An incredible rescue took place a couple weeks ago in Bellevue, Nebraska. Photographer Terry Ingram was out taking photos of eagles when a car flew past him and lost control while crossing railroad tracks. It struck a fire hydrant and flipped upside down in an icy pond. Terry courageously ran into the freezing water and was able to get one of the car doors open. He heard a young man say, "Get me out, it's filling full of water." Terry pulled all three men from that vehicle and helped drag them to shore, heroically saving their lives.
Terry said, "God puts people in places for a reason." These men, two of whom are 19, were in desperate need when they were rescued. Similarly, God intervened when you and I were helpless to save ourselves from sin and death.
The apostle Paul wrote, "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:6-8)
Jesus entered an "ice-cold pond" at the cross and took the punishment that you and I deserve to pay for our sins. "The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him." (Isaiah 53:5) It was by far the most dramatic rescue of all time! Our great and awesome God came after us because He loves us so much and wanted to save us from an eternity without Him.
The critical question is this: Will you rely upon Christ's payment for your transgressions? Simply turn away from sin and trust Jesus to forgive you. Oswald Chambers stated, "The reason it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much."
While it is often very challenging to live as a devoted follower of Christ, it is easy to be forgiven, justified, redeemed, born again, and saved. The miracle of spiritual conversion occurs the moment a sinner repents and trusts Christ as Savior. I explained this miracle in the article, "What Is Your Salvation IQ?"
Perhaps you have never heard the good news that Jesus died for your sins to redeem your soul and grant you eternal life in Paradise. You might even be an atheist today. If so, I encourage you to check out my article, "Transitioning from Atheism to Agnosticism to Christianity."
Many people have been programmed to dismiss the claims of the Bible. Sadly, this misinformation campaign has a way of inoculating a person from being able to appreciate the truth of Scripture. It is, however, a curable condition, as I discussed in the article, "Are You a Victim of Bible-Bashing?"
You do not have to allow your past to prevent you from meeting the Lord and moving forward in faith. Even if you currently find it difficult to accept the claims of the Bible, it doesn't mean all hope is lost. It just means that you will need to continue to press through to the truth rather than give up and drown in your sin, skepticism and unbelief. After all, "Would You Forsake Unbelief to Avoid Hell?"
Just as three men in Nebraska were miraculously saved from drowning in that pond, you can take the hand of Jesus today and be made a child of God instantaneously. "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God." (John 1:12) You see, "Childlike Faith Isn't Just for Little Children."
Thankfully, miracles continue to take place today. Do you recognize them when they occur, or are you blind to the fact that God is working behind the scenes in mighty ways? And most importantly, are you aware of the miracle the Lord is in the process of doing in your life right now?
This would be a perfect time to respond to Christ's love for you with these words:
"Lord Jesus, save me. Forgive me. Rescue me from my sin and from myself. Deliver me from any harmful addictions or spiritual misinformation that has messed up my thinking. I need you Jesus today and forever. Thank you for being such a wonderful Savior and fabulous friend to everyone who calls on you. I want to begin a relationship with you today, and I dedicate myself in this moment to serving you for the rest of my life with my thoughts, decisions, and behavior. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.