Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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The Joy of Being in the Saving Business!

Meditation for the week of February 6, 2011

Acts 16:30-31 And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"  So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."

Recently, I came out of our house and saw a car stuck in the snow bank on a curve near our garage.  In other years, we have seen cars end up there.  So far none of them have ended up in the garages or houses near that particular icy spot.  Now  normally, that curve would not be a problem.  But when the road is slick. if a person  violates the ten mile per hour speed limit it is possible to end up stuck.

Being the “Good Samaritan” that I am, I went over and tried to help push the car out.  A young women had been driving.  She was late picking up a daughter from a relative who was caring for her.  I could not budge the car.  So I got a little sand and put it under the wheels, and I pushed while she spun the wheels with no luck.  So I got an ice hoe and started freeing up the snow around the tire and bumper that seemed to be the problem.  While she used my cell phone to call her relative to tell her she might be late, I got in her car and rocked it out.  I heard her yell over the phone, “Oh he’s got it out!”  Then she thanked me over and over again for being her knight in shining armor and “saving” her.  Normally, I am the one with a problem that needs fixing, and I have to rely on others to “save” me.  This time I got to do the saving and it felt good.

The Lord has made it clear that we are to help one another.  We are to love one another as God gave us commandment (1 John 3:23).  But often we are like the ruler in Luke 13 who says, “Who is my neighbor (Luke 10:29)?”  The Jews would have normally considered other Jews neighbors, but not Samaritans or other non-Jews that they called dogs.  Christians know that they are to help other Christians, but what about unbelievers?  What about other ethnic groups?  What about drug addicts, the homeless, and the openly gay community?  Sometimes we seem to fear that by helping them we will only enable the poor to stay poor and the immoral to continue living in immorality.  Our instructions are clear however.  We are told, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10).”  Doing good to all is the way we show our love,  It does not suggest that we approve the actions that caused the problems.  I helped the young lady get her car out, but I also suggested that maybe she ought to slow up.

In Genesis 4, Cain tried to dismiss the fact that he had killed his brother by pleading ignorance about where Abel was and by asking the Lord if he was his brother’s keeper (Genesis 4:9).  Yes, we are supposed to be our brother’s keeper.  We do have a responsibility for those who are less fortunate that we are.  If we do our “saving’ the way the Lord does His, we will do it because we want to show favor that is not deserved even if that enables the person to continue in a destructive lifestyle.  We can pray for them, we can counsel them; and where there is a church problem with sin, we can discipline them.  But ultimately, we are our brother’s keeper;  and we must help them with their practical needs.  We also need to help them spiritually.

I have “saved” other people that needed practical help and it felt good.  I want to have more opportunities to do that and I hope I am not too blind or busy to take advantage of those opportunities.  But I have also been the instrument that the Lord has used to “save” people from the penalty and power of their sin.  That feels even better.  Paul and Silas must have been ecstatic when they realized that the Lord had called them from Turkey to Greece to see a man who was guarding them in jail saved.

It felt good to be able to “save” this gal who slid into the snow bank.  I wonder how it makes the Lord feel when He realizes that He has been the means of seeing another person delivered from the penalty and power of sin?  I know there is joy in heaven when sinners repent  (Luke 15:7, 10).  I may never be Roy Rogers or Superman, and I may never really be a knight in shining armor.  However, I can dream can’t I?  This saving business is the best business there is, particularly when people are saved eternally.

Bruce Collins

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