When I graduated High School, I did the thing every 18 year old does. Ponder his years that are now stretching like the sky before him. In those early years I considered a carreer in the Coast Guard. I wanted to serve my country, I could swim, and I thought it would be pretty neat to lay down some law on thugs! Like pork is the neglected white meat, so the Coast Guard is one of the government forces not talked about much. Their bigger brother the Marines or his twin, the Army usually get all the attention, but I respect the Coast Guard so much! Daily they bring in and prevent an average of 110 pounds of drugs every day (I think the stat is) from crossing our borders.
The ipitome of the coast guard is their Search and Rescue teams that go by plane or helicopter and rescue people in dire and often quite dangerous situations. Did you tip your sailboat while stuck in a deep sea storm? Who you gonna call? The coast guard!! Your ship starting to take on water hundreds of miles off the coast of the Keys, who you gonna call? Held at gun point by modern-day pirates, who you gonna call? JIMMY JOHNS!!! (it’s a Chicago commercial where people who are….never mind….if you don’t get it, you don’t get it, I’m sorry).
My favorite act of the Coast Guard is when people are picked up by helicopter. You know the drill, the rescuer gets let down by cable with a rescue vest, and as the helicopter hovers over the water, the poor guy who hasn’t eaten in days gets picked up and hoisted into saving safety!!
My question to you is this. How do those rescuers get so confident in what they do, that they do it day in and day out? I would argue it is because:
1) They know their gear inside and out.
2) They know what their limits are, and know when to back out.
3) They know they put themselves in harm’s way, but rely on their training.
Let me make an analogy, and pose a question. When it comes to evangelism, why are so many of us timid, scared, and flat out reluctant to share the gospel of Christ? It’s a legitimate question right? Why are we timid about sharing the VERY bit of information about the cross of Christ, that could save them.
That rescuer, who lowers himself down to the flailing sailor, is absolutely confident because he knows that cable that has been tested for 1,000 lbs. can beyond a doubt hold him, 180 lbs, plus 820 more lbs. He has trust in the cable letting him down, therefore he does not doubt. At times the circumstances doesn’t allow him to. With winds sometimes making the maneuver unsafe itself, and elements in such a condition that the rescuer himself is in sure danger of dying himself, but he is driven by one thing. His purpose!! TO RESCUE!!
You know where I’m going. For you believers in Jesus Christ, there are many all around you who need salvation, who are sinking, who need someone to reach out with the hand of salvation. But we get timid. Perhaps were not sure were totally saved ourselves, perhaps were not sure that the rescuee doesn’t feel like they need to be saved, perhaps we think they couldn’t be saved, or perhaps we feel like we don’t have what it takes to save.
Perhaps a good question to ask yourself at this point is, how do I know I’m saved, and how can I spend this next year memorizing and digesting verses that assure me of my place with God. The evil one has a way of throwing mud on your windshield, and you may cry out, “Oh no, am I even on the right track!?” Just clean the mud off, and push down the gas pedal.
Brothers and sisters;
1) Get to know your gear inside and out. Know your Bible, know what God has to say about you. He’s crazy about you! He wants to surround your life with such bullet proof assurance!
2) You know your limits. Guess what, as God as your Father, YOU HAVE NO LIMITS!! The God who created this universe, who crafted your soul, who has prepared a place for you when you die, has…your…back!!
3) We know we put ourselves in harms way when we share the gospel, but we know the truth. Jesus said “I’m sending you out as sheep among wolves.” The world does not want to hear the message at times, but they don’t know what they’re saying when they reject Christ, and the rescue must continue.
Eternity in hell is too great a risk, to spend our years on earth mumbling, hoping, theorizing, hovering above those who are sinking and NOT ACT!! Do whatever it takes to save some!