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PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Feb
17

The Convenient Gospel

Kyle Lum

Scripture

Acts 24:24-25 (NLT) "A few days later Felix came back with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish. Sending for Paul, they listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus. As he reasoned with them about righeousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix became frightened.

"Go away for now," he replied. "When it is more convenient, I'll call for you again."

Observation

"When it is more convenient, I'll call for you again."

Those words echo in my heart...the words that Felix used in response to Paul's teaching and reasoning/ dialogue with Felix and Drusilla. I kept asking myself, "Convenient for WHAT?"

It appears that Felix's reply was a reaction to the fear he felt...while things like salvation, right living, and self-control wouldn't normally bring about a fear reaction, the subject of God's pending judgment on the world, would. And that's what prompted Felix to send Paul away until "it was more convenient."

The moment never came, according to what we read. Paul's case was never resolved, and Paul remained in prison until Festus replaced Felix as governor. I sometimes wonder if Felix ever turned his life to Jesus...we will never really know from the Scriptures.

Application

This is not so much an application as it is a reminder to me, that many who we invite to the table of grace and mercy, to recieve the gift of salvation and new life, will respond in a silimar way as Felix did.

They'll want to come to Christ on their terms, when "it's more convenient."

Maybe they're okay to hear the whole, "peace, love, happy happy joy joy" part of the gospel, but then, what about the part about the inescapable truth; that there is a judgment to come if we don't put our full hope in Christ alone?

The issue is not whether we are good or bad--that's for Santa Claus. We are ALL bad, and God loves bad people so much that He sent Jesus to save us, not to judge us...and we need to turn to Him and repent! To not do so is a rejection that will subject us to an eternity of judgment and a sentencing that deserves to frighten us!

So, how then do we respond to the "Felix's" in our influence who want us to come back "when it's more convenient." We need to be excellent evangelists! Not in a Billy Graham kind of evangelism, but one that is continually inviting people to the throne of grace and mercy! We need to ask good questions!

"What keeps you from making a decision to follow Jesus now?"

"Why wait until you "get your life in order""? We certainly didn't! (grin) And my own life is still a messy, stinky, heap! If we all waited until we had it all together, there would be no churches!

"Why wait until you "live it up a while more", then you'll come to Christ?" (I actually hear this one a lot). No one is promised tomorrow! When we had a "missile alert" scare a month ago, our church ran out of parking and seats the following Sunday! Now...it's back to the previous numbers! Uncertainty of life is the prime enemy of the procrastinator! Life in Christ IS living it up...way up! (smile). No substances or doing stupid things to really live large!

"Why do you need to 'know more' before making a decision to follow Jesus?" You're not buying a car, gosh darn it! What's more to know than the basic message that Paul shared with Felix and Drusilla; live right, control yourself, put hope in Jesus before the Day of Judgment! Not rocket science! It's the opportunity to live the rest of our lives differently, with greater hope and with incredible joy!

"Why wait until the 'hypocrites' all leave the church?" We're just adding one more to it! (rimshot)

But in all seriousness, we should not let any opportunities slip us by when we are summoned by friends and family, to share our hope in Jesus Christ...we just need to be well prepared for all the "Felix" responses!

The time is not when it is more convenient. The time is NOW.

Prayer

Dear Jesus, people we know are dying and going to eternity not having decided to make You the only way...that saddens me. In my older season of life, I ask for more passion to joyfully share the hope I have placed in You alone, trusting You with all my tomorrows, even if I fall asleep and never wake up again. I trust You and know You already went and came back!

Help us to respond well to all of the Felix's in our lives; though they want to hear our testimonies and stories, they may have an excuse ready...help us to respond well.

I love You Jesus! Until You call me Home, I want as many to know You and have the same hope and joy I do...good times and bad, You are always good. Amen.


Devotions for February 17

Numbers 1,2
Acts 24

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