Summary: Christ can rescue us from any danger. He is also our greatest friend when things are going well.
HELP! I Need Somebody. HELP! Not just anybody.
Pastor Jim Bohrer
July 13, 2008
During the years of 1980s, I traveled quite a bit from Washington D.C. to New Jersey to go between my father and mother’s house. As a 10 year old I traveled alone on planes and news stories about planes and travels were on my radar so to speak. So, in 1982 when January 13th rolled around with the lead story about an Air Florida flight crashing into the Potomac River in Washington D.C. you can be sure my eyes and ears were tuned in!
It was a horrible day. The airport was shutting down due to ice and inclement weather. The captain and the co-pilot had sat on the runway for 45 minutes with ice forming on the wings before they attempted to take off. They got a couple hundred feet off the ground and then thirty seconds later, the plane slammed into the 14th Street Bridge over the Potomac River, less than a mile away from the runway.
Of the 79 people on the plane, 73 people died on impact, leaving six survivors crying out for help in the frigid waters of the Potomac. With the storm and the regular congestion, emergency vehicles could not get there in time. Scores of people stopped on the bridge and helped by tossing in lifelines to the survivors. The people on the bridge looked on in horror as one of the survivors could not hold onto the lifeline and began to sink. People on the bridge began to shout and scream, but what could they do?
Fortunately, Lenny Skutnik was there. He would not stand idly by. Without any further hesitation, he jumped into the frigid water with the sharp debris from the plane and swam to her rescue. She survived and Lenny received the Coast Guard life saving medal.
When you are sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shores, you need help, you don’t need bystanders! You need someone who understands just how desperate your situation is and is willing to jump in there with you! Well folks, I want to remind you from Scripture that Jesus will hear you despairing cry and lift you out of those waters if you let Him!
JESUS STANDS READY TO ASSIST US.
14 That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.
OUR STRUGGLE WITH TEMPTATION IS REAL.
When we are born again through faith in Jesus, He comes into our lives and resides in us through the Holy Spirit. Because of His presence, there is a residing desire for purity and identity with God. That is why it feels good to go to church. That is why singing, worshiping, and learning more about God’s love bring contentment to our souls. We come away thinking how wonderful it is to be a Christian and how fulfilling it is to live for Christ.
Then temptation comes and we sense the darkness gathering. And we wonder why we feel this tug in us to walk away from God. Many people do not understand what the Bible teaches about temptation and sin. You face temptation every day and with the information technology age, it comes at you 24/7. You can get in through the air waves, the information high way, you can get it HD surround sound today. Satan is lying in wait everywhere for you:
NLT 1 Peter 5:8 Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.
Once Satan loses the battle for you soul, he loves to trick you into temptation. He will lie to you and say, that God will forgive you. Isn’t that what GRACE is all about (there is truth to that, God’s grace covers all our sins). However, that will not take away the guilt we feel for failing. Secondly, once you do fall, the Devil comes up beside you and says, “Well, God cannot possibly forgive THAT sin!” You blew your witness. Nobody in church will like you any more! You might as well quit.
So there we walk around in our shame shirt and with our guilt glasses! Whether it is there or not we feel the weight of judgment and we see stares of condemnation. Then we leave the very people and place we need to find strength from. I just want to give a witness in this church as a member, not simply as pastor, but I have seen some tragic decisions made in the life of this congregation. I have seen good people fall into Temptation and I have literally seen the membership, not just one or two people just love on those persons and accept them and treat them like the brother and sister they are. If you are here and you love to judge people and find fault, especially after someone has said, “HELP!” then this is not the church for you. Don’t tell me that your are a Christian and that your sins are of the sort that are better than someone else’s! Listen, folks, Christian’s are not holier than Thou, they are FORGIVEN by Jesus who is Holier than anybody has ever been, but HE jumped right in with us. So we better not stand on the bridge pointing and saying, “Oh their in big trouble, we better get in there with a lifeline for our brothers and sisters.”