Today’s Reading: Acts 26
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Key Verse: Acts 26:19-20, 28
“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance…” Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
Paul obeyed “the Heavenly vision.” A few days ago we read about Mark, who failed, but later returned to obey God’s call. All the disciples (except perhaps John) abandoned Jesus the night of His arrest, but they were restored. If we have failed, return now and God will complete the work to which He has called us. An excellent example of the “work” is Paul’s testimony before the King and the Governor. (1) We start by speaking well of the person to whom we are witnessing. (2) We give a brief personal account of how we came to faith in Jesus. (3) Quote from Jesus Himself…e.g. “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). Paul heard the voice of Jesus in his physical ears. We may hear as he did, but we definitely hear His voice as we read His Word each day. (4) Make a direct appeal for a decision for Christ. Some people will respond with “yes,” and some are “almost persuaded.” (5) Like Paul, don’t give up. Make another appeal (Acts 26:29).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, give me a stubborn refusal to give up on witnessing of Your salvation, and grant me wisdom and persistence in seeking to win precious people to You. I would be the most selfish person if I kept the message of Your love to myself. As I move throughout the hours ahead of me, and as the opportunity is present, I am determined, with the working of Your Spirit in me, to win someone to You. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
In my personal witness one-to-one, as well as in my public speaking to groups of people in church, on the street, or on daily television for many years, I’ve followed, more or less, Paul’s five points listed above. I can assure you, results follow. Just as Jesus said in the parable of the sower, when I sow seed, (1) some seed is stolen, (2) some falls on stoney ground, (3) some falls amongst thorns, and (4) some seed falls on good ground and yields a beautiful harvest. I’ve just taken the time to read Matthew 13:1-9. If I don’t see results, I take the time to pray fervently so that the devil (the birds) will be driven back and held back from stealing the seeds. Then I may have to spend time clearing the ground of stones and thorns. The ONLY REASON I will not see results is that I have not sown good seed on enough new ground. The law of averages has proven true. At least one in four people to whom I witness give their lives to Jesus. I can’t sow the good seed inside the same four walls each Sunday and expect to see a harvest. I have to get out to where people live and die.
Have you ever heard or sung the great invitation hymn “Almost Persuaded” (click here)? Experience God’s Spirit. If anyone reading this has not welcomed Jesus into his or her life, do it now. Please, please, don’t turn down this invitation. You can call our toll-free prayer number at 1-866-273-4444, and someone who loves God and loves you will answer 24/7. A caring, non-judgmental person is waiting for your call. If you get a busy signal, try again.
Yours for winning precious, never-dying souls to Jesus,
P.S. Merry Christmas from Norma-Jean and me (photo from December, 2016).