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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Pilot Lights and Spiritual Epiphanies (Romans 10:17)

"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

Once heard, Scripture is like a pilot light waiting to be inflamed.

Growing up I didn't know much about theology but I had heard "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13) when I attended Vacation Bible School as a 5-6 year old. I also knew John 3:16 and had memorized Psalm 23 for an eighth grade English class assignment.

Years later when I was sixteen years old the Romans 10:13 verse reverberated through my heart and mind afresh as I knelt down on a Florida beach and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. Though no stranger to abusive situations in my home, that particular afternoon where I witnessed my dad beating up my mother, differed from all the rest. For the first time I saw myself. I suddenly knew that I was no different from my dad. I knew that I had the capacity to become just like him, given time and opportunity. I knew lostness, alienation from God, and the guilt of sin; and it frightened me as I ran out of the house onto the beach.

A verse that I had not heard in many years surfaced in my mind giving the Spirit of God access to my heart and mind. I called out to Jesus Christ to save me from myself. I couldn't have explained, theologically, what happened next even if a gun had been put to my head, but I immediately experienced peace. That moment defines me even now, thirty-two years later.

Romans 10:13 remained quietly in the back of my mind for years, much like the pilot light of my fire logs waits throughout the night for morning when I press"on" and whoosh roars the fire into my fireplace. Circumstances, like a cold winter morning, drove my need for the warmth of a fire. The Spirit of God pressed the "on" button, igniting the Word of God, tucked away in my mind, into full flame and it has been burning ever since. Faith comes by hearing the message. Jesus saves.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading
Romans 8:18-11:10
  • How has creation suffered since the entry of sin?
  • What role does suffering serve in the life of a believer?
  • Describe the difference between natural sons of Abraham and sons of promise.
  • If God had not intervened in the affairs of mankind what would have happened to humanity?
  • What is the difference between law righteousness and faith righteousness?
  • What is the chain of events in experiencing salvation?
  • What has God done that gives hope for the Jewish people?
Turning truth into prayer
People have to hear the gospel to be saved. God uses faithful witnesses. Ask the Lord to help you to become bold in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.