Discovering Spiritual Truths & Celebrating God's Grace in the Every Day Happenings of Life.
This past Monday, along with our church preschool staff, I went through first aid and CPR training. It had been many years since I had received any formal instruction, and though most of the direction and training has probably stayed the same, it was very necessary and beneficial for me to have a refresher course. I would hate to find myself in an emergency setting where I feel ill-prepared or hesitant to render help. But after a day of training, I can now quickly come to the rescue if someone starts choking on donuts during fellowship hour. In the event of any health crisis or accident, I am, at the very least, better equipped to act. God willing, I will never have to use any of the training. However, knowing that I have the necessary information and training, I feel confident that I can help provide the care to someone in danger without any pause.
What about Spiritual Care? When a crisis comes—and it will—how can we care for others? How can we come to their aid? Much like in physical situations, we want to be quick to react. No doubt. No hesitation. If we see someone hurting or suffering, we want to quickly take what we know and put it into action.
Have you ever observed a lifeguard rush to the aide of someone who stopped breathing? Aside from watching it on TV in the series Baywatch or the movie Sandlot, I haven’t seen it firsthand. But lifeguards leap immediately to action. They jump in and go right to life-giving measures such as CPR. The Bible says we are drowning in our sins (see Psalm 38:4), unable to overcome our guilt and shame. But we are not without a rescuer. Jesus dove right in—overcame our trouble by living, dying and rising again so that we might live again in Him. Today, He wants to breathe that life right into your hearts and minds and make you "wise for salvation," to make you sure you are truly ready to face the challenges that await you and make the most of the opportunities that are set before you, chances to give spiritual care to those around us. Knowing that we have been loved and redeemed in Christ, that we have been rescued by Him and are healed by His wounds, gives us all the necessary tools and information that we need to come to the spiritual aide of those around us.
The Apostle Paul says the Bible is God-breathed: that means it is already full of the power and presence of God, and when it enters your mind and heart through your eyes, through your ears, it's like God is performing spiritual CPR on your life. He is giving what you need to sustain you and help you preserver through the “emergencies” of this world. That's the picture Paul wants you to have for the Bible. The Bible is not so much a rule book or a book of principles and truths—though there are truths contained in it, for sure. The Bible ultimately is a book that is alive with the love, the grace, and the mercy of God for you. It is God-breathed so you can spiritually breathe again in Him. It is full of God's Spirit and life so that you can truly be alive by His Spirit. So, open the Bible, take a look. Who knows? It might be the breath of fresh air that you really need.
“O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.” (Psalm 30:2)
Pastor Steve Vera