Friday, April 6

Rescue Heroes!

Here's my 26th study on financial applications from Ephesians.

The last lesson intrigued me because Paul implied that God has faith. This verse has the same kind of strangeness; remember, as you read it, that Paul's talking about the armor God puts on.

Eph. 6:17  
Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

God wears a helmet of salvation. Why? 

I'm used to hearing this applied to an individual: Put on the helmet of your salvation. You are saved by the blood of Jesus, shed on the cross, and that's your mind's protection. Well, that's certainly true. But Paul isn't saying that. At the risk of sounding irreverent, God is not protected by the blood of Jesus!

What is salvation? To save means to rescue, to reclaim, to salvage, to free, to deliver, to liberate, or to protect or preserve.

God's mindset is deliverance, liberation, and rescue. My children have action figures called Rescue Heroes--Billy Blazes puts out fires, Ariel Flyer pilots a rescue chopper into emergency areas, Cliff Hanger goes after hikers and climbers in peril. They're great heroes--people willing to risk their life and make huge sacrifices to rescue people who are trapped in rockslides, avalanches, fires, or who are badly wounded. 

The helmet represents God's mindset. God, the ultimate rescue hero, will go any distance to save people's lives, people who are trapped, who are wounded, lost, broken, on the verge of losing their lives. God will pay any cost to liberate those in desperate situations.

Paul's exhortation to us is: People of God, you are the body of Christ. You are God in the flesh on earth (corporately). The world's bursting with desperate people who need to be rescued. Put on the mindset of God! Be rescue heroes.

The church should find no sacrifice too big and no cost too expensive to rescue people in dire straits.

Application to Money:
What cost is too high? If someone could be rescued, but it would take the last cent in my wallet, will I give it? If it will take my busy day, when I desperately need to fundraise or do other work, will I give that up? What if someone needed the last dollar in our bank account? Would we drain it for them? How about the last dollar in our retirement savings? 

I don't mean to sound naive. Dollars won't save anyone. And there is so much need out there that we could all empty our bank accounts and retirement funds today, and though we'd do some good, it would be a drop in the ocean. 

But the real question is, what cost is too high? God did not spare his own son. God did not disdain descending to the depths of this earth from the heights of heaven. He did not squirm away from putting his own body and life at risk--in fact, they were brutally taken from him. 

Will I cling to my money, then, when he gave up his very life for me? Or will we, the body of Christ, act like it? Will we give all that we have to rescue the needy and desperate?

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