In the light of the Gulf War:
A small town in the hills of West Virginia and an entire nation are rejoicing over the news that an American prisoner of war has been rescued. Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, a 19-year-old supply clerk from Palestine, W. Va., was rescued by U.S. special operation forces in Iraq earlier this week. Jessica was part of the Army’s 507th Maintenance Company, which was ambushed near Nasiriyah after making a wrong turn during early fighting in the invasion of Iraq. Jessica and other U.S. soldiers – including five that were shown on Iraqi television answering questions – were taken prisoner in the ambush. Injured during the ambush, Jessica is now receiving treatment for her wounds, but she now is safe – rescued from captivity!
Jessica’s rescue parallels ANOTHER grand rescue in which YOU and I are the captors.
WE have lost our focus and our way, made some “wrong turns” (what the Bible calls SIN), wandered away from safety and protection, and have fallen into enemy hands. WE have been taken captive by OUR archenemy, Satan.
Yet, while WE were prisoners of war, helplessly held hostage, God sent His Son to OUR rescue.
Just as those U.S. forces risked grave danger in rescuing Jessica, the Son of God ALSO entered into enemy territory, penetrating deep behind enemy lines, to rescue US. And in so doing, He gave His life so that WE could be rescued (Romans 5:8). Because of His “special operations,” YOU and I can be saved from our sins and from our enemy.
THOSE who have willingly followed the “PLAN” laid out by their great Rescuer have “been redeemed – rescued – by the precious BLOOD of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19). The MISSION to rescue ALL who are held in bondage to SIN was ACCOMPLISHED successfully by Jesus (1 John 2:2). However, this GIFT of freedom must be accepted in order to be enjoyed.
The “TERMS” of acceptance include faith (Hebrews 11:6), repentance of the “wrong turns” (sin) that we have committed in our lives (Acts 17:30-31), confession that Jesus is the Great Rescuer of all mankind (Romans 10:9-10), and baptism for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38). To CONTINUE to enjoy freedom from this formidable foe, one must CONTINUE to follow the instructions of the “Captain of our Salvation” (1 John 1:7).
The world has become a battleground for human souls in a war of GOOD vs. EVIL with MANY trapped behind enemy lines. But, with your obedient cooperation, MORE good news can be shared: “Another P.O.W. has been rescued by Christ to the glory of God!”
We Thank Thee
We thank Thee, Father, for the care
That did not come to try us;
The burden that we did not bear,
The trouble that passed by us;
The task we did not fail to do,
The hurt we did not cherish;
The friend who did not prove untrue,
The joy that did not perish.
We thank Thee for the blinding storm
That did not lose its swelling’
And for the sudden blight of harm
That came not nigh our dwelling.
We thank Thee for the dart unsped,
The bitter word unspoken,
The grave unmade, the tear unshed,
The heart-tie still unbroken.
Thank Thee at this moment,
we are spared.