to almost believe

Written January 8

I read in Acts 26 about Paul recounting his conversion to King Agrippa. After he had finished, King Agrippa said to him, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

This just had me wondering, “What was it that held King Agrippa back from ‘altogether’ (as Paul worded it) coming to fully trust Christ for salvation?” And it also reminded me of the account of the young, rich ruler who came to Jesus asking what he would need to do to inherit eternal life, but turned away saddened at the thought of having to give up his wealth to obtain the richness of fellowship with the One True God (Matthew 19:16-22). Jesus explained that there was one thing that the young man lacked. I don’t even think Jesus meant to imply that the riches were the issue; rather that he sought to reveal the idol present in the man’s heart. What was King Agrippa’s idol? What was the “one thing” that he lacked, which kept him from fully surrendering over to Christ? Maybe it was his power, wealth or popularity among the people or his peers, who thought Paul to be mad. Maybe it was something not so obvious.

These two accounts make me confront the idols in my own heart that keep me from fully, altogether surrendering my all completely to Christ and his cross. I don’t want to “almost” believe. Lord, thank you for your grace. Help me to respond to it “altogether.”

4 thoughts on “to almost believe

  1. Man alive, how many Christians came in your training group? Past attempts at coordinating something for us have failed but perhaps we should revisit that idea.

  2. I was in a class once where a discussion of religion ensued. The professor said something to the effect that it cost nothing to become a Christian while at the same time ensuring and insuring your future. If the athiests are correct and there is no God, what did your religion cost? On the other hand, if God is real and the entrance to His kingdom is conditioned on belief, you’re in. Seems simple if you think about it.

    1. hi ken,

      i’ve had this same thought before: that’s it’s riskier to not believe. of course deciding to follow Jesus does involve a cost, in the sense that he asks us to take up our cross daily, essentially counting all of our desires “as dung” (as the apostle paul puts it) in comparison to his will. putting God’s desires first sometimes means we say no to what we want; conforming to Christ means we inevitably must look less like ourselves. but when we serve God out of our love for and desire to please him, this is far less burdensome than walking outside of his will (his burdens are light, and so forth). so whether heaven is laden with streets of gold, or just a bare room with the presence of God, that’s definitely worth it to me. because the gains of having peace with our Creator always outweigh whatever costs there may be. thanks for your comment. 🙂

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