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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Behold the Savior!


We all pursue a Savior.  The purpose of a Savior is to bring hope, giving us a foretaste of a better future.  The Old Testament is full of promises of a coming Savior – the world looking forward to a coming Messiah.   A savior is one who has the specific mission of rescuing or delivering those who need rescue or deliverance.  He rescues from danger or harm.  There is no more dangerous place to be found in than to be in a place where you don’t realize you don’t recognize the danger you are in.  Many of us recognize the sins of others, but we fail to see those which are our own.  As long as we only see the “others” who need “rescue”, we fail to see how much we desperately need rescue ourselves.

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah,the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11 NIV)

It is easy to give a Savior access to the "problems" in our lives.  After all, problems give us worry, create lots of chaos, and just are plain difficult.  We don’t mind it when a Savior handles the problems, but when he goes after "us", we resist.  I guess it is because as long as Jesus just “lightly touches” the fringes of our lives, we don’t resist.  But…Jesus is a Savior – as such, he comes to seek us out and to save us from what we may not even know we need rescue from.  You might be rescued from a sinking ship, but if you need to get to shore again, the rescuer only did part of the work which needed to be done.  To be saved, but left adrift in the sea is really not a rescue at all.

Jesus seeks us even before we know the need of a rescuer in our lives.  Once he lays hold of even the “fringes” of our lives, the purpose of his seeking becomes our saving.  His goal is not only to bring us into a safe place, but to also keep us from denying our need for him to deal with our sins.  Remember, the sins of others might just give us a little hardship in life, but the sins of our own doing bring much more hardship than we might realize.  We don’t realize the need of a Savior until we see the need to be saved.  A Savior can be just around the corner, but if we never invite him past the “fringes” of our lives, we still deal with our sins in our own best efforts.  It is only when we invite him into the inner aspects of our lives that we become aware of the “rescue” he designs for each of us.

We all have the ability to experience a moment of “salvation”, but it is the ongoing process of being “saved” which begins to impact us in the depth of our inner man.  God made flesh among us – the purpose of his birth was specifically to complete the work of a Savior.  Notice, I said “complete” the work.  Just allowing Jesus access to the fringes keeps the “meat” of who we are and what we struggle with the most from being touched by his hand.  The most significant part of rescue is in being kept safe from harm again.  To be pulled out of sin only to return there again is a form of rescue, but it is not deliverance.  Deliverance is liberation – to be finally and totally set free from that which binds or holds us in bondage.  When we recognize the need for a Savior, we also recognize the need for him to deliver us!  We are acknowledging we don’t just want to be taken out of the problems in life, but we want to be kept as we walk through them.  Many times, we don’t even recognize what has us bound.  It could be wrong attitudes, unholy thoughts, or even self-focused aspirations.  Many things “bind” us without us even knowing their impact on our lives – it is only when we see we are “free” from them that we recognize how much we were bound.

Many people believe in an “intellectual” salvation.  In other words, they have made a mental agreement of their need for a Savior, but there is no heart connection with the Savior.  When Jesus makes it past our “belief” into our heart, he becomes “God made flesh” in us.  There is no greater experience than to be delivered from what we don’t even recognize has us bound.  Don’t believe for one moment that you are without the need of a rescuer – you just don’t recognize you are bound!  The hand extended to you today is not content to just touch the fringes of your life – it searches the recesses of the hidden places – turning over every cold stone.  In turn, the “uncovered” becomes the “delivered”.  Isn’t it time for a little more of a Savior in your life?  Just sayin!