Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Altogether Committed

Acts 22:4 - Acts 26:28

One of my least favorite teenage phases is called the “almost” phase. My oldest son, Caleb, was expert at this phase.  It went something like this.  I would text, “Are you coming home?”

His reply?  “Almost.”

My question, “Have you finished your homework?”

His reply, “Almost.”

Me, “Is your room clean?”  Him, “Almost.”

I learned that “almost” meant he had completed about 97% of the job ––he cleaned his entire room but forgot to make the bed; or he emptied the kitchen garbage but forgot to put in a new bag.  His theory was that “almost” was good enough ––I almost made it home by midnight.

One week I became tired of the almost phase, so I told Caleb that if he wanted to play the almost game I could play it too.

I would almost cook his chicken for dinner; I would almost dry his clothes, and I would almost drop him off to school.

It didn’t take long before almost was no longer his favorite word of choice.

In Acts 26 Paul is speaking to King Agrippa and Festus about his current situation.

Things didn’t look good for Paul, the Jews were asking for his death.

As he spoke to these two men, Paul bore a powerful testimony of the Savior.  Through the process, the King’s heart was softened and he said to Paul, “Almost thou persuadeth me to be a Christian.”(Acts 26:28 emphasis added)  Paul replied, “I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am.”  (Acts 26:29 emphasis added)

It is as if he was saying almost was not enough, the next step was getting to altogether.

There is a difference between being almost persuaded and altogether committed.

What does it look like in our life today?

How many times have we thought to ourselves,  “I almost read my scriptures today,” or “I almost remembered my morning prayers?”  Perhaps we can think of this word as it applies to our service, “I almost called her,” or “I almost did my visiting teaching last month.”

What would it take for us to become altogether committed to the Lord?

“We of this generation are the end harvest of all that has gone before.  It is not enough to simply be known as a member of this Church.  A solemn obligation rests upon us.  Let us face it and work at it.  We must live as true followers of the Christ.”  (Gordon B. Hinckley emphasis added)

What do you think the difference is between being known as a member of this Church and living as a true follower of the Christ?

How could you become more altogether committed?

 

 

Emily Freeman