Monday, July 1, 2013

Rescue 1 & The Heart of the Gospel

As we have continued to work with Rescue1 this week, God keeps opening our eyes and transforming our hearts to look more like His. Since we are going to the same motels every week, our team has been able to develop some deeper relationships with people who live there. Four girls on our team have gotten to know “A” and now spend time talking with her and praying with her every time we go out. Kathy and I have also developed a friendship with a woman at one of the motels and we continue to have good conversations and spend time prayer each week.
As the weeks have progressed, we have been able to develop these relationships by meeting physical needs like providing meals and clothing for those in need. However, these things alone are a means to an end without the gospel. The gospel is the end goal. Serving is just the bridge to getting to the gospel. That’s how Jesus did ministry. He healed people and he feed them, and then he spent time teaching them about the truth, His truth. Since Jesus did that, we should do too. We meet physical needs to get to the spiritual needs of people. After we offer physical loaves of bread, we need to offer the bread of life, Jesus.
Our lives should not inform us of how much Jesus is a part of us. He is not “a part” of us; Jesus is our life. Our relationship with Christ should inform us of how we are to live our lives. We all need rescue from eternal suffering as well as restoration for spiritual freedom. Here’s how we are to relate the ministry of Rescue1 back to Jesus:
Christ informed:
those endangered
those who thought they were saved
Christ served:
physical needs, touched and loved, went to sinners, spent time with people
Christ solved:
Calvary, offered a solution, was the solution, was selfless
Christ informed to make people aware of their need for a Savior. He served their physical needs. And He solved the problem of sin by going to the cross. Since He did those things, we are to do these things:

Rescue1 informs:
  • the community (prevention) 
  • the Church (action/rescue) 
  • the vulnerable (restoration)
Rescue1 serves: His people à everyone:  least of these through love: food, prayer, physical needs, building relationships
Rescue1 solves:
  • the Gospel which leads to: cleansing, purifying, healing, restoration 
  • Jobs, protection 
  • Reintegration into society: housing, specialized counseling, legal issues, long-term and emergency services: facilities, homes – find people who have an open home, no kids, no restrictions, where they can take victims in.
At the end of the day it all goes back to the gospel and what Christ did. As we continue to serve and build relationships with people through Last Call 4 Grace in Rescue 1 hopes to begin the same type of ministry up here in Nashville.

It has been a life changing experience to see the physical and spiritual needs of people here. We can no longer say we didn’t know. And because of that we cannot return back to our normal lives after this summer. God may not lead us all to work with trafficking victims, but we must always live our lives with Christ at the center, wherever he may call us. God does not want sacrifice, he wants obedience. He already sacrificed Himself for us. As we are obedient to God, our love becomes sacrificial like His.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:16-18