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Time and again, search and rescue teams need to be called out to look for people lost in the wilderness. This week Luis compares evangelism to a search and rescue operation. Like a rescue team, it’s important for believers to have all the proper supplies when reaching their world.
Emergencies happen on a daily basis. When one occurs in the outdoors, often a search and rescue team is called in. This could be in the ocean and require boats, in the mountains and require hiking boots, in a forest fire and require lots of water, or in a snowstorm and require shovels.
A search and rescue team needs to be willing to wade into any situation, regardless of what it may be. They usually will, because someone’s life depends on it! That is the ultimate motivation! Often these situations are uncomfortable, difficult, dangerous and maybe even painful. But the person who needs rescuing is often in worse shape than the rescuer is, so the rescuer will do anything to save them.
It should be like this with our spiritually lost friends, co-workers and neighbors.
Sometimes sharing the gospel will put us in uncomfortable situations. Some people around the world are even losing their lives to share the Good News Gospel. That is the ultimate search and rescue. The Bible says to always be ready to give an answer when you are asked about the hope that is in you. If we are ready, God will work with and through us. We need to be obediently willing to share the love of God, because doing so will reach and rescue some in our world!
Evangelism is like a search and rescue operation, and both require being prepared. Part of the reason people get into trouble in the outdoors is that they do not have what they need to survive. Maybe they don’t have enough food, or warm enough clothes, or they don’t have the right map.
That is why it is important for the rescuers to have all the proper supplies they need. When looking for someone lost, it’s important to know where you’re going, to have blankets and enough water, and maybe first aid supplies for a wound. Whatever the lost person needs, the rescuer needs to have or know where to find it. That way the rescuer can be safe as well.
It is the same with lost friends who need Jesus. A lot of the time they might not know what they need. They may not even know they are lost. But part of bringing someone to Jesus is having Jesus living in your life. This is why the Bible says to put on the whole armor of God - all of the elements that will guard against the attacks of the devil. You can’t rescue those around you if you yourself are in danger! When people see you are protected, they will want to know what makes your life so peaceful. With this peace of God in Christ,you can help reach your world with all that people need to know Jesus and live a life full of joy!
Oregonians love the outdoors. We have some beautiful mountains that just beg us to come and visit them. In the summer, they are filled with beautiful plants and wildlife. In the winter, they are great for skiing and snowboarding. People are always going camping and hiking.
And every year, search and rescue teams need to be called to look for people lost in the mountains. Many things can happen: people can lose the trail, or they can get hurt, or the weather can change unpredictably. Any of these things happening can make even an experienced outdoors-person need help getting home.
Life is always unpredictable. As the Bible says in the book of James, we don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. Only God knows. Often, we have no control over events, and sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes people get hurt or sick. And then they need help to get home: to find Jesus.
This is why evangelism is like search and rescue. Lost people need us to find them and bring them to Jesus. We know the way home: we have the maps and the gear. All we need is the willingness. Jesus is the only one who can save people from their sins. Our job is to help them out of the darkness! So help reach those in darkness in your world today!
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Discontentment can easily slip into our lives. Then we find ourselves never resting in present circumstances and always looking to the next best thing. Luis challenges us make the most of right now. God can use you today, right where you are!