Lifted me up from the ashes
Carried my soul from death to life
Bringing me from Glory to Glory
You are my rescue story
Traveling on the road like I do I have the privilege of meeting new people quite frequently. Although I must admit there are times when I am flying across the country, that I wish the person sitting next to me does not want to talk so I am able to sleep but most times, I enjoy engaging in conversation. It is amazing how much people will open up and talk to their seatmate on a long flight. I always try to steer the conversation toward Jesus and I get various reactions. As I attempt to share the love of our great and mighty King, I have encountered a few people who are walking with Jesus and have surrendered their lives to Him and their stories encourage me greatly. That is the really amazing thing about being in the family of God - each and every person has their own story.
All of us have a unique story to share, a story of how while we were sinners, Jesus pursued us. We were all dead in our trespasses, and Jesus came and rescued us. He pulled us from the miry clay and placed us on a rock, bringing us from darkness to light, from death to life!
One such amazing story is the Apostle Paul. The man had papers in his pocket ready to arrest followers of the Way. He even held the coats of those who stoned Steven to death while he stood there and watched. Jesus got his attention in a big way and Saul (Apostle Paul), the Pharisee of Pharisees, became the most influential member of the early church.
The men Jesus called to follow Him while He was here on earth also have great rescue stories. They came from all walks of life and went through cataclysmic changes. Peter, the hothead, became a rock that led the early church. Thomas, the doubter, who questioned some of Jesus's teachings became a fearless evangelist who took the Gospel to India and was killed for preaching the resurrected savior. All but John died a brutal death but these scared boys who scattered when their Rabbi was crucified gladly gave their lives for preaching the truth. This is proof to me that the story is true, not fabricated.
And what about Jesus' family? Those are the hardest people to convince sometimes. James, the brother of Jesus, who once rejected His claims of being the Messiah, became the leader of the early church. It was said he had knees like camels from being on them in constant prayer.
I want to encourage you to never be ashamed of your rescue story. Jesus doesn’t want us to live in shame, but in the freedom He has given.
You were writing the pages
Before I had a name
Before I needed grace
Singing songs of redemption
Every time I ran away
As the Apostle Paul looked back on his past, his upbringing, his education, his heritage, his nationality and more in Acts 22, all of these things led him to be the perfect person for Jesus to use to advance the Gospel. So what about you? Have you ever reflected on your life? Think back to your earliest memory and trace your steps up to now. Can you see how God was preparing you before you even realized it? Can you see how God was pursuing you, how He was writing your story even before you were conceived?
One of my earliest memories was when I was five years old, camping with my family. My older brothers and I were in a small boat on a lake. For some reason I decided to jump in even though I didn't know how to swim (I never said I was a smart kid). I have a vivid memory of being underwater, not knowing what to do next, and left there much longer I would have surely drown. I looked up and through the water I could see the sun then, suddenly, I saw my mom reaching down and felt her pull me out and take me safely to shore. I never even realized the danger I was in and how close I came to death.
My mom literally saved my life that day.
Spiritually, I was dead but when I was eight-years-old, my uncle shared the Gospel with me, showed me that my sin had caused a separation from God and I needed Jesus to restore my relationship with Him. I prayed with Him and on that day God began a work in me that He is still in the process of completing, forty-five years later.
Everything I have gone through, all my joys, successes, and wins, along with all my heartaches, failures and losses, have shaped me into what I am today - a vessel to do the work of my Father.
All while Jesus is leading me, though at times I am a lousy follower, my Master is patient. He has never given up on me and He never will. Jesus is my testimony!
How was God preparing you and pursuing you throughout your life?
Remember, God is patient and your rescue story continues to be written every day.
You were the voice in the desert
Calling me out in the dead of night
Fighting my battles for me
You are my rescue story
Each and every one of us are cut from the same mud. Left on our own we are doomed to damnation. We were all empty handed, crying out in our pits of despair. Along comes Jesus, from the shadows He holds out His mighty hand and meets us where we are. Jesus is the voice in the desert, calling us out in the dead of night. He is fighting our battles for us. He lifted us out of the ashes and carried our souls from death to life, bringing us from Glory to Glory.
Don't ever be apprehensive to share your rescue story, it is unique to you. Your greatest testimony is how you live your life and walk in the freedom that Jesus has given you. Have you ever wondered where you would be had Jesus not rescued you? What would your life look like? Take time to reflect and thank God for giving you abundant life.
I also challenge you to reflect on the faithfulness of God. The times when we rebel and try to run away, He is right there, waiting for us to return, looking down the road. When He sees us coming, He runs to us, takes away our shame, places a ring on our finger and wraps us in a robe. He prepares the fatted calf and celebrates our return.
Jesus is always faithful, take time to thank Him.