Christian Living

Close, But Not Quite

According to our church bulletin yesterday, the first hymn was #407, How Firm a Foundation. But when I turned to that number in the hymnal it wasn’t the right song. So I tried 704—maybe the digits got reversed? Nope. How about 497—because 9 is next to zero? Nada. Okay, I give up. I looked up the the correct number in the back of the book. It was 408. The bulletin was so close—just one page off!

So I started thinking about, “close, but not quite,” moments in the Bible. Remember good King Asa? He “conducted himself well before God, reviving the ways of his ancestor David.” – 1 Kings 15:11 (MSG) The Bible says Asa kicked the male shrine prostitutes out of Judah, and destroyed all the pagan idols the evil kings before him made. He even unseated his own grandmother, from her royal position, because of her idol worship! – 2 Chronicles 15:16

King Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and was fully committed to God all his life. But there’s an unfortunate footnote: “He didn’t get rid of all the local sex-and-religion shrines.” —1 Kings 15:14 (MSG) Meaning, he kicked out the prostitutes, but left their pagan temples standing.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Close only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades.” Yet kings Asa, Solomon and David, who were all, “close, but not quite,” were beloved by God. This must be partly because, though each of them was imperfect, they respected the Lord and kept trying.

This is the one I esteem: He who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”

Isaiah 66:2 (NIV)

A pastor friend of mine has a favorite saying: “Obedience is when you DO.” Kind reader, we can think about , talk and plan to do what’s right in the eyes of God, but if we don’t take REAL action little will change.

It won’t happen if you don’t make it happen

Pastor Ron Bracy

For look at King Asa from a little different angle, please see Repairing the Altar by Chris Hendrix, of Devotions by Chris.

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

By davidsdailydose

I'm just a regular guy who was
tempted to lose all hope but did not. It was God who made the difference.

22 replies on “Close, But Not Quite”

Thanks for today’s inspiration my friend. It is true that the real expression of one’s Faith is by actions. The world will not simply be better or people changing to being good with words. All our lives, we’ve heard so much words, yet not much doing nor practice, so in the end, we get numb, and words becomes noise. When people lead by example, people actually see kindness and goodness and it’s so easy to also do the same. God bless.

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I confess that I never heard of the saying “Close only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades.” But I have heard “close but no cigar.” Now I have to wonder how these sayings got started! I am so glad the Bible plainly tells us how our biblical friends made some mistakes. It makes me feel better, knowing I have many mistakes of my own. And I also appreciate the reminder to take action, stepping forth in obedience. Too often we allow fear to hold us back. But nothing should give us fear more than disobedience and not honoring God.

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I love that God loves us when we don’t quite measure up. He’s not like us who are always looking for perfection. He looks at our heart for obedience and intent. Thankfully His grace is sufficient for my failures.

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