A Word with You - Jan. 14, 2011

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The Deadly Silence

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Jack Phillips was a senior radioman on the maiden voyage of the ill-fated Titanic. On that fatal night when two-thirds of her passengers and crew would die, Phillips received a message from a ship called the Mesaba. That ship was reporting a major ice field ahead and the message gave the coordinates where the Titanic could expect to encounter those icebergs. It was the place where just two hours later, the Titanic would, in fact, hit one of those icebergs; the one that would sink what was supposed to be the unsinkable ship. The message with the warning of what was ahead - would you believe it - didn't get delivered. Jack Phillips was really busy at the time, and he stuck the message on a spindle to be delivered sometime later, and it never was. That one decision would cost the lives of 1,500 people and the life of the radioman himself.

Life-saving information never delivered. That's a tragedy that has been repeated countless times, as followers of Jesus Christ fail to deliver the life-saving message God has given to them. The message of how His Son's death on the cross paid the penalty for our sin and made the way for our sin to be forgiven for us to go to heaven. But if those who know it never tell those who don't, lives will be lost forever. That is the deadly silence.

If you belong to Jesus, you may not fully realize the reason you are where you are and the incredibly important role you play in the plans of God and the eternal destiny of the people you know. There's a story in the Bible that wonderfully illustrates your position in the lives of your family, your coworkers, and your neighbors. It's found in 2 Kings 5:1-3, and it's our word for today from the Word of God.

The Bible says: "Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy." Here's a highly successful, very famous leader who's suddenly facing something bigger than he is - the fatal disease of leprosy. The story continues: "Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, 'If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria (that's Elijah) he would cure him of his leprosy.'" Ultimately, General Naaman acts on that information. His body is healed and he opens his heart to Jehovah God.

Someone close to him knew how he could be saved and she took the risk to point him to the only person who could help. Humanly speaking, she was working there because of something bad that had happened to her; she was captured by enemy soldiers. But she came to understand that she had been divinely positioned where she was to save a life there. So have you. God, not circumstances, has positioned you where you are so you can help save the lives of the people there by pointing them to Jesus; the only one who can save them.

Like the girl working as a servant in the home of a very important man, it's a risk to tell them how they can be cured of the cancer of sin and how they can live forever. You won't take that risk if you're thinking about yourself. You will take the risk if you realize that the greatest risk of all is that they will die without the information that could have helped them go to heaven with you. We can't be this close to them for so long and never tell them the life-saving information we know.

Pray each day that God will give you natural opportunities to share what you know about Jesus. Ask God to show you how to approach each person, and even ask Him to give you the words to say. He's promised He would. Living a Christlike life in front of them is very important, but it's not enough. They'll never guess Jesus died for them. You'll have to tell them that. You have the message that can save their life. To leave that message undelivered is unthinkable.

© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.

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