Scripture: Romans 10:1-13
Observation: Paul is once again speaking to the Romans to remind them that salvation comes only one way -- through faith in Jesus Christ. He tells them that Jesus accomplished the purpose of the law, and therefore, a true relationship with God doesn’t come through following the law but rather through confessing with your mouth and believing in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Application: Do you ever wish you could go back to big moments in your life and replay them, record them, and capture them forever? Sometimes we’ll experience big moments, but not even realize how monumentally important they are until later. I have some big moments that I remember perfectly – like getting engaged on the little kid train at Hershey Park Christmas Candylane. (Full disclaimer: I had “accidently on purpose” read through my now-husband’s Facebook messages to find out about his plan. I’m the worst.) But there are other big moments that are simply snippets of a memory I wish I could recapture – like the night I put my faith in Jesus.
Ah, that night. I remember bits and pieces, enough to weave a narrative together, but not enough to remember every detail, every word, every moment. I remember it was an unseasonably warm day in April 2009…I have this really weird ability to remember what I wore to things, and this day, I was wearing these blue plaid shorts from Abercrombie & Fitch that I loved. (Yes, I was basic before basic was a thing.) It was a Thursday. Andy (my now husband and then boyfriend) called me in the afternoon and told me he needed to come down and see me – he was going to school in Philly at the time, and I was a freshmen at the University of Delaware. It wasn’t normal for him to come down in the middle of the week, but I agreed. If he wanted to drive an hour down I-95, I wasn’t gonna stop him.
Other snippets I remember: We went to Applebee’s because we were poor and their food was cheap. He didn’t even tell me why he was there right away. I was wearing my shorts. (This part is especially vivid for some reason.)
Later that night, we went back to my dorm and sat on my bed and started talking. (For reference, my dorm was literally the size of large jail cell – it was like 8 feet by 11 feet. There was about 1 foot of floor space not covered by my bed, dresser, desk, or fridge. #collegelife) He told me about his friend (later the best man in our wedding) who just ended a long relationship with his girlfriend. He told me that, in the end, their relationship didn’t work because God wasn’t part of their relationship. He didn’t want that to happen to us.
Guys, this is the part I wish I could go back and record. Because my whole life changed that night – but I had no idea in the moment that something so big was happening. Here’s some variation of what happened next: He asked me if I wanted to make Jesus leader and lord of my life. I think I said yes, but probably had a lot of questions – because I had grown up in church and heard about Jesus for years. What made this different? He told me about how he prayed with his mom to accept Jesus into his heart when he was younger. Andy’s not one to share personal stories at the drop of a hat, so I remember that part with complete clarity. Then, he invited me to pray a prayer of salvation with him – to confess with my mouth and believe in my heart that Jesus is Lord.
We prayed. I don’t remember the prayer or the words – whether I repeated after him or just prayed silently. I remember a vague feeling of excitement mixed with some fear of the unknown. I remember that right after we prayed, I asked Andy to write the words down, so I could pray it everyday. (For all of you laughing right now, I want you to know I grew up on memorized prayers – I could throw down a whole rosary full of “Hail Mary’s” in my sleep, thank you very much.) He laughed and explained it didn’t work like that anymore.
It didn’t work like that anymore.
My life wasn’t about trying to be “enough.” It wasn’t a checklist of do’s and don’ts. It was no longer about just following the rules. Because “anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (verse 13)
So today’s devotional isn’t as much of a challenge as it is about a memory. Is anyone else completely overwhelmed at Paul’s words here?
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus if Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.”
Remember that moment today – the moment that everything changed. The moment that you surrendered. The moment your life changed forever for the glory of Christ Jesus.
And if you’re reading, and you’ve never had that moment, make today your day. Confess with your mouth. Believe in your heart. There are no prerequisites. You don’t have to do anything. You don’t even have to “feel ready.” You simply have to believe – because no matter who you are, you can call on the name of the Lord and be saved.
Prayer: Oh God, what an amazing memory of that day I put my faith in your son Jesus. I praise you for the gift of your son, for allowing me to be saved through his death and resurrection. I pray you’ll continue to fill me with faith and allow me to walk humbly as a follower of Jesus.