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Archive for the month “March, 2016”

What Does It Mean To Be Saved?

The song that we sing quite often in church goes like this…

What does it mean to be saved?
Is it more than just a prayer to pray?
More than just a way to heaven?
What does it mean to be his?
To be formed in his likeness
Know that we have a purpose

To be the salt and light in the world
To be the salt and light in the world

Chorus:
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so
Say so

This song asks some questions that makes me reflect after the recent trial that I went through.  The very fact that I am in this particular church singing that song is a miracle in itself.  Just before Christmas I got a real health scare.  I had discovered that there was blood where there wasn’t supposed to be blood.  Instead of seeing a doctor right off of the bat I tried home remedies.  I increased my water intake drastically.  Finally when that didn’t work I reluctantly went to a doctor.  I was expecting some kind of antibiotic and I did get that, but with a warning that he was pretty sure that wasn’t the problem.  When I pressed him on what the problem might be he mentioned cancer.  I was recommended to a specialist and put through two different scans. The medical procedures were spaced out in such a way that I had a lot of time to think.

Before the first scan I really felt the need to be prayed for.  Being able to call on my twitter friends helped but I also wanted some hands on prayer.  We have been between churches for a few years now and I didn’t have any group to call.  So I did the desperate act of calling churches.  It was a Saturday and the churches that I called were not answering their phone.  Finally I called one that seemed like a smaller congregation.  The phone started ringing and I said a silent prayer..”Lord, if this is the church that you want to pray for me please have them answer the phone.”

When Jeremy answered the phone saying hello, I thought that I possibly had dialed the wrong number.  I asked if this was the Four Square Church and he said it was.  I told him that I needed prayer and asked if his church would pray for me?  I also asked if they believed in miracles and what their general beliefs were?  He mentioned that they would be happy to pray for me and indeed he did believe in miracles and in fact he had miracles happen in his own life.  They didn’t have a church building I was told.  They were meeting at an elementary school.  The next morning we went to the church, which took place in the elementary schools cafeteria.  Jeremy told me that he would be the one with long dark hair.

Image result for jeremy morris singer photo

The next morning we arrived early for the 11 am service and there was Jeremy greeting us at the door.  When Jeremy mentioned his long hair on the phone I didn’t expect it to be so long.  His church was not the traditional church that I was accustomed to.  Yet as he talked to us I could feel that his spirit was very sweet and his compassion was right there.  He talked to us as a long lost friend and not the strangers that we were.  He mentioned that we would pray after the service.  The church number wasn’t big by any means, but I felt the spirit there as the singing began.  Jeremy is a musician who has recorded numerous CD’s and there was a wide variety of ages in his congregation but mostly young people 30 and under.  What was impressive was the number of young people that were helping with the music.  Jeremy led with his lead guitar and vocals but there was a piano player and many other guitars.  His father also chimed in with his horn in the back.

Jeremy has a style of sharing his messages quietly but hitting home.  His goal is not to condemn as much as it is to show the way.  He talked about the sower and the seeds that morning and things that keep us from growing spiritually.  After the service he called some of the church including his mother and father to pray for me.  After the prayer he told me what he felt in his heart.  He felt that everything was going to be alright and he quoted a scripture in Psalms 91:16 which states that “With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”  I think it was the following week I told Jeremy after the service that I was healed!  As each week followed and through my medical tests I found comfort and fellowship with this new group of believers.

The morning I went for the scan something ironic happened.  Many times on my website I’ll look at the number of views.  I’ve found that the Lord speaks to me by those numbers whether it be the words in a story or the number of total views.  When I checked the number before we left it was sitting at 39.  The Bible specifically reads that by his stripes we are healed.  39 times he was flogged with a whip.  It was another sign to me that everything would be alright and I was feeling the peace of the Holy Spirit telling me the same.

Between Christmas and New years I had the first scan.  The actual scan was easy but the questions that I was asked were kind of scary.  Especially the one that went “Have you ever had cancer before?”  It left no doubt in my mind what they were looking for.  Patiently I waited for results.  The Universities Health Center was closed until after the new year and I didn’t get an answer until that first day.  A doctor filling in for the original doctor called on my lunch hour.  He was very positive when I talked to him.  Right away he said that my scan looked clean.  I debated whether I should go to the specialist they had set an appointment with and he thought I should.  With their equipment they could make sure nothing weird was going on.

I know it is obvious but it’s different when something is happening to you.  It’s easy to pray for someone else but when it is you there is a sense of urgency.  Also I found that I did think about life here without me.  I have always dreaded getting old and medical procedures.  However, I found that backbone that said I would be willing to go through whatever it took to be well.  I also decided that whatever happened I would give God the glory for it was for my good.

The specialist was the next person I had to see two or three weeks later.  These appointments have to be in their schedule so there is plenty of time to think and doubt.  Because of the scan results I was pretty positive everything was OK.  Yet in meeting with the specialist doubt came into play.  The original scan was somewhat discounted because it was done without dye.  The dye actually illuminates any problem that might be there.  The tests with the specialist seemed normal but the next scan and blood work would tell the story.   Once again more waiting and more time.  The day after the dye scan the specialist called.  I wasn’t expecting any results until the next week as we had an appointment scheduled.  The specialist reported that nothing was found and my blood was perfectly normal.  Two months of fearing for the worst was now over.

I met with a young student friend who has a passion for writing.  He liked my writing and wanted to have lunch sometime.  Before this entire ordeal we met and had a good talk.  I saw him right after I was given the good news and he wanted to have lunch again.  I shared this whole story with him in greater details and invited him to visit our church!  He couldn’t that week but promised he would make it the following Sunday.  When that Sunday came I was surprised that when I walked in the door there he was!  Jeremy had a good message that he shared with us and afterwards I introduced my young student friend to him.  I left Jeremy alone with him as they were getting to know each other.  The next day I got an email from Jeremy saying that my young friend had given his heart to Jesus by praying the prayer of salvation.  I thought about this unusual scenario about a young man coming to the Lord and the circumstances that made it happen.  If I didn’t have medical issues I never would have called Jeremy to pray for me.  I never would have been in such great fellowship with the church and it’s people.  I never would have invited my young friend to church.  He wouldn’t have met Jeremy and prayed the prayer of salvation.  Romans 8:28 states that all things work together for the good for those who love him, and are called for his purpose.

So, what does it mean to be saved?  Is it more than just a prayer to pray and more than just a way to heaven?  After my journey the last two months I believe that Heaven is a happy byproduct of our faith, but being saved means so much more.  It means following a path where we walk by faith.  It’s a path that if we hold on to his hand God will lead us where we need to go.  That path is not always comfortable and not always painless but like he states “All things work for our good!”  If I knew beforehand that I would have to go through trials but out of it would come finding  fellowship with believers to worship with and a friend getting saved I would have made that trade off!  The song states “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!”  Sometimes we say so in words but more often than not we say so in our actions.  We say so in our walk of faith when we don’t know where he is leading but we follow anyway.

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