Friday, May 17, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: New Faith


In The Beginning
A devotional by Victoria Bylin


“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” –1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

May is a big month for my family. We celebrate Mother’s Day, three family birthdays, plus my husband and I mark our wedding anniversary. That day always takes me back to the beginning of our faith walk, especially to a particular night at my parents’ front door.

Mike and I weren’t Christians when we started going out, though people were praying for us. We were just friends, and my then-boyfriend was out of the country. Mike, figuring I was bored, graciously (ha-ha!) asked if I wanted to see the new Star Trek movie. I said, “Sure. Why Not?”

Before we knew it, we were enjoying each other’s company far more than we expected. We went to more movies, grabbed a few dinners, and then that night happened. Mike knocked on my parents’ front door and said, “Vicki, I have to tell you something.”

“I have to tell you something too.” 


In unison we said, “I’ve been reading the Bible.”

Mike would tell you he experienced utter joy the moment he accepted Christ. The sun literally burst through gray clouds. Me? Not so much. Becoming a Christian wasn’t all sweetness and light. In fact, it was a tough, bitter decision, because I knew my life would change. But my parents were praying for me, and I finally cracked. “Okay, God,” I said in the dark. “If you’re real, I want to know You.”

In the Bible, the Greek word “dunamis” means power, strength, or ability. It’s used about 120 times in the New Testament and is the root for our word “dynamite.” With that prayer to know if God was real, I lit the fuse and—just like I thought—everything in my life changed, or more accurately, it exploded.

The decision to pray that first prayer took me down a road every bit as intellectually challenging as my time at UC Berkeley. The Bible came alive for me in a personal way, but faith needs to be grounded on more than emotion. One more question demanded an answer: Did Jesus Christ really rise from the dead?

The pastor of our church at the time approached the question as a skeptic determined to disprove the resurrection. During a series on Easter, he went down the list of possible explanations. Not one of them held up under logical scrutiny. The last theory—that the disciples stole Christ’s body to protect their lies—didn’t work any better than the others. The apostles all martyred, except John who was exiled, and they died horrible deaths. Who would do that for a lie, especially a lie that wouldn't pay off?

The argument that the resurrection didn't happen, because it couldn't happen, is circular reasoning. If we take a step back and ask, "What if it’s true?” all sorts of possibilities open up—but we're not done yet. I'm not advocating blind acceptance. We need historical verification and archaeological evidence—and it's there. How many times have you heard a news story about a fresh discovery that confirms Biblical history? The more we dig in the ground, the more truth we unearth.

Many years have passed since that night at my parents’ front door. Mike and I have lived in three states, owned or rented nine homes, and raised a family that’s grown into the next generation. We’ve had careers that have astounded us, survived heartache, and rejoiced at the small pleasure of birds nesting in our backyard.

We’ve lived through a lot of change, but one thing is certain: Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is on solid ground.

~*~
Author Bio:
Victoria Bylin is the author of 18 traditionally published romances. Known for tackling difficult subjects with great compassion, she delights in stories that shine the spotlight of God’s love on ordinary men and women facing realistic challenges.

Writing has always been a part of Victoria’s life. As a child, she wrote hundreds of letters and scribbled in journals. As an adult, she worked as a freelance journalist and editor before taking on the challenge of fiction.

She had one goal when she started her first novel: to finish a book-length manuscript, good or bad. That first effort will never see the light of day, but it led to a second manuscript and a sale to Harlequin Historical. Since then, she has written westerns and contemporary romances for both mainstream and Christian publishers, with Together With You winning the 2016 Inspirational Readers Choice Award for Best Contemporary.

Writing is a joy and a challenge for Victoria, but faith, friends and family matter to her far more. She’s a wife, mom, proud grandmother, and a dog-mom to a wacky Jack Russell Terrier. Originally from California, she and her husband currently make their home in Lexington, Kentucky. 

When she’s not writing, Victoria enjoys long walks, travel, and dark chocolate.

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Connect with Victoria:
Website: https://www.victoriabylin.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Victoria.Bylin.Author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VictoriaBylin
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/victoria-bylin
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/568102.Victoria_Bylin

2 comments:

  1. Hello Tracey! There's nothing quite like looking back at those first steps toward faith. It was all so big . . . and so new. If God had pulled back and curtain and said, "This is the next 40 years," I would have passed out from shock at how good He's been to us. Hugs!

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