The amazing rescue

The amazing rescue

Acts 26:17 “I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles.”

“Are you ready to pay the price?” were my closing remarks to a Finnish couple yesterday who came to meet me to discuss Elim opening its first church in that beautiful  nation.

“We are already doing so,” was their reply.

Some of the most exciting church planters are those who are reaching their own. Boureima and Susanna Diallo are reaching their own in West Africa and face constant threats, they pay the price.

There is a price to pay and the accusations are many:

  • You are one of us but you no longer behave or sound like us.
  • You are breaking your own cultural norm.
  • We invested in you; you were our hope, now you have become dangerous to our future.

But it is the same for those crossing culture:

In 1938 Kenneth McGillivray was the Pastor of Penzance Elim Church and in 1940 he became a missionary to Mongolia. He along with Elim Missionary Joseph Payne were arrested and subjected to physical torture (accused of being a spy) within an internment camp in Shanghai for 4 years, it was there he contracted Malaria. He survived and was released and in 1946 he returned on furlough, got married and then returned with the gospel! He and his wife Winnie paid the price for crossing culture continually.

There is a price to pay and the accusations are many:

  • Fears and threats from those you are reaching out in love to as they think you are there to harm them.
  • “You don’t belong here.”
  • They do not want to change.

Paul would be trapped many times in his life between the rejection of Judaism and the Gentile world.

His own didn’t want him and those he went to didn’t want him.

Jesus told him right at the beginning that he would be rescued.

Maybe today you find yourself in one of those places or stuck in the middle and you are paying the price. Your own reject you and those ahead of you don’t want you. Maybe you simply need an amazing rescue from an amazing God. The promise of Jesus to Paul is still the promise to you. The promise is simply this: there is no place where you go or where you become trapped that my hand cannot reach you.

David was able to say in Psalm 116:6 “When I was in great need, he saved me.” Job said in 23:10 (Amplified) “he knows the way that I take.” (He has concern for it, appreciates it and pays attention to it). He knows where you are. You may be a long way off like the Prodigal son. You may be like Moses, someone who became a nobody. Your best days are over. Forty years ago you made the biggest mistake that altered your whole life. You may be like Elijah, running away, you’ve had enough and are asking what the point of life is. You may be like the woman who lost her husband and with that her future, her life, her security. The only thing she had in her house was a little oil. The Old Testament is full of these people needing the rescuing hand of God.

Don’t give up, don’t lose all hope. He knows where you are. He will always know where you are. God likens the Exodus to Him carrying His people on eagles wings (Exodus 19:4). Look back on the times when the only way you got through that time/event was because He carried you. Isaiah says He carried our sorrows (our punishment). On the cross Jesus carried your punishment of sin. Jesus walked the narrow path. It got narrower and narrower people left him, the disciples turned back, denied him, betrayed him, the road got so tight that his father left him. God took Jesus down the narrow path and into a ‘spacious place’ of the eternal home. It is a place of no restrictions and no limitations. He did all that for you to demonstrate that He is the rescuer. One day in eternity we will stand before a vast place, a timeless place and we will rejoice that the great rescue is complete. Today the spacious place exists in our hearts. A seed of heaven is in our lives. It is a place of freedom, a place of love, a place of power, a place of blessings and miracles. God has performed an amazing rescue already. But He can rescue you today and He will rescue you tomorrow. He will rescue you from your own and those who are not like you. He will rescue you from your friends and from your enemies. He will rescue from those you used to journey with and He will rescue you from those who would never join you. He will rescue you from misunderstanding and jealousy and He will rescue you from fears and prejudice. There is nowhere that He cannot reach you. He will bring you home.

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