Firemen and police officers are individuals who run into harm's way. They have been trained and equipped with the tools to do their job. They have slogans like "overcome, adapt, and improvise" and "protect and serve."
As believers, God has equipped us with the tools and the training to obey His commandments. God created us and sustains our very breath. He gave us the Word so that we can know His character and understand Him better. This is a great gift that we so easily overlook. To quote Trip Lee, "praise The Lord that He chose to reveal Himself."
God not only gave us the living and breathing Word that reaches the very fiber of our being (Hebrews 4:12) but God also sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us ( 2 Tim 1:14) and be our Helper (John 16:7). The Bible tells us that we have been made new, a whole new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), with a new mind and a new heart. The idea of God giving His people a new heart is a theme you can see throughout the Bible in how God relates with His people (Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Corinthians 3:3). With the help of the Holy Spirit we are to renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2) so that we can see God's perfect will.
So we have the tools and we are constantly receiving the training, but what is our slogan? Does God give us a motto to live by? In Luke 10:27
, Jesus Christ commands us to LOVE God with our everything and to LOVE others as we love ourselves. Christ is quoting the very words that God spoke to Israel in Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18
. This is not a new teaching; this is God's original plan. He created us for His glory (1 Peter 4:11
). The best way to give God the loudest praise is not to practice singing as loud as you can alone, but to gather as many other people as you can and bring them to the worship circle.
This brings us to the part where we have to act. Our neighbors and friends and coworkers and the person in line with us at QuikTrip, they are in horrible danger. They are running headlong into the wrath of God and we have been given the tools and the training to bring to them salvation. We don't do this by throwing the Bible in their face, but by showing them selfless love. As it is often said, "no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."
I am going to let you in on a little truth about me: I am a car fanatic. I like the old ones more than the new ones, but I just really like cars. I have this tendency to buy ones that don't run and then waste more money than it's worth to get them to run again. In this process, I have changed countless bad tires. This has given me a heart for the people stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire.So despite the obvious dangers, I try to stop and help people change their tire as often as I can. I keep jumper cables, an electric air pump, some tools and even a floor jack in my car for just such an event.
Christ went to the poor and the broken and the needy. All of us are in need of Christ's love. So when I stop to help someone change a flat tire, I don't have to tell them they have a problem and that they could use some help. When I change the tire with the tools I have been given, I don't have to tell them that I care about them. Most of the time they ask why I would stop what I was doing to help them, a complete stranger, and put myself in harm's way. Then I get the opportunity to tell them that Jesus came to my rescue when I was His enemy. He came down from all glory and honor in Heaven to deal with hunger and pain so that in the end He could die on the cross-- for me and you and them. Christ offered up Himself as a servant because He loves us more than His comfort.
So when you see your neighbor's trashcan laying in the road or their dog running loose, show them some love. It makes a powerful statement. Seek out the needs of others so that you can be a light of God's love in their lives. They are in peril and don't have the Holy Spirit to show them the danger. Improvise and Adapt. Protect and Serve.
I pray that God will break our hearts for the things that break His.
"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. 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