Lost and Adrift

Man Lost at Sea

After floating adrift at sea for 16 long hours, Glenn Ey of Queensland, Australia, was spotted by an eagle-eyed first officer aboard a low-flying passenger jet.

The Australian yachtsman first got into trouble when he became stranded about 300 miles off the coast of Sydney. Hours later, as the search for the missing sailor started, Australian search and rescue officials radioed international airline pilots flying into Sydney and asked them to assist with the search.

That’s why the crew of an Air Canada 777 dropped to 5,000 feet to look for the missing man—and just as the jumbo jet banked hard to the right to continue on to Sydney, the plane’s co-pilot saw the lost yacht. Not long after he radioed in the location, the search and rescue team was able to rescue the lost seaman.

Similarly, the spiritual “safety” and eternal destiny of pre-Christians—unsaved or lost people—is at stake everywhere around the world. The Bible says it’s our responsibility to go and do whatever we can to find and help rescue lost people from an eternity separated from God.

Are you looking for lost people? When you find them, do you radio for the Holy Spirit’s help—and join in a “spiritual search and rescue” by reaching out and sharing the gospel with them?

God commissioned us to stay on alert, prepared and ready to toss a life-line of hope to others. He called us to look for people who’re adrift and lost in a sea of sin—and then help rescue them by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, our only Savior.

Luke says of the first-century disciples in Jerusalem, “They never stopped proclaiming the good news …” (Acts 5:42). If Luke observed how you reach out and talk with people around you, could he write the same report about you?

The Bible says, “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:  Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season … keep you head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist.” (2 Timothy 4:1-2,5).

Paul charges young Timothy—and every believer—to go and find lost people. Why? Simply put, we’re found; and they’re lost—and need to be rescued. It’s a life and death situation.

Our Savior is coming back soon to “rapture” (catch up) his Church from Planet Earth forever. Time is running out—and anyone who hasn’t come to faith in Jesus will be left behind.

That’s why we must look for lost people and help rescue them before it’s too late. That’s why we must keep our hearts soft and our eyes peeled for lost people.

Know this:  if we stop caring about the people around us, and if we shirk our responsibility to share the good news of Jesus with others, they don’t stand a chance. They may be lost forever.

Will you be a life-long member of God’s “spiritual search and rescue” team?

 

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Out of the Ruckus

Buck large

A large, intimidating intruder weighing 300 pounds broke into a home in Northeast Philadelphia, and left behind a trail of broken glass and blood, as he ransacked the entire house.

Fortunately, nobody was home at the time of the break-in, and an alert neighbor who heard the sounds of breaking glass called the police and reported the commotion.

When the officers arrived and entered the house, they saw signs of a ruckus, and found the floor covered with glass and blood. Right away, they were confronted by the intruder—a huge deer that had knocked down a fence and broken a window to get inside the house.

The surprised policemen coaxed and cornered the deer, but he refused to leave the house. Unable to get the animal out of the house, they radioed for help from local wildlife officials.

I wonder what situations and emotions prompt you to radio for back-up and call out for help. Fear. Pain. Stress. Frustration. Anxiety. Finances. Pressure. Sickness. Conflict. Problems.

I also wonder whom or perhaps what you turn to for help. Your spouse. Parent. Brother. Sister. Friend. Teacher. Coach. Alcohol. Drugs. Or God.

Why is it that we often exhaust every other possibility before we cry out to God for help?

A young shepherd-boy turned savvy warrior-king discovered his great need to ask God for help and strength—every day. Often, David was pursued, surrounded and attacked. He was criticized, misunderstood and hurt. He lived like a fugitive on the run.

That’s how David came to grips with his weakness—and learned to call out to God for strength.

He wrote, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and mountains fall into the heart of the sea, thought its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake” (Psalm 46:1-3).

David got clobbered by ornery people and problems. But he kept a right perspective on those challenges by choosing to focus more on the omnipotence and omnipresence of God. He believed God is all-powerful and everywhere present at once. That truth encouraged him.

In the same way, we can trust and enjoy God’s constant presence and protection, knowing he never changes. He remains the same—today, tomorrow and forever. He surrounds and supports us. All day long. All night long. That truth encourages us, too.

No matter what kind of ruckus comes our way, we can trust God and talk with him about it, knowing and believing he’s always there to strengthen, support and save us.

So then, let’s trust and call out to our awesome and almighty God with unshakeable confidence, just like David who prayed:  “Come near and rescue me …” (Psalm 69:18).

I believe God will hear and help us—every time.