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Spiritual Training Cycle: Connection (wk. 1/13)

When my daughter was 18 months old, she nearly drown. When they tell you that drowning is a silent killer, believe it. My wife and I were enjoying a weekend afternoon at the community pool. My daughter was in the pool with me using her arm floaties to support her. She hopped out of the pool, I turned my back for a quick moment, and before I knew it, a man was rushing into the water behind me. I turned back around and there was my daughter lying face down in the water. She had taken off her floaties and decided to jump back in without them. We quickly got her to the pool deck and shortly thereafter she flashed a big smile and we all knew she was going to be ok. My daughter had been saved.

If you’ve ever been in a life-or-death situation, then you know. If you haven’t, you should thank God for that right now. When Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on a football field earlier this year, it got real serious real fast. Suffering a cardiac arrest, medical personnel spent almost half an hour getting him resuscitated and stabilized before being transported to a level one trauma center. The world held its breath for three days until Hamlin was able to make his first written communication. He scribbled on a clipboard, “Did we win?” I know I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard that. Hamlin had been saved.

For some of you, your souls are in a life-or-death matter. And while you don’t feel like Hamlin did when he lay on that field, the outcome for you is just as serious. Scripture refers to this as salvation. Salvation is the work God does to move you from death to life. Now, you probably don’t feel dead. Well, maybe if you just had a big workout, but you know what I mean. Death is a condition we are helpless to overcome on our own. When Scripture talks about being dead in our selfishness and transgressions, it means there’s nothing we can do on our own to fix that.

The result of our state of selfishness is separation from God. And if something isn’t done about that, or if there isn’t some type of intervention on your behalf, then your soul will flat line. It will flat line with emptiness which no possession can fill. It will flat line with regret when work is who you’re really married to. It will flat line with jealousy when everyone else is married with kids and you’re still single. Eventually, your soul will permanently flat line when you leave the earth. You need to be saved. And that’s the lifeline God offers through His Son, Jesus.

In Romans 5:11, the Apostle Paul writes:

“But we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

Reconciliation. In other words, the gift of new life. When we put our faith in Jesus, His defeat of death is our defeat of death, which results in new life. A new life that we can’t achieve on our own. And this is the life God wants for us. It’s the life Jesus refers to when He says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

In most life-or-death situations, people are relying on someone to save them. Whether that’s medical personnel, firefighters, the other guys on your special operations team, or your dad when you’re 18 months old and take your floaties off and jump in the pool. We’re relying on someone to save us too. His name is Jesus. Jesus saves. And His salvation saves the only life you can’t – your own.

Questions for Reflection:

Have you ever had a near death experience or helped save someone who was? What was that experience like for you?

What does being saved by Jesus feel like?

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