The Ultimate Lifesaver

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. –John 15:13

An article in Reader’s Digest described the actions of Dave Shoemaker, captain of the 180-foot fishing vessel, “Galaxy,” somewhere off Alaska’s St. Paul Island. The article read, “When a disastrous engine fire wreaked havoc for the Galaxy and its crew, Captain Shoemaker bravely walked through the smoke and flames with no protection but a bandanna around his mouth to radio for help. Shoemaker continued to put the lives of his crew first and worked to help them to safety despite incurring three broken ribs, extensive burns to his skin, and the increasing chance of going down with the ship. Like a true captain, he made certain he was the last of the crew to be rescued by the Coast Guard, who arrived thanks to his initial Mayday call. The Galaxy was completely lost, but thanks in great part to Shoemaker’s courage under fire, 21 of the 25 crew members survived.” Captain Shoemaker, a modern day hero, put his own life on the line in order to save the life of his crewmembers.

Let’s reflect on our ultimate lifesaver, the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Remember that he willingly suffered, bled and died–taking our own sin and shame on Himself as He hung on a cross– that we might be saved from an eternity of separation from God. In his resurrection from the grave, Jesus broke the power of sin and death–and guaranteed rescue– to anyone who believes in Him. He is our most shining example of heroism in action.

Yet, the story doesn’t end here. We, in fact, are destined to become part of the story. For Jesus calls all of us who have experienced His rescue to become part of his rescue team–to act heroically, willingly putting our lives on the line–in order to help rescue others. “Snatch others from the fire and save them,” is how the New Testament book of Jude puts it. It’s a simple act of gratitude for we who have been given a lifeline, to share a lifeline with someone else.

Today, offer a prayer of thanks to Jesus, our ultimate lifesaver and consider someone around you with whom you can share your own story of how He has rescued you. You never know. In doing so, you just might “snatch someone from the fire.”

1. Who had the courage to share the news of Jesus with you? Pray and thank God for using this person in your life. If possible, thank them personally for being willing to be used by God in your life.

2. In your circle of relationships, who might benefit from hearing your story of God’s rescue in your life? Will you commit to sharing your story with this person in the coming week?

John 10:11-18; Luke 9:23-26; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

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Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, editor, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord Culture Blog also appears on Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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