Job one – clearing the road
By Sparta Live | April 16, 2018 6:38 am
By Steve Qualls – Christpoint Church
Imagine the most important person in your life. Imagine they are in a desperate situation and in dire need of rescue. Imagine you can see them but the distance between the two of you is simply too great or maybe treacherous. The road is impassible, and you are at opposite ends. If they are to be rescued, then the road is going to have to be leveled before you.
Now, what if someone were to come in and bust up the rocks, fill in the holes, and lay down a firm bed? And they could do this just in time for your important person to be rescued.
Allow me to explain. The body can’t go where the head doesn’t lead, and God doesn’t call the body before he calls the head. Much like the Samaritan woman, the head has to be convinced of the call before we can expect the body to follow. Such a call cannot be a lateral command. If we are going to see the stones removed and the road paved, then the vision must be vertical.
So what in the world does all of this mean? Basically, people are in need of rescue all around us every day. The need is great, and the road requires paving.
To create a connection from the rescuer to the rescue, it’s imperative that the roadway be clear. A lifeline must be thrown, and it cannot be cast from a sinking position. It cannot be a lateral save. The rescue has to be vertical. So, for the equation to be complete and that loved one recovered safely, two things are needed – a savior and a clear path for him to work.
2 Corinthians chapter 5 provides a snapshot of what the savior looks like. The apostle Paul describes him in verse 21 by saying, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Now the savior has been established by Paul with clarity in the person and deity of Jesus. But who will be the smooth road? Who will be the avenue for the rescue to occur? The road will always be rocky terrain as long as the there is division and conflict. It has to be paved in unity and must be a place that points to and complements the savior. So when we look at the qualification for the road, the church meets that criterion – a place where the vision is vertical and the rope of rescue is let down from above.
So what does that church look like? What church would Jesus attend today in the flesh? That church is pretty well laid out in the gospels in a place called Bethany. The proof would read something like Mathew 21:17, He left them and went out of the city into Bethany.” Or maybe in Mathew 21:6, “Now when he was in Bethany.” Or we could always look in Mark 11:11, “And that when the evening had come Jesus went out unto Bethany.” And Luke will say it himself in chapter 24 like this, “He led them out as far as Bethany.”
So think about that person again – that person who is on the verge of going under and realizes that a savior is needed, and it’s not you. If we are the ones throwing a rope, then all we will accomplish is to drag them into equally deeper waters where now we are both in jeopardy. Our job is to keep the road clear and take our lifeline and tie one end to them and the other in to Jesus. How can we best accomplish that task? Get them and ourselves to a Bethany. Get them to that church because that is where Jesus will be.
Allow me to invite you personally to one of those Bethany churches this Sunday, at 9 a.m. and 11 am. It’s called Christpoint Church, and we are located on the square in Sparta. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.