Written at: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS
Bible Reference: Acts 24:24-25
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)
Bible Text: 24 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he talked about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 But as Paul went on discussing about goodness, self-control, and the coming Day of Judgment, Felix was afraid and said, “You may leave now. I will call you again when I get the chance.”
OBSERVATION: Delays are often very frustrating, and often cause us to lose our patience! However, yesterday there were thousands of self induced delays that members of our churches made, when presented with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Meditate with me on what happened in your respective church services over the weekend. Most attendees heard the Word of God, but they delayed their decision to act on the invitation given at the time. The big question is, what might this delay have cost them? Perhaps they said like Felix did, “I will deal with this another time”. Will there be ‘another time’ for them?
APPLICATION: When travelling to another state or country by plane or train, there is often the chance of delays, for one reason or another. If the fault is attributed to the airline, then they will often provide vouchers to the stranded passengers for food, and sometimes even for hotel, if the delay will prevent travelling the same day. Can you begin to imagine the costs paid by carriers for these delays? Yesterday the message of the Gospel was presented, and thousands of attendees at thousands of churches were given the opportunity to surrender their lives to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. No doubt your church, like mine, saw folk leave without accepting the invitation of the pastor, and the Holy Spirit that tugged on their hearts. I’m sure that there were many excuses for the decisions to delay following Christ. Why some left during the singing of the last hymn, because it was more important to be the first out of the busy church parking lot, or to be the first at the popular restaurants. Priorities of the individuals! But we are reminded through God’s Word, that He is in full control of their time here on earth. Will they have another opportunity quite like they had yesterday? Thankfully, I made it all the way home safely yesterday. Did everyone else from our church services have that same good fortune? Perhaps they did, or perhaps they didn’t. God’s Word has very clear advice for us when it tells us that “now is the accepted time”, the only moment promised to us. Think about this friends: at our borders all those arriving with proper authentication (passports and appropriate visas) are allowed in, while others are rejected and expatriated back to their home country. This will be no different at the entrance to Heaven’s portals, because the rules are similar to those followed by our immigration officers. For entrance into heaven, only those who have personally accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior (that’s their passport and visa) will be accepted into God’s eternal home, others will be returned to their home of choice with Satan and his band of demons. Friends, please don’t delay, it could cost you eternal life with the God of this universe. The creator, Savior and King, who loved you enough to die on a cruel cross, so that you might receive forgiveness of your sin, when you invite Him in. Your delay could cost you big time. Please let me encourage you to not even wait for the next service time, contact a pastor or Christian leader of a local church, or contact me so that I may help you, but PLEASE, don’t delay, make a decision today.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, many of us just attended church yesterday and here you are beating up on us again today through this illustration with Felix delaying his decision to hear more from Paul. The delays brought on by Felix cost him. I pray that my readers, and all those that we love and pray for, will accept You at Your Word, while there is time to do so. Thank You for loving us enough to have given us multiple opportunities do this. And while we have no control over whether there will be another opportunity, I pray that many will STOP and cry out to You even now. I praise You for not giving up on me. Today I humbly plead with You to melt the hearts of those that meditated on this devotional with me today, as they were given another opportunity to call on You for salvation. Please bring them to their senses and embolden them to make this vital decision. Without further delays, may today be the day of salvation for all who might meditate on this devotional with me. For this is my humble and earnest prayer, in the name of Jesus alone, and for His glory alone. AMEN!