Thursday, April 6, 2017
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He's a real American hero! He received America's highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, and He earned it, believe me. It was November 14, 1965, Major Bruce Crandall flew a Huey helicopter assigned to lift troops into Ia Drang, which was to become known as the "Valley of Death". His mission to deliver the troops was done. But pretty soon he realized the plight of those troops. There were 450 American soldiers hugely outnumbered by 2,000 enemy troops. Major Crandall began flying into that Valley of Death to bring out the wounded and to bring in ammunition. Before that day was over, he had flown for fourteen hours straight-22 flights barraged with enemy fire. It took three different choppers to do it all; two were too damaged to continue. One officer said, "Without Major Crandall, our battalion would almost surely have been overrun." Crandall simply said, "They knew we would come if they needed it no matter what." That's heroism.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Passion of a Powerful Life."
Another officer in the Valley of Death that day bottom lined their heroic rescuer's work this way: "If he hadn't come, every man there would have died." But then, that's always the way it is with rescue, right? If the rescuer doesn't come, people die.
When you hear sermons about "witnessing" or "evangelism" or "sharing your faith," you probably don't think, "I may be the difference between someone living or dying." You are. Here's God's clear command in Proverbs 24:11-12. It's our word for today from the Word of God. "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will not He repay each person according to what He has done?"
God gave His Son so we could be rescued from an eternal Valley of Death. He's really not interested in our excuses for not telling the people we know about the Christ that their eternity depends on. We're so scared of what might happen to us if we dared to tell them about Jesus. How about being a whole lot more afraid of what will happen to them if we don't tell them.
God uses some sobering words to describe the lost people around us. In His own words, they are "staggering toward slaughter." According to Luke 19:10, they are "lost". These are people you know. They're "condemned" according to John 3:18. According to Ephesians 2:12, they're "Without hope and without God". And in 2 Thessalonians 1, they are those who "will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord." That's people we know, and it won't happen because that's what God wants. He sent His Son to take their hell. But they can't reach for Him as their Rescuer unless they know about him, unless someone explains what He did for them. Someone they know. Someone in their world; someone like you.
We may think we're not responsible, but if you know a lost person, God holds you responsible and will, in God's own words, in Ezekiel 3, "hold you accountable for his blood". Maybe we think we're not capable. That's what Moses thought. And God says to you what He said to him, "I will be with you...Now go; I will help you speak and teach you what to say" (Exodus 3:10, 4:12).
Look, you're not the hand. You're just a glove. You're just God's glove. He'll put His hand into your life and your influence and your story and your personality, and He'll do through you what you thought you could never do. You're just God's glove.
Friends of ours, family members, coworkers, fellow students; they are, whether they know it or not, in the spiritual Valley of Death. God has put you in their world to help rescue them. Would you tell your Commander, "Lord, I will rescue the dying, whatever it takes, because You did!"