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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Monday, September 12, 2005

OT: "We Did Not Know This."

Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to slaughter. If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? Proverbs 24:11-12 Back when I was a student minister, these verses were the core for our evangelism efforts, of which we called the Rescue Shop. Coupled with C.T. Studd's quote, "Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell, but I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell", these verses staggered me and would not let me go. These verses have grabbed me once again as I see the rescue going on in the Gulf Coast. I see the reality of rescue in a vivid and profound sense when I see the faces of emergency workers, firemen, medical assistants, and the military. Last week, I heard the Department of Health and Human Services secretary comment that they were having to pry these people off the streets to make them go home, to eat, to sleep. They were so dedicated to the rescue, so understanding of the urgency and importance of their task, so relentless and selfless in their work that they were risking their own lives in attempt to save others. It could be said that there were others who have reasons why their are not involved in rescue. One of the chief excuses heard is, "Well, we just did not know . . .". Given the amount of media coverage and first-hand accounts, this excuse does not carry weight. We all know and are all accountable to what degree we respond to what we know. But let me take this to another reality . . . Although we do not see our co-workers, classmates, and friends swimming in a cesspool of sin, they are. They need rescue, for they are "being taken away to death". Though we do not see their sin and condemnation, we know that it is true. We know that the god of this world has blinded them that they cannot see Jesus. We know that if they are to die in their sins, that they would spend eternity in a Christless hell in eternal punishment for their rebellion against God. If in heaven we are asked the question, "Why did you not rescue those who were being taken away to death? Why did you not hold back those stumbling towards slaughter?" The answer and excuse I tremble to think might be, "Lord, we did not know this." Yet just as this excuse does not carry for us in regards to the Gulf Coast, this excuse does not carry weight for us in regards to sinners who need a Savior. The evidence is all around us, and though we do not have 24/7 press coverage of the disaster, every time we pick up our Bible and rub shoulders with humanity, we are given to the fact that the world needs Jesus. They need rescue. They need people who respond to what they know with the same sense of urgency, fervency, priority, and sacrifice. Jesus says something along these lines, though it may not deal specifically with rescue. He says that there were many who fed him when he was hungry, who clothed him when he was naked, who visited him when he was in prison, who gave him something to drink when he was thirsty, who visited him when he was sick. And there others who said basically, "Jesus, we did not know this!" To this comment Jesus replied, "What you have done to least of these, you have done unto Me." It is my prayer that I will not miss the opportunities for rescue - not necessarily the big show rescues that get press coverage or front-page news, but the little boy or girl that needs a cup of water, the lonely man on the bench at the street corner, or the co-worker across the belt. If I don't feel the reality of rescue upon my soul for their salvation, then no excuse will suffice - especially not, "I did not know this."


Blogger Jimmy said...

Wow. Too painfully true, Timmy.

Thank you.

9/12/2005 03:38:00 PM


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