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For more than two years a friend of mine was perplexed because he kept finding water in the middle of his basement floor. It seemed logical to him that it was coming from equipment in his basement, so he did everything he could to fix the problem – looking for leaks, checking every valve and drain. Still, every few days, he’d find the same puddle of water on the floor.
Finally my friend called the city engineer, who agreed to come and check things out. After looking around for just a few minutes he asked, “What’s that hose?” pointing to a gap between the furnace and the water heater. It was the discharge valve for the water softener. The overflow tube was in the drain, but the discharge hose was not. Every time the softener cycled, a stream of water ended up in the middle of the basement floor. My friend felt foolish that the solution was so simple, yet he was relieved at the same time.
Now, how often do we make things more difficult than they really are? Take the idea of being saved, for example. Many people believe that in order to be saved one needs to say the right prayer, study or memorize the correct scriptures, go to a good church faithfully and serve others regularly. While these are good things to do, they don’t earn us salvation.
When Paul and Silas were miraculously released from their prison chains, their prison guard realized that what had happened was an act of God. In Acts 16:30 he asked: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Their response? “Believe in the Lord Jesus.”
In other words, believe in what Jesus has already done for you. He has already saved you; he has already made you right with God. The reality of who Jesus is and what he has done calls for a response of trust, adoration, obedience and love for others.
Prayer, Bible study and church attendance are all wonderfully appropriate behaviors to have and pursue. But we receive the gift of our salvation by our belief, our faith, our trust in Jesus himself – for he himself is our salvation. It’s as profound and as simple a truth as that.