Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Pastor's Perspective - Almost Persuaded
As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, "That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you." - Acts 24:25
As a child growing up in the church, I remember singing an old hymn titled 'Almost Persuaded', a classic about procrastination. In Acts 24 we read about the poster boy for feet-dragging, a guy named Felix. We learn that as the apostle Paul began to share the message of truth and grace with him, Felix became very uncomfortable and used his authority to simply dismiss the imprisoned apostle.
As teachers of the Word, we sometimes hear comments like, "That really stepped on my toes", or "You must be reading my mail". This typically and humorously indicates that the Holy Spirit masterfully played His part and bridged truth with a human heart, oftentimes resulting in a sense of conviction and discomfort. Governor Felix was confronted by Paul's message and instead of allowing the sword of the Spirit to penetrate his heart and begin a new and exciting chapter of a lifetime, he cut and ran.
Friends, let me remind you that there is truth; and that truth sometimes can be confrontational. Jesus said that He came not to bring peace but a sword! In other words, to appreciate the 'good news',we first need to stand face-to-face with the bad news - that we're on a dead end road.
If you're experiencing a strong sense of discomfort and conviction when you hear the truths of the Bible shared, don't run like Felix! That toe pressure most likely is the Spirit of the Lord proving His strong love for you and His divine desire to lead you into a new relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son.
What a tragic epitaph for any of us - 'Almost Persuaded'. Stop procrastinating and yield today! God loves you and there's nothing you can do about it.