by Pastor Tim Burt
Rev. 12:11 “They overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony”
Although I was brought up in a religious home, I had never in my 24 years of life, opened a Bible. But then one day I did and my entire world changed.
I was 24 years old and a flight attendant for a major airline. I was working a flight from Hawaii to San Francisco when I met this very unique and special person - a married, very kind flight attendant. I met new flight attendants most every time I worked a flight, but Sharon was special. She was interesting to talk to and had one of the most fun personalities of any person I had ever flown with. I was attracted to her but not in the romantic sense. She was sweet, bubbly, fun, intelligent, confident – truly a unique individual. I found myself wanting to engage in conversation with her.
The crew we were working with was continuing on to Minneapolis. Sharon and I had scheduled layovers in San Francisco that night. In a transportation van taking us to the hotel, she had encouraged me to watch this special television show that was going to be on. It was a Billy Graham special. I had heard his name before but didn't know who he was or what the show would be about.
When I had got to my hotel room, I forgot the name of the show she told me to watch so I called her room to ask her again. When I had her on the phone I found myself asking her a question. "Sharon, you are one of the most joyful people I have ever met. What makes you so happy?" Before she answered, she asked me a question. She said, "Tim, do you believe in God?" I told her I did. She asked me what I believed. I proceeded to give her the biggest bunch of mumbo jumbo baloney that you've ever heard in your life. I shared all my religious philosophy with her for 45 minutes. I'm surprised she didn't hang up or throw up. Instead she patiently listened to what I said.
I then asked her what she believed. She asked me to go to the night stand next to my bed and inside the drawer; I’d find a Gideon Bible. As I pulled it out, she said she’d pull out the one in her night stand. She told me to turn to a book, chapter, and verse. I didn’t know what she was talking about as I had never cracked a Bible in my life. The Bibles were the same so she directed me by page number, told me how to find chapters and verses and proceeded to help me turn from verse to verse. She had me read the verses out loud and then explained what they meant. I felt like I was on fire as the words seemed to come alive and speak to me. She expounded on verses about God’s love, about sin and how God would forgive me of all my sins through Jesus Christ.
When she was done talking, somehow inside I knew I had been deceiving myself with all my philosophies and religious bunk. I knew I had just heard the truth. I knew that I didn’t really know anything about God but that she did. I knew that she knew the truth and very much belonged to God.
She asked me if I wanted to go to Heaven. I responded “Of course. Who doesn’t want to go to Heaven? But what could I do? I know I was on my way to Hell. I hadn’t been living the way I should?” She asked me if I would like to become "saved" and give my life to Christ. I didn't know what that meant but again she patiently explained. Together over our hotel room telephones, she led me in a prayer and I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior and forgive me of all my sins. From that moment, something within me had changed. I didn’t mention this earlier, but I smoked a lot of pot back then. I was higher than a kite when I called her. The moment I had prayed that prayer, I was immediately sober. I knew something had changed. With the hotel stationary, I wrote her a note thanking her for spending the time helping me with my questions and praying with me. I told her I felt different but couldn’t find the words to explain how. I didn’t know what was happening to me.
There are countless stories of what happened from there, but let me sum it up by saying, that my life completely changed. I didn’t get “religion.” I began to experience a real and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and my life completely and utterly changed. Every desire I ever had for life came to pass as I read and learned my Bible, discovered how God wanted me to live, and began to live my life for Him. For those reasons, this was the greatest day of my life. And the journey continues…
2 Cor. 5:17-21 (NLT) ‘What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. We are Christ's ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, "Be reconciled to God!" For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
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In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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