Titus 3:5-6 (NIV)
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.
I really didn’t want to sit next to him. I could tell that he was the chatty type by the way he interacted with other travelers in the airport. I had a rather unrestful trip so far and I really just wanted to relax and get into the book that I brought on the trip and still hadn’t had a chance to begin.
As I made my way down the aisle the flight attendant motioned me to my seat; the open seat right next to chatty Charley. I sat down and placed my Bible and my book in the seat pocket in front of me and waited for the plane to ease back from the gate.
Immediately he inquired if that was a Bible I had just tucked away. I knew I had to respond in love; not just to the question but to the opportunity to share with him my faith in Jesus Christ.
I said a quick prayer asking God to change my heart and help me in the conversation I knew I couldn’t avoid. As it turns out my friend was experiencing some angst over his own faith trying to assure me of his place in heaven because of his good works. I felt a sadness knowing that so many people feel the same thinking that some good work, some church affiliation will somehow earn them favor with God. I quickly showed my friend today’s verse which tells us that it’s not by our own works that we are saved but by our faith in Jesus’ work on the cross.
At the end of the flight my friend hadn’t changed his mind but I knew he would think about the things we talked about.