When It’s More Convenient

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

A few days later Felix came back with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish. Sending for Paul, they listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus. As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming Day of Judgment, Felix became frightened. “Go away for now,” he replied. “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.” –Acts 24:24-25

Here we have in this passage of scripture the apostle Paul appearing before the Roman governor at the time Felix Antonius. Paul was brought in to trial before this governor in Caesarea to answer charges against him concerning a riot that broke out in Jerusalem. The Jewish high priest and the elders were fed up of this apostle going around spreading what they called the “Nazarene sect.” When it was Paul’s turn to speak, he admitted to being a follower of what he called instead, “the way.” I found it interesting that in verse 22 the Bible says that Felix was “well acquainted with the way” which could possibly and probably mean that he heard the gospel several times before or had a good amount of knowledge concerning it.

About two weeks ago I was evangelizing with a group of missionaries in Petite Rivière de l’Artibonite, Haiti. Several people I spoke to seemed very interested in the gospel message I presented to them but all except one stated “I’m not yet ready to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior.” I heard replies such as “I don’t have the time,” or “I have to get things right in my life first.” Another said “I would accept him but I don’t want to yet because I would feel like you persuaded me into it and it wasn’t my own choice. But someday I will.”

King Agrippa also felt this way when Paul later presented the gospel before him and Festus. For in chapter 26 of Acts he said “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.” Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”– Acts 26:25-28

Salvation

In matters of sharing the gospel, persuasion should not have the determining factor of whether one comes to accept Jesus Christ or not. The question that is most important is a question that every unbeliever should look deep into their heart when presented with the gospel and ask themselves, “Is this the truth or not?” Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”-John 14:6 Accepting the gospel is always “convenient.” Tomorrow is not promised and the day to be saved is always now. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” -2 Corinthians 6:2

On January 12, 2010, a major earthquake with a 7.0 magnitude struck the country of Haiti. Over 160,000 people died that day. It was a regular day just like today. We’re not sure how many died as unbelievers. Friend I urge you today to delay no further if you haven’t accepted Christ. Don’t make the mistake governor Felix did of waiting for a more “convenient” time. There might never be another time except today.

-Jason

About Jason M. Alexandre

Jason Melchizedek Alexandre was born in November of 1989 in Brooklyn, N.Y. His family later moved to Philadelphia, Pa., and he now resides in Limerick, Pa. In May of 2014, Jason obtained his Master of Social Work degree at Widener University. Professionally, Jason counsels persons who are homeless, parents, veterans, and others who suffer from various kinds of abuse. Although Jason’s career is Social Work, his spiritual passion is missions. Jason believes in actively answering the Great Commission call Jesus gave all Christians for the Gospel to be spread from person-to-person and nation-to-nation. Annually, Jason travels primarily to Haiti on a mission trip with Haiti Christianity Inc. Each year, Haiti Christianity, Inc., visits cities and/or villages in Haiti bringing children educational supplies, clothing, and medical supplies. They also facilitate conferences in which bible study, budgeting tips, financial planning and most importantly, evangelization takes place. Jason is currently the organization’s public relations director. Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively. To learn more about the organization for which Jason volunteers, please visit www.HaitiChristianity.org.

No Other God

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

“I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” –Daniel 3:15-17

As the annual mission trip for Haiti Christianity Inc., quickly approaches, we ask that you keep us in fervent prayer. Prayers are always needed when our brothers and sisters in Christ are traveling to foreign lands with the intended purpose to encourage believers and carry out the Great Commission in spreading the Gospel to unbelievers. This July in Haiti, we will evangelize, conduct vacation bible school and professional skills conferences and bring an array of children’s clothing, shoes, medical and educational supplies. We thank you in advance for how your prayers will add to the blessing of empowering us through the Holy Spirit to carry the mission to advance the Kingdom of God. Now you may be wondering why this week’s devotional scripture comes from the book of Daniel and how it relates to anything I just mentioned. Let me explain.

This past February, I traveled to the beautiful and rich in history country of Thailand also known as the “land of smiles.” My experience in Thailand was nothing short of amazing. It was everything I envisioned it would be. Although this was not a mission-focused trip but rather a study abroad trip conducted by my former University, time of testing came to me. The Lord’s voice to me was so crystal clear and so loud within my spirit I could not ignore it. At some point during the trip, our kind native volunteers took us to one of the Buddhist temples and engaged us to participate in a worship/mediation demonstration of their Buddha golden statue.

Everything within me said “Do not participate, do not bow” and I did not. I was taken aback that other self-professed Christians with us on the trip decided to participate. I do not know whether I offended our native volunteers or not but two of them came to me and asked why I decided not to participate. I said to her, “I believe my worship and meditation should be only reserved for my Lord Jesus Christ.”

One said, “Oh you’re Christian? It’s okay I have friends who are Christians who do this along with us. It’s okay you can do it.” Once more, I told her I could not, for I knew I would be betraying the One and only true God also known as the “invisible God” or as the “Unknown God” as the apostle Paul put it.

As I close, I want to leave you with an encouraging scripture of when the apostle Paul preached in Athens.

“So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs-for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.” – Acts 17:22-26

Amen.

-Jason M. Alexandre

About Jason M. Alexandre

Jason Melchizedek Alexandre was born on November 29, 1989 in Brooklyn, New York. However, at two years old he and his family moved to Philadelphia, PA. Later, Jason moved to Limerick, PA where he now resides. Jason is currently working toward obtaining his Master of Social Work degree at Widener University. Although Jason’s career is Social Work, his spiritual passion is missions. Jason believes in actively answering the great commission call Jesus gave all Christians for the gospel to be spread from nation to nation. On a yearly basis, Jason primarily goes to Haiti on a mission trip with Haiti Christianity Inc. Each year Haiti Christianity visits different cities and/or villages in Haiti bringing children educational supplies, clothes, and medical supplies. They also facilitate conferences in which bible study, budgeting tips, financial planning and most importantly evangelization takes place. Jason is currently their public relations director. Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to be spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively.