Romans 15:5-7 - May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
My wanderings have allowed me to swim in many different bodies of water around the world.
That being said, I have to confess I never knew what a "yellow flag" condition was. The story of the Ursrey family has educated me. In Florida a yellow flag is put out when water conditions are such that swimming is not recommended, but they're not so bad that swimming is forbidden.
Well, a few weeks ago the Ursrey family went swimming on a yellow flag day.
Like a good mother, Roberta Ursrey kept an eye on her boys. She became frightened when she saw that they were caught up in a rip current which was, in spite of their struggles, carrying them out to sea. Without a thought for herself, Roberta, joined by others in the family, swam out to save the boys. It was a noble thought, but not an especially smart one.
Before she could react, Roberta and other family members were also caught in the current.
People on shore were attracted by the struggles of the nine members of Ursrey family who were fighting to stay alive. But what could they do? More bodies in the overwhelming current would only mean more bodies in danger.
Well, I can tell you what those people did. They formed a human chain.
One person took the hand of another person, and then another individual grabbed hold, followed by yet another. Soon a chain of 80 people stretching more than 100 yards reached the Ursreys and brought them to shore.
Reflecting on the day, Roberta (via the Panama City News Herald and reported by USA Today) said, "I am so grateful. These people were God's angels that were in the right place at the right time. I owe my life and my family's life to them. Without them, we wouldn't be here."
Now I don't know how many, if any, of those 80 people in that human chain were Christian. I do know they have given us a first-class example of how God's church is supposed to work as we see the people around us being swept out to sure and certain death. Yes, we are all part of a chain.
The preacher is part of the chain, as is the Sunday school teacher and the choir director. Our parents should have been part of the chain, and their parents before them. Every person whose name is written in the Lord's book of life is part of that chain. Every person has the job of doing all they can to reach out to the lost with the saving message of Jesus' cross and resurrection. And things work best when we work together.
And why would we risk ourselves and go to all that work?
We do it because judgment day is coming. In heaven we want to hear a lot of people echo Roberta and say, "I am so grateful. These people were God's angels that were in the right place at the right time. I owe my life and my family's life to them. Without them, we wouldn't be here."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, use me to reach those who are lost. Let me and every believer come together to share the Savior and the wonderful saving things He has done for us through His life, suffering, death, and glorious resurrection from the dead. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Veronica Neffinger for Christian Headlines.Com on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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