Greg Spires – Teaching Pastor
Jason was walking home from work late at night when he heard someone calling for help from a nearby river. He made his way to the riverbank and began looking for where the shouting was coming from. Finally, he spotted a woman in the water who was trying to stay afloat but was struggling.
Jason called the police and gave his location and then jumped into the water to help the woman. He swam out to help her, but soon the frigid waters and strong current were taking both down together.
When all seemed lost, Jason was able to reach out and grab onto a passing tree branch. The woman clung to Jason, and he held on to the branch with all his might. He held fast to that branch for 30 minutes until the police arrived to pull them both from the water. Both Jason and the woman made a full recovery.
The police credited Jason’s actions with saving the woman’s life. If he hadn’t jumped in to help, she would have washed away. If he hadn’t been able to hold onto that branch, they both would’ve been lost.
As Christians living in a world that is filled with darkness, we are also called to have a “strong grip.” Notice what the Bible says in Philippians 2:15-16, “…you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life…”
The Bible here reminds us that we aren’t the hero of the story – Jesus is. Our job is to shine as lights and hold on tight! Our calling is to bring hope to people who are being swept away. But the hope we bring is not hope that comes from us. Instead, we call people to find hope by holding on to Jesus with us. We know He will rescue. We know that He will save.
The contours of life shift and change. As we walk through life with Jesus, there will be times that feel like we are being swept away. There are times it feels like it is impossible to keep our heads above water. In those times, we need to be willing to ask ourselves, what are we clinging to? Do we cling to a sense of importance through a successful career? Do we cling to confidence that comes through a well-funded portfolio? Do we hold fast to friends who are important and well placed?
To properly hold fast to Jesus, we are going to have to loosen our grip on these other hopes. But one thing is certain; no other hope offers the safety and strength of Jesus. Other hopes may provide safety for a short time. But Jesus is the only one that offers hope that will never fail. If life is going to throw us a swift and cold current of trouble, isn’t it better to go through that with our savior who never fails and loves us with all of who He is?
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Philippians 2:12-18.
See you Sunday,