Published November 21, 2017

Shelia Shares

We are all made differently and our jobs for the Kingdom of God are not the same. This devotional by Pastor Bill, shared here by permission, might open our eyes to what God is calling us to do. To get his daily devotional, go to www.christiancrossministries.org and click on the link for devotionals.

- Shelia
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"The River"
by Pastor Bill

Scripture: 1 John 3:8: "When people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil."  (NLT Bible Paraphrase)

Walking through the forest, a seasoned hiker came upon a broad, slowly moving river. He stopped to gaze over the waters, appreciating the beauty, when suddenly he heard a faint cry coming from upstream.

Looking in the direction of the noise, he saw an obviously drowning man floundering in the river and drifting slowly toward him.

The hiker was stunned momentarily, but he sprang into action when he saw the man disappear beneath the waters. Throwing off all of his cumbersome gear, he dove into the river and swam like a madman toward the spot where the man went under.

Upon reaching the spot he plunged below the surface and frantically hauled up the helpless man. He then laboriously towed the victim to shore. Heaving the lifeless body up on the riverbank, the hiker attempted to revive the man, who eventually spit up water and began to breathe.

Relieved, the hiker paused to catch his breath. But no sooner had he done so than he heard another voice out on the water. Another drowning person!

Once again he swam out and pulled the person to shore, a little more slowly this time. As the hiker-turned-lifeguard revived the second victim, he heard yet another cry for help.

All day long the hiker worked, rescuing one person after another as they came drifting down the river. There seemed to be no end of drowning victims, and the hiker didn't think he could keep it up.

Just when he was about to collapse from exhaustion, he spotted another man walking rapidly beside the river, headed upstream. "Hey mister!" he cried out. "Please help me! These poor people are drowning!"

Amazingly, the man kept walking upstream. The astonished hiker called out again. Without even acknowledging the cry, the man kept going. Indignant and angry, the hiker leapt to his feet, ran toward the uncompassionate man, stood directly in his path, and in a loud voice demanded, "Sir! How can you possibly walk past all these drowning people? Have you no conscience? Must I force you to help me save these people?"

The stranger stopped, looked at him for the first time and said with a calm, focused voice, "Sir, please get out of my way. I am headed upstream to stop the guy who is pushing all these people in."

Each of us has a role to play in rescuing those who are drowning in sin. Some of us pull people from the water and resuscitate them with counseling, food, shelter, a rehabilitation program, a support group or financial aid. These are relevant and important ministries.

Others of us find our place of ministry upstream, opposing the one pushing people into the river. We do this by challenging them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Knowing that Christ sets a person free from sin and releases them from Satan's power.

By itself, pulling people from the water isn't enough. We need to deal with the sin at the source.

Prayer: Father thank you for the victory over sin brought about through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
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Comments on this? shelia@thegospelgreats.com.

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