Summary: What would our "except for" be?
Such As I Am!
Most everyone here this mourning knows about the story of Paul and King Agrippa. It was king Agrippa who said the most famous heart wrenching words “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” I could park and preach right here this mourning but this isn’t what I believe God wants us to look at today. It’s Paul’s answer that I think we need to study.
Why can’t we make the same statement today? When you try to win someone for Christ and they say, “we’ll it sounds good, but” the only “but” Paul used was “except these chains” what holds you back from being all that Jesus wants you to be?
If we were to make this same statement today what would our “except” be?
Altogether such as I am, except
I. for my lack of devotion
A man walked up to a vending machine, put in a coin, pressed the buttons labeled, “coffee, double cream, sugar.” No cup appeared, but the nozzles went into action sending forth coffee, cream and sugar. After the proper amounts had gone down the drain, the machine turned off. “Now that’s real automation,” said the man. “This thing even drinks it for you.” That is just how some people want their faith. They want to make a deposit, put in some money and let the rest be taken care of automatically. But, there is no such thing as automated prayers, devotion, worship in song or service. The religion of Jesus requires personal discipline.
Webster’s defines devotion as a religious exercise or practice other than the
regular corporate worship of a congregation.
In the preceding verses Paul could talk about devotion because he was devoted
First to the Jewish Law.
9. I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things
contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10. Which thing I also did in
Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having
received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to
death, I gave my voice against them. 11. And I punished them oft in
every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being
exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
Then to Jesus
Phil 1:0. According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in
nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now
also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by
death.21. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Say what you want to about Paul but you can not miss his devotion look at
what happened a Lystra in Acts 14: 19. And there came thither certain
Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having
stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. 20.
Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into
Our devotion shouldn’t be any less. Mark 12: 30. And thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
II. For my lack of compassion
The pilot was Jewish, and the co-pilot was Taiwanese. It was the first time they had flown together, and it was obvious by the silence that they didn’t get along. After 30 minutes, the Captain finally spoke. He said, "I don’t like Chinese." The co-pilot replied, "Ooooh, no like Chinese? Why is that?" The pilot said, "You guys bombed Pearl Harbor. That’s why I don’t like Chinese." The co-pilot said, "Nooooo, Noooo... Chinese not bomb Pearl Harboh. That JAPANESE, not Chinese." The pilot answered, "Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese... it doesn’t matter. They’re all alike." Another 30 minutes of silence. Finally the co-pilot said, No like Jew." The pilot replied, "Why not? Why don’t you like Jews?" "Jews sink Titanic." The pilot tried to correct him. "No, no. The Jews didn’t sink the Titanic. It was an iceberg." "Iceberg, Goldberg, Rosenberg. No mattah..all same!"