Are you persuaded?

Published 5:52 pm Friday, November 13, 2015

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”  (Romans 8:38-39, New International Version).  The writer, Paul the apostle, left no room for negotiation or doubt regarding God’s love.  He was completely persuaded of that truth.  Perhaps one of the shortcomings of far too many in the church today is that they are not truly persuaded about what they claim to believe.  Some are even convinced of some things that do not line up with God’s Word; that is truly a dangerous position to be in.

As a young lad I spent a good deal of time with two of my uncles who were several years older than I.  As we rambled in the woods, fished in the pond, and worked on the farm I put a lot of confidence in what they told me.  On one occasion as we were in the woods, we came upon a tree loaded with attractive green fruit.  My uncles commenced to tell me how good it was and that I should try one.  Since I had such confidence in them, it was not long before they had persuaded me to take a bite (it was one of those same guys that persuaded me to hold on to the spark plug wire of a lawn mower engine while he pulled the rope!)  As soon as my teeth sunk into what I thought was a luscious fruit, my mouth felt like it was turned inside out.  Green persimmon!

We can be persuaded in the wrong direction if we are not watchful.  We are told in the Bible that earlier in his life, Paul—known as Saul at the time—was adamant in his determination to destroy the early followers of Christ.  He had allowed himself to be deceived into being convinced of some things that were contrary to God’s plan.  But when God spoke to his heart in a dramatic fashion, he became persuaded of the truth of Jesus Christ and followed His teachings wholeheartedly from then on for the rest of his life.  He could not have endured what he did for the cause of Christ without being fully persuaded that submitting to Him in faith was the only means of obtaining the gift of everlasting life.  Therefore he could write with absolute conviction that “I am persuaded of God’s great love for His people.”

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It is impossible for us to remain steadfast in our commitment to Christ unless we are convinced that what the Bible says about Him is true and trustworthy.  We must be persuaded that He loves us so much that He sacrificed His life to pay for our sins, persuaded that He came back to life from the dead, persuaded that we can trust Him to forgive our sins and give us eternal life when we put our faith in Him.

Since we live in a society that is filled with many temptations that seek to pull us away from God rather than toward Him, we would do well to search our hearts to see how fully persuaded we are of the truths of God that we claim to belief.  Unless we are persuaded to follow Him at all costs our resistance to temptation will be inadequate and the likelihood of succumbing to sin will be great.