Here’s the question you are asked today, Father’s Day….Who is it that you know, that needs to be rescued? Guest speaker, Mark Rennie, challenges dads….challenges everyone…….RESCUE OTHERS, AS GOD HAS RESCUED.
Imagine you’re in your backyard and your son with down syndrome falls into a sewage hole you thought was securely covered. What would you do? Thomas S. Vander Woude’s (a church man, known for living a life a personal sacrifices for others), the boys dad, jumped in the sewage tank, submerging himself in sewage so he could push his son up from below and keep his head above the muck, while Joseph’s mom and the workman pulled from above. Dad died rescuing his son.
Recently I asked each son how they wanted to be like me – Mark….wants to be a teacher like me, Matt…wants to be good at basketball like me, Mike…wants to be a good dad/husband like me
I share this because I believe when you have a good example of a dad; a child will want to be like their dad in some ways. So I want to challenge all of us to look at one of Father God’s greatest traits….RESCUING……and challenge us to be like Him!
Rescuing is not a new concept for men. Guys are involved in a lot of different ways of rescuing:
Cars, antique furniture, struggling business, military, fireman, policemen, search & rescue teams
Then there’s examples of Christians who RESCUE others in different ways…
Shout out to…my stepdad….Larry Lonczak – He rescued me from being a broken/hurt kid who lacked an involved father. He came into my life and treated me as his own. He didn’t just want to marry my mom…but to be my dad! But he rescued tons of men…….the Schenectady City Mission “Larry Lonczak Men’s Center “The Ark” is named after him.
Did you know the book of Isaiah has been referred to as the Book of Salvation? Isaiah means = the Lord is salvation)
Salvations meaning: the act of saving or protecting (RESCUING) from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc.
Isaiah 43 – A promise to the nation of Israel, referencing those throughout Israel’s history, and for us
Israel, the Lord who created you says, (Adam & Eve)
“Do not be afraid—I will save you.
I have called you by name—you are mine.
2 When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; (Israelites, Noah)
your troubles will not overwhelm you.
When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; (Daniel 3 – Shadrach, Meshach, Obendigo)
the hard trials that come will not hurt you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the holy God of Israel, who saves you.
I will give up Egypt to set you free; (much bad upon Egypt, firstborn son killed, drowning, etc..)
I will give up Ethiopia and Seba. (most likely referencing how Israel was not attacked but other nations received the attack instead)
4 I will give up whole nations to save your life, (numerous times God had nations destroyed for Israel)
because you are precious to me
and because I love you and give you honor.
Here are 3 types of people God rescues:
Those who have walked away (hiding):
Adam & Eve disobeyed God’s only request not to do it….eat from the tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil
Adam & Eve tried to hide from God…they ran away from God
God wouldn’t allow them to hide…God called out to Adam…. “Where are you?”
*Maybe this is you…..you’ve walked away from God, or your sin (guilt) has caused you to break relationship with Him
On April 2013 in Florida, a father & son were boating in a swamp area. The son fell overboard.
The alligator immediately grab Joey’s body. His dad jumped the swamp and began punching the alligator’s head as hard as possible & kicked it in its stomach until it let go
-Nothing could separate that son from his father’s love
And nothing can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus
Rom. 8: 38-39-“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any
powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our
Maybe you’ve fallen out of the boat……God loves you & seeks to rescue you.
Like Adam, He calls out today…..”where are you?” …..come back to me! I love you.
*If this isn’t you…..Is there someone you know who this is?
Are you willing to jump in the sewage tank to rescue them?
Matthew 10:6 ESV
But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel
-What does this mean?
-It means there are those that were apart of God….apart of the church….and are no longer.
*Rescue others, as God has rescued you
2. V2 “When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you.”
Those that are persecuted for the faith
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – place in the fiery furnace for their faith
Daniel 3:17 “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.”
Daniel 3:27. “Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!”
Maybe you relate to Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego…. you’re put down, persecuted for your faith among classmates, co-workers, family members, friends…..you’re not alone, and your faithfulness isn’t going unnoticed.
Maybe this is you, be encouraged…He’s with you. He will rescue you.
-An example of tremendous amount of faith & trust….hold onto that. God is with you through this challenge…but He will rescue you!
If this isn’t you; is there someone you know standing up for their faith…..can you come alongside them and & strengthen them? How encouraging it must have been for Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego to go into the furnace together.
Rescue others, as God has rescued you!
Israelites rescued out of Egypt… literally passed through waters to escape
Those in bondage & oppressed
Maybe this is you….You have someone who has authority over you – boss, teacher, relative, or a spouse
OR You’re trapped in addiction & feel like a slave to it
– When God rescues you, he breaks whatever chains are binding you, and tells you to follow Him…and leave chains…the baggage…the junk behind. Don’t carry it with you!!
*God will rescue you out of your bondage or oppression. Seek His face. Seek the help of others around you.
Or…..Is there someone you need to stand by their side as their struggling?
Rescue others, as God has rescued you.
So I ask you…..who is that you know that needs to be rescued?
After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church’s Pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit and, before he gave his sermon for the evening, briefly introduced a guest Minister who was in the service that evening. In the introduction, the Pastor told the congregation that the guest Minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service. With that, the elderly gentleman stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak.
“A father, and his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific coast,” he began… “when a fast storm blocked any attempt to get back to the shore. The waves were so high, even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized.”
“Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: to which boy would he throw the end of the life line? He had only seconds to make the decision. The father knew that his son was a Christian and he also knew that his son’s friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves.
As the father yelled out ‘I Love You, Son!’ he threw out the life line to his son’s friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black night. His body was never recovered,” the old man said sadly.
“The father,” he continued, “knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save the son’s friend.
“That was a nice story,” politely stated one of the boys, “but, I don’t think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son’s life in hopes that the other would become a Christian.”
You see… I was that father, and your Pastor is my son’s friend.”
How great is the love of God that he should do the same for us? Our Heavenly Father sacrificed His only begotten Son so that we could be saved. I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you and take hold of the life line He is throwing out to you in this service.”
Interesting – if you were in the ocean in this story, you’d be thrilled when the rescue boat shows up to help you. You’d jump in that boat! No one refuses….ever refuses…..a rescue team when they arrive on the scene. But when it comes to God……people refuse. No thanks, I don’t need to be rescued!
Today – you’re in the ocean, the waves are crashing down on you. You’re sin is literally killing you…you will drown. And a rescue party has come to save you. Will you jump in the boat today?
Luke 19:10 New International Version (NIV)
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”