WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 29, 2023
TOPIC: SALVATION: MAKE HASTE!
BY T. O. BANSO
“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house’” (Luke 19:5 New King James Version).
Salvation is an important issue that nobody should drag his/her feet on. It is an urgent decision that no one should postpone. Everyone prays to live long but nobody knows when he will die or when Jesus will return and salvation becomes too late. Therefore, everyone should settle the issue of salvation now and not later.
Some people have been hearing the same message of salvation for some time but they have been procrastinating. They say that someday they will give their lives to Jesus. But delay is dangerous. There is no excuse for postponing salvation. “For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 New King James Version). Take note of the phrase “now is the day of salvation.” Salvation is now because nobody is sure of the next second.
Probably you have been delaying accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour or you know someone like this. It is not a wise thing to do. If you believe the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and believe that He is the Saviour of the world, you should accept Him into your life today and not postpone it. Make haste!
Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 New King James Version). Delaying to give your life to Jesus amounts to giving the thief (the devil) the right to continue his work in your life: stealing, killing, and destroying. It also means denying yourself the more abundant life that Jesus has come to give those who believe in Him. Why would you do that to yourself?
Giving your life to Jesus gives you access to eternal life – the life that Jesus gives those who believe in Him. John 3:15 says that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. When you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, you will have life in His name (John 20:31). But anyone who continues in his sin will spend his eternity in hellfire. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 New King James version). Why should you or anyone continue in your sin when you can be saved from eternity in hellfire? Make haste and give your life to Jesus if you haven’t. Delay is dangerous.
Only Luke records the story of Zacchaeus in the Bible. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector and rich man who tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowds. Zacchaeus didn’t waste the opportunity he had that day. He didn’t say because of the crowd that wouldn’t allow him to see Jesus that day and the fact that he was a short man, he would wait for another opportunity. He didn’t postpone seeing Jesus. He took advantage of the opportunity at hand.
To see Jesus, Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree along the way Jesus would pass. “And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house’” (Luke 19:5 New King James Version). Note the phrase “make haste.”
Jesus told Zacchaeus to make haste and come down. The phrase “make haste” means hurry or quick! In other words, act quickly and not waste time. Jesus told Zacchaeus to come down immediately because he must stay at his house that day. Zacchaeus came down immediately and Jesus went to his house. The implication was that salvation went to his house. “Jesus said to him, ‘Today, salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham’” (Luke 19:9 New King James Version). Zacchaeus was saved that day. He didn’t miss his opportunity.
Salvation is something you must make haste about. You must make your decision quickly. It’s not something you joke with and think you can do at any time. Do it now. Make haste and come down from whatever tree you’re sitting in now. Now is the day of salvation.
In Luke 23, one of the criminals nailed to the cross along with Jesus made haste and seized the last opportunity he had to escape hellfire. While his colleague blasphemed Jesus, he spoke in defence of Him and pleaded that He should remember him when He came into His kingdom (verses 39-42). Jesus replied that that day he would be with Him in Paradise. The other criminal could have utilized the same opportunity but he didn’t.
On the Day of Pentecost, after those gathered had listened to the sermon of Peter following the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus, they didn’t just watch Peter in amazement and walk away thereafter, hoping to do something about the message one day. Rather, the Bible says, “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’” (Acts 2:37 New King James Version). Peter told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (verse 38). Consequently, those who gladly received his word were baptized and about three thousand souls were added to the believers that day (verse 41). Make haste about your salvation.
In Acts 8, after Philip had explained to the Ethiopian eunuch the passage he was reading and preached Christ to him, he didn’t waste time to be saved or say he would give his life to Jesus another time. He made haste. “Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?’” (Verse 36 New King James Version). Philip told him that if he believed with all his heart, he could be baptized. He answered that he believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. Then, Philip commanded the chariot to stand still and he with the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
Make haste! Now is the day of salvation. In Acts 10, after the angel appeared to Cornelius in a vision and told him to send men to Joppa for Simon Peter, he didn’t delay. He made haste to send two of his household servants and a devout soldier on a journey that later led to his salvation and that of his relatives and close friends. Explaining to Peter the vision that made him send for him, Cornelius said to Peter, “So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God” (Acts 10:33 New King James Version). Note the word “immediately.” Cornelius made haste; he didn’t delay in carrying out the instruction of the angel.
Verse 44 says while Peter was still speaking in Cornelius’ house, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. In verse 47, Peter asked, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” (New King James Version). Therefore, he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Make haste!
In Acts 16, after Peter had stopped the jailer from killing himself because he thought that all the prisoners had escaped but none did, he didn’t waste time asking Peter what he must do to be saved. Peter didn’t preach to him to give his life to Jesus but having seen what happened, he wanted to be saved. Someone else wouldn’t have asked that question. They would harden their hearts or hope to be saved someday. But this jailer made haste to be saved. “Peter told him, so they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household’” (verse 31 New King James Version). After speaking the word of the Lord to him and all who were in his house, immediately that night, the jailer and all his family were baptized.
Don’t waste the opportunity to be saved. Make haste and give your life to Jesus now. Tomorrow may be too late.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I pray that all those who have been hearing or reading the message of salvation but are yet to surrender their lives to Jesus will do so now without further delay. Let them see the danger of procrastination or making excuses and come to Jesus today.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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