Almost or Altogether?

Posted: November 15, 2011 in Devotional

Acts 26:28–29, “(28) Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” (29) And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.””

Over the course of several years, Paul had defended himself against the Jews while in Roman custody under Felix & Festus. Now Paul had the opportunity to give his testimony to King Agrippa. Agrippa, being part of the family of Herod, was well-familiar with the history of the Jews and with the events surrounding Christ Jesus. Paul knew this & pointed out that none of this history had escaped his attention, and that in fact, Agrippa knew & believed the prophets.

Yet what happened? Here Agrippa is confronted with the personal testimony of Paul that Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed Son of God crucified for sin & risen from the dead, in accordance with all the Biblical prophecy that had been written for ages. And yet Agrippa “almost” was persuaded. Other Bible translations show Agrippa almost mocking Paul, saying in effect, “Do you think I can be persuaded to Christianity in such a short amount of time?” As if the ongoing testimony of the prophets in Scripture had not been enough.

Agrippa had it all, or so it seemed. Power, money, fame – all the things the world could offer. Yet for as much as he knew about the Bible, he “almost” had faith. After hearing Paul’s testimony, he “almost” had salvation. “Almost” faith is no faith at all. Agrippa’s stubborn refusal to humble himself before the testimony of God concerning Jesus was his downfall.

God doesn’t give us the gospel so that we can “almost” have faith; we are presented with the glorious good news about Jesus Christ as Lord so that we would “altogether” have faith and be saved! So many people believe that they can have God in part of their lives, as long as He’s kept in a small corner somewhere. For them, God is “almost” their Lord. The truth is, He is either “altogether” the Lord, or He is not received by us as Lord at all. “Almost” simply isn’t an option.

Lord Jesus, cast away the thoughts of “almost” in our minds and help us be altogether Yours!

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