“That car is flying!” The words barely left my lips before the oncoming car slid onto the gravel, hit a sign and went airborne. The bus in front of us took the brunt of the flying debris. Pulling as far off the road as possible, I stopped quickly. Running toward the steaming car, I shouted to my teenage children to stay back, flag traffic and get someone to call 911. In the crashed vehicle, no one stirred; only one could be reached to check for a pulse. Waiting for the first responders, we knew lives had ended as we watched. It is a scene (and a lesson) forever engraved on my mind. There is a deep spiritual truth: While we debate theology and worthiness, souls are dying. That truth is as heart-wrenching as the wreck.
Christian–we are God’s First Responders. Will we answer the call in time?
Jesus addressed the matter of meeting life and death needs with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Then, self-righteous, religious folks crossed the street because they valued their duties more than saving a life. The despised Samaritan neither lamented what he had to give up nor fussed about the foolishness of the wounded traveler. He saw a need; he met the need—at his own expense of time and money. He didn’t demand promises for future changes nor did he “cap” the bill. He gave like God gives. Romans 11:29 tells us something we ought to know–but often forget. The gifts of God are without repentance; God doesn’t bribe us. He knows we are all unworthy–and He pours out His love anyway.
In Micah, we are admonished to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly. Seldom do we think of ourselves as unjust or prideful. And we love mercy—for ourselves. Yet when needs are presented, we walk away from the need to debates over righteousness and sin, wisdom and foolishness.
“They waste money on cigarettes (or drugs or cars … )”
“They abuse the system.”
“They ought to get married and stop having babies.”
“They. They They.”
Walking humbly, we will see the grace God has poured on us in our mistakes. We will recognize the times we have been wrong and walked on the rights of others. We will see the humility of our King—who left heaven to hang on the cross for us!
Loving mercy, we will find our hearts overflowing with thankfulness for the ways God has blessed us in our unworthiness. We will rejoice that God never gives what we deserve but reaches down where we are to give what we need.
Doing justly, we will meet the needs God allows to come into our path. We will humbly serve instead of crossing the street for a more honorable opportunity.
In Jeremiah, God says He uses cords of loving-kindness to draw wanderers to Him. Shepherds used the crook of their staff to lift up the lambs in danger. Personally, I’m tired of seeing souls die in front of me.
Won’t you join me in loving them to safety before it’s too late? Who do you need to reach out to right now?
If you happen to be a parent, visit the Lambs of the Lord site for a devotion on serving to share with the young ones.