with King Agrippa that day. Persuading others to “be a Christian” can only occur as the lost “hear” us proclaim Biblical truth.

“And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 16:31

Someone once wrote a gospel tract called “Eighteen inches from hell” which describes the approximate distant from the heart to the head. The writer aptly tells of those who only know of Jesus intellectually but have never known him intimately. Agrippa was probably in that position because Paul asked him “…believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.” (Acts 26:27) Paul knew that Agrippa believed the prophets, but it was only head knowledge. The thing that drove Paul, and should drive us, to “persuade men” was his knowledge of a coming judgment, and the “terror of the Lord”, i.e. fear of standing before Christ unprepared.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” 2 Corinthians 5:10, 11a

What is your “persuasion” today? Can you relate with the saints of old, who had “faith” in, and were “persuaded” of, the promises of God, even though they had not seen them fulfilled?

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13

Like Paul with Agrippa, I wish that you were “both almost, and altogether” a Christian. 1 John 2:25 says “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” This “promise” of “eternal life” is to all those who know Jesus intimately as their personal saviour. Don’t be like Agrippa who, to this day, is burning in hell with all others who were “almost” persuaded. What ever it costs you to believe; it is probably not as much as what it would have cost Agrippa, it is worth it to attain the gift of “eternal life”. I pray that you are “fully persuaded” that the Spirit of God can take the Word of God and “perform” salvation in your heart today, no matter who you are or what you’ve done. Friend, don’t waste life… it’s too short; but definitely don’t waste eternity… it’s too long!

“And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” Romans 4:21

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