Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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JUST THINKING: It’s Real

I was just thinking about a conversation I had in 1970 with Rod Little, a soldier I was stationed with in South Korea. We talked about various subjects from time to time, but that day our conversation turned to the death of Christ. He said something that still reverberates in my memory. He said, “I wish I could believe that was real.” I assured him that the death and resurrection were certainly real. I wanted to carry that talk farther, but Rod was called to handle a situation, disrupting that possibility.

Remembering a Song

During my teen years in Ashdown, my pastor was Paul Bearfield. Bro. Paul was one of the three men who most impacted my life. He was an excellent preacher and pastor, but he was also a very good singer. One of the songs he often sang is the one I remembered after my talk with my soldier friend. That song is titled “It’s Real.” I recalled a few of the lyrics, but not all. So, I wrote to my mom, knowing she had a book that included the song. In a week I received her letter with the lyrics to “It’s Real.”

That was What I Needed

I couldn’t get that soldier’s comment out of my mind and as I read the lyrics, I was preparing to talk with him again. The first verse says:

“O how well do I remember how I doubted day by day, for I did not know for certain that my sins were washed away. When the Spirit tried to tell me, I would not the truth receive. I endeavored to be happy and make myself believe.”

Each of us know People Like Rod

Through the years, I have thought about Rod Little and have wondered where he was 52 years later. So many of you can identify with this scenario. You have talked with those who heard about Jesus’ death on the cross — but did not believe it’s real.

Rod began to attend my weekly Bible study at the post chapel at Camp Page. He was always attentive, but very quiet. I thought he could surely identify with that song! Another verse says:

“But at last, I tired of living such a life of fear and doubt. For I wanted God to give me something I would know about. So the truth would make me happy, and the light would clearly shine, and the Spirit gave assurance that I’m His and He is mine.”

As much as I wanted to convince Rod that he needed to be saved, I couldn’t. His upbringing had not been like mine. He had not been raised under Bible teaching and preaching. To him, it just wasn’t real.

The Bible Study Effect

As I was teaching from Romans 10 one evening, the way to ask for salvation was crystal clear and Rod was tuned in as never before! Another verse says:

“So, I prayed to God in earnest, and not caring what folks said, I was hungry for the blessing; my poor soul it must be fed; when at last by faith I touched Him, and like sparks from smitten steel, just so quick salvation reached me; O bless God I know it’s real!”

That evening Rod came to my room in the barracks and said he wanted to trust Jesus. He said, “Tonight I finally got it — I know it’s real!”

I enjoyed fellowship with Rod for a few months before he returned back to the States. But in the past 52 years, I’ve not communicated with him. But one day… I’ll fellowship with him in the presence of our Lord! The refrain:

“But it’s real, it’s real, O I know it’s real! Praise God the doubts are settled, for I know, I know it’s real!”

This Easter Celebrate — Because It’s Real!

Karen and I wish each of you a wonderful time of praise as you gather with your church family on Easter. The empty tomb cries out and, praise God, the doubts are settled because of the resurrection of the crucified Savior. My friends, it’s real!

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