A lifeboat is launched on receiving a distress signal, because another boat is in trouble or people are in danger. The volunteer crews are summoned by phone or radio, and immediately stop what they are doing and rush to the lifeboat. Often when they put out to sea the conditions are dangerous and stormy – great courage and skill is required. These men and women risk their own lives to save others.
The Lord God describes Himself as the saviour of Israel – “For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour”. But His work of saving people is not restricted to Israel - “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other”.
God’s work of saving people is carried out through Jesus. Even Jesus’ name means ‘God Saves’. When Joseph was told that Mary would have a son, the angel said “she will bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins”.
Jesus came to save lives by teaching people about God’s purpose and calling them to follow him. When he died, he was a perfect sacrifice: he did not deserve to die as he never disobeyed God, but he willingly offered his life so that men and women could be saved.
This is God’s rescue mission and how we respond is crucial. The world increasingly resembles a perfect storm. God has dispatched His lifeboat but will you let God save you? God wants us to believe His promises, be baptised and to commit our lives entirely to following Jesus – this is how we can be saved.
As Jesus said, “Whoever desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it”.