Read: Romans 10:5–21

Because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

Many of us grew up believing that these were the magic words of the Christian faith. Confess Jesus as Lord and believe God raised him from the dead, and all will be well—for eternity. Upon that simple statement hung eternal consequences. It answers the questions, “Who is your Lord?” and, “What do you believe?” As a first-century Jew, Paul knew that there were actual lords and kings and even an emperor in Rome who demanded devotion. Also, Paul’s concept of salvation was not just otherworldly but had concrete application in this world. How is one saved from anxiety? How is one saved from despair? How is one saved from hurtful sins and bad choices?

For Paul, the answer was following Jesus and trusting in God. Those might be the keys to heaven, but they can also unlock a profound sense of joy and peace on earth. Follow Jesus and trust God. That was Paul’s solution. Orient your life in the most meaningful and hopeful direction, and your life will come together in ways that are both rich and rewarding. Christian faith is not about saying magic words in just the right way—it is about turning your life in the right direction and trusting that God will make sure life and death, and life after death, work out just as they should.

Whom do you follow and trust?

Lord, I want to know the magic words that will make life come together for me in ways that I have yet to experience. I want to live with a deep sense of peace in my heart, free from the nagging little worries of this life, and the great uncertainties of the death and life that is to come. I do not know the way. I do not know what to believe. And the more I think about it all, the more unraveled I become. Why dont I just leave the worrying to You and focus on the life You have given me? I pray this in the name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. AMEN.