Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Almost Persuaded

Today's post for the #My500Word challenge was to persuade someone of something. The line that kept running through my mind is a line from Acts. The apostle Paul has gone before King Agrippa and presented the gospel, and at the end of his discourse, King Agrippa  says, "Almost thou has persuaded me to be a Christian."

There are lots of things we could debate. When I was younger, I enjoyed an argument with the best of them... but nowadays I avoid conflict. There are so many things in today's society about which we get fired up. Debate and discourse is a commonplace occurrence on social media, and sadly it is not always civil, so often I stay silent. Or I furiously type a response and then delete it soon after, because there are some things that aren't worth fighting for.

But there are some things that are worth fighting for. Some things that are worth debating, and one topic that is an essential decision that you need to make.

I think it is so sad that Paul laid out the gospel, including the first-hand account of how he had been changed, but Agrippa wasn't persuaded.

Too often our eyes are blinded. We choose to believe what we believe, and to see things how we see them.

And the gospel is sometimes hard to believe. Even His Word tells us that the gospel seems like foolishness to those who don't believe. and that God often uses the foolish things to confound the wise.

Why would Jesus willingly humble Himself to leave Heaven's glory to be born a lowly child in a manger? How can the Virgin birth really be explained? And why on earth would He choose to die a criminal death for someone that hadn't even been born?

But He did, out of His great love. Because He is full of mercy.

I am not always good at sharing my witness, but in today's time, this should be the great debate... and not necessarily a debate... but we should be willing to step out and boldy declare the gospel. I'm not always sure I'll have words. How can I express His love enough if the greatest orator in the Bible was unable to persuade King Agrippa?

It's not my job to persuade you, though... it's the Spirit's. One sows, one waters, but God makes it grow. My job is to speak it... but also to live it, because actions speak louder than words. To truly persuade someone to desire the gospel message, I have to demonstrate it.

Love when it is hard to love. Choose to humble myself. Bite my tongue when I really want to spew unkind words.

By their fruit you should know them...and by us demonstrating that there is something different within us, it will draw others to Him. I can't describe adequately how He makes me feel... but when you experience it yourself you'll not be almost persuaded.... and you won't want to keep it to yourself.

This world needs Jesus. Let's not grow weary in persuading others to know Him.

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