Have you ever been saved?
Jesus said that His mission was, “to seek and to save what was lost” – Luke 19 (NIV)
So, what was lost?
When a sailor is out at sea and a storm comes up, the wind and the waves start pouring over their boat, the engine room floods and the ship founders. As the bilge pumps fail and the craft loses its heading, keeling into the swell and surrendering its seaworthiness. As the sailor clings to the deck rigging, clambering for the life boat, and slipping on the pitched deck, the sound of rotors and a strong down draft causes them to look up for their savior. The coast guard chopper is lowering a line to draw them up to safety, a warm cabin, and a chance to live another day. No one has any questions, that sailor was saved that day.
It’s amazing to me that so much of religion these days is spent convincing people that they are lost and in need of a savior instead of just sharing the good news.
“No really, you need Jesus. Believe me, you’re lost. You’re foundering. You’re confused. Come and be saved.”
It’s not that this is inaccurate. There does seem to be a large number of people who simply aren’t looking for salvation right now. But is the good news really, “Hey buddy, looks like you are lost!”?
I think maybe it’s a matter of timing. I mean, would the sailor take the line and leave their ship on a sunny day, on calm waters just because their was a storm in the forecast? I doubt it.
The challenge of salvation is that it requires excellent timing, persistence, and investment. If the coast guard wasn’t listening to the radio, the ship would sink and all would be lost before the helicopter ever even left the pad.
It’s the same with salvation. God is always available, constantly paying attention, and completely invested in you. He is ready to pick you up, catch you, stop you, lift you, heal you, restore you, and more. Salvation is His persistent purpose and perpetual offering.
And when you need it? There is simply no question that you are making that choice to take the line and rise above the onslaught of the enemy to the safety of your savior.
So, if you find yourself trying to push salvation, convince or persuade someone that they are lost, or sharing the bad news instead of the good news, consider this — walking in the footsteps of Jesus requires actual love, constant attention, and a dedicated and persistent purpose, not just a shallow call to supposed salvation.
You can’t save someone who isn’t lost. So love them. Live the good news out loud. Rejoice in salvation and living the promises that God has in store. And wait until they are searching, asking, seeking, calling. Then, the salvation you have already experienced will open that door, extend that life saving opportunity, and give them the chance to live another day.
God’s solution to offering salvation is not to pester us with the facts. God’s method of offering salvation is constant vigilance and perpetual availability. When the time is right. When you see the darkness and desire the light. When you want it. When you need it. When you finally get it. God is right there, extending His hand and offering to bring you safely home.
Salvation is yours. All you have to do is ask.
“Jesus, I need you. I want you in my life. I’m in need of a savior. I choose you, just like you chose me. I’m ready to accept what you have done for me and what you want to do for me. I’m yours. Save me.”