Help Me, Jesus

Several years ago I experienced a “Help me, Jesus” moment that I will never forget. My youngest daughter was home from college for the summer and she worked long shifts at a local department store. Jamie had just gotten home from a double shift and we immediately got into our pajamas for a “girl’s night.” Since our dog Georgia is also a girl, we took her out to the dock so that she could swim in our canal and we could skip walking her in the heat.

She is a yellow lab and a strong swimmer. We have two docks, a ladder, and a dog ramp at the far end of the long dock. As Georgia swam and Jamie and I chatted in comfy chairs on the dock about our dinner and movie choices, I noticed that Georgia seemed to be disoriented and getting tired. Our large boat was tied up alongside the larger dock and this seemed to be suddenly confusing to her. Sure enough, she grew frantic out in the middle of the canal and could not seem to find her way back.

I was terrified.

We were able to call her over to the side of the dock where she was floundering, which unfortunately was on the opposite side where the dog ramp was located. By this time, she was very fatigued and panicky. We had a quick conversation and realized that one of us needed to get in the water to push her out while the other one pulled her up on the dock.

Did I mention that this dog weighs over 100 pounds?

So Jamie jumped in the water and I crouched down on the dock and reached over and grabbed Georgia’s collar. She panicked and we struggled. It was a pure “help me, Jesus” moment, which I said out loud several times. At one point, both Jamie and Georgia’s heads went under water and I knew in an instant that I might have to choose which one to save.

Thankfully we are able to push-pull her out of the water, and the three of us laid on the dock for a very long time just dripping, panting, and trembling.

So much for a relaxing girl’s night!

Our Scripture today reminds us that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved:

Romans 10 (Common English Bible)

But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the message of faith that we preach). Because if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and in your heart you have faith that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

Paul is deliberate in laying this out as a two-part invitation. We are invited to embrace both sides of this coin. Faith is on one side; witness is on the other. Heart is coupled with mouth. The message must be both believed and proclaimed.

10 Trusting with the heart leads to righteousness, and confessing with the mouth leads to salvation. 11 The scripture says, All who have faith in him won’t be put to shame. 12 There is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord is Lord of all, who gives richly to all who call on him. 

Yesterday, a friend posted on Facebook that her cousin has beaten pancreatic cancer, which typically has a 9% chance of survival. She started her post with this:

”When you have the privilege of witnessing a miracle and seeing God’s mercy … you have to tell others.”

Amen, Julie. You have to tell others.

This makes me wonder how many times we believe with our hearts but fail to profess with our mouths. Does that speak to you today?

13 All who call on the Lord’s name will be saved.

The Lord saves all who call on him. How did God save you? Go out and tell the world!

Jesus Helped Me

Good News!

Can you remember a time when you had good news to share? What did you do? When I found out I was accepted into college, I ran next door to tell my best friend. When I discovered I was pregnant, I immediately called my parents and my in-laws. When I was appointed to my current church, I called both daughters to share the happy news.

When you have good news, you move heaven and earth to share it with the ones you love. You just can’t wait! It burns in your heart until you get to that person to share it.

In our passage today, Paul is discussing the good news of Christ’s salvation for all. This wasn’t just good news, it was strange news. Imagine the Jews and Gentiles in the crowd, hearing for the first time that there is a faith that is open to all and a way of salvation that doesn’t care who you are. You don’t have to be born into it. You don’t have to prove your lineage, complete a check-list of good deeds, or jump through hoops.

You just have to ask.

Romans 10 (Contemporary English Version)

11 The Scriptures say that no one who has faith will be disappointed, 12 no matter if that person is a Jew or a Gentile. There is only one Lord, and he is generous to everyone who asks for his help. 13 All who call out to the Lord will be saved.

All who call on the Lord will be saved. This was a concept that radically changed the world. This opened heaven up to all people of all nations and all generations. There is only ONE Lord. Everyone gets to come in.

But wait…there’s a catch.

14 How can people have faith in the Lord and ask him to save them, if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them? 15 And how can anyone tell them without being sent by the Lord?

YOU are the catch. In this wonderful offering of eternal life for all, there has to be something that prepares the way, and that is you. How can people hear if nobody tells them? How can they know about Jesus if nobody explains to them the wonderful good news of the resurrection? And how can you tell without being sent?

Jesus’ invitation to all of us today is to go and tell. Under the authority of the Holy Spirit, we are all being sent with a loving word of kindness into the world that needs to know about Jesus. We are offered an opportunity to share the best news someone will ever hear.

Who do you know that needs to hear this good news? Who is struggling for lack of hope and peace? Where is God nudging you to have that conversation with someone you care about?

The Scriptures say it is a beautiful sight to see even the feet of someone coming to preach the good news.

How beautiful when humble hearts give
the fruit of pure lives
so that others may live.
How beautiful is the body of Christ.

How beautiful the feet that bring
the sound of good news
and the love of the King.
How beautiful is the body of Christ. (How Beautiful by Anne Wilson)

Go, and be beautiful to someone today. May it burn in your heart until you tell it.

How Beautiful!