Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saved by the Book

By David A. Sargent

     Rickey Wagoner, a driver for the Greater Dayton [Ohio] Regional Transit Authority, said he stopped his bus to check a mechanical problem around 5 a.m. Monday (2/24/14) when three men approached him.  A struggle ensued.  Wagoner was shot three times – two times in the chest and once in his leg – and stabbed in the arm.  He was able to wrestle the gun away from his attackers, and they fled.
     Wagoner called 911 reporting the incident and the injuries he sustained.  He was taken to the hospital and released the following day!  How could he recover so quickly – especially since he had been shot twice in the chest?
     The two bullets fired at his chest had been slowed by a book of paraphrased Bible verses that he was carrying in his shirt pocket.  Wagoner said in his 911 call that he felt two shots to his chest and that he felt like he’d “been hit with a sledgehammer.”  Police later reported that two small-caliber bullets hit the booklet called "The Message," which has Bible verses in contemporary language, and were found lodged inside the book.
     That Bible book saved his life!  The Bible can save OUR lives, too!
     Observe James 1:21-25:  “21Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.  22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
     Our sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2) and is FATAL (Matthew 7:13-14).  But “the Book” (the Bible) informs us that God loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16; 1 Peter 2:24).  Through Jesus, we can enjoy the forgiveness of our sins and receive the gift of eternal life (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 6:23).
     In order to accept His offer of salvation, we must “plant” the Word by receiving and believing the message that Jesus, the Son of God, died for our sins.  We must place our faith and trust in Him and His perfect sacrifice (Acts 16:30-31).  We must “put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness” through our repentance (Acts 17:30-31).  Then, confessing our faith in Jesus (Romans 10:9-10), we must be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).  Then, as we continue to walk in the light of His Word, the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
     Receive it, believe it, and obey it and you will be “saved by the Book” – for the Book tells us about Jesus who “took the bullet” for our sins and died in our place so that we might have forgiveness and receive the gift of eternal life.
     Won’t YOU implant the Word in your heart and be saved by Christ through your trusting obedience?

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

* Information gleaned from CBSnews.com



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