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God has the Keys!  

Question: What’s worse than losing your keys?

Answer: Not knowing that you had them in the first place!

I remember the weekend when we went out to our camper…minus the keys.  Since we'd left one of the hatches unlocked, and since that hatch opened into the trailer, we shoved one of our little kids in that hatch (well, in a nice way) and coached them on how to unlock the door.

Recently, four-year-old Sade listened as her mother read about China missionary Gladys Aylward.  In one tense scene, Gladys was summoned to a prison and asked to stop the fighting between inmates. These were big burly men, and Gladys stood just under five feet tall.  You can understand her fear. 

Sadie did.  That's when she exclaimed, "But mom! She doesn't have to be afraid. GOD HAS THE KEYS! Like Paul, who was locked up. God had the keys, and they escaped. So if she ‘gots locked up,’ God Has the keys to help her.”

A four-year-old is connecting Paul's fears with Glady's fears--and God’s extraordinary provision. Do we?

Newman hall writes, “How unreasonable is it for a disciple of Jesus to worry!... Would Jesus have done so much for you already—would He have called you by His grace, renewed you by His Spirit, comforted you by His love, and preserved you to this day, if He intended now to abandon you? If He sought you when a stranger, will He not take care of you now that you are a child? If the foe was loved, how much more the friend! ‘If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, how much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life!’ (Rom 5:10).

Sadie is right.  God has the keys.

(Note to self—Relax!)

 
  

Recently, I walked by the St. Johns County Fire Rescue Station where I noticed the doors to all the fire trucks were open and a power cord charged each vehicle’s battery—constantly.  Firemens’ boots were positioned by each door, ready to slip on.

 

Speaking to one of the rescuers I said, “You guys seem really committed to being ready” (I’m sure I came across as Captain Obvious). He explained, “Once the alarm sounds, we have one minute to get into the truck.  In two minutes we need to be out of the station and on the road to rescue.”  Hence the boots, power cord, and open doors.  

 

 

As Christians, you and I are engaged in nothing less than an eternal life and death struggle.  The only question is, are you a first responder—or a non-responder?

 

My Uncle Tom is fond of answering unwanted sales phone calls with, “Fire Department—sorry—we don’t go down that street!”  But imagine a first responder who really didn’t respond!

 

The very name of Jesus means salvation. Nothing less than an eternal life and death situation is at stake!  That’s why He came. 

 

If you know Jesus as Savior, you’ve been rescued.  That makes you a first responder.  It’s time we saw our lost friends and neighbors in those terms.     

 

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night and you see smoke and flames just starting to build in your neighbor’s house.  How would you respond?

A. “I don’t have the gift of rescuing.  Someone else more qualified than me should step up.”

B. “I’d like to help, but I’m just not qualified to respond.”  

C. “They might be offended by me telling them their house is on fire. They’ll know what to do.”

D. “This is a matter of life and death!  I’ve got to do what I can—immediately!”

 

First responder—or non-responder.  Which are you?

 

 

 
  

Recently, I walked by the St. Johns County Fire Rescue Station where I noticed the doors to all the fire trucks were open and a power cord charged each vehicle’s battery—constantly.  Firemens’ boots were positioned by each door, ready to slip on.

 

Speaking to one of the rescuers I said, “You guys seem really committed to being ready” (I’m sure I came across as Captain Obvious). He explained, “Once the alarm sounds, we have one minute to get into the truck.  In two minutes we need to be out of the station and on the road to rescue.”  Hence the boots, power cord, and open doors.  

 

 

As Christians, you and I are engaged in nothing less than an eternal life and death struggle.  The only question is, are you a first responder—or a non-responder?

 

My Uncle Tom is fond of answering unwanted sales phone calls with, “Fire Department—sorry—we don’t go down that street!”  But imagine a first responder who really didn’t respond!

 

The very name of Jesus means salvation. Nothing less than an eternal life and death situation is at stake!  That’s why He came. 

 

If you know Jesus as Savior, you’ve been rescued.  That makes you a first responder.  It’s time we saw our lost friends and neighbors in those terms.     

 

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night and you see smoke and flames just starting to build in your neighbor’s house.  How would you respond?

A. “I don’t have the gift of rescuing.  Someone else more qualified than me should step up.”

B. “I’d like to help, but I’m just not qualified to respond.”  

C. “They might be offended by me telling them their house is on fire. They’ll know what to do.”

D. “This is a matter of life and death!  I’ve got to do what I can—immediately!”

 

First responder—or non-responder.  Which are you?

 

 

 
Responder--or not?  

Recently, I walked by the St. Johns County Fire Rescue Station where I noticed the doors to all the fire trucks were open and a power cord charged each vehicle’s battery—constantly.  Firemens’ boots were positioned by each door, ready to slip on.

Speaking to one of the rescuers I said, “You guys seem really committed to being ready” (I’m sure I came across as Captain Obvious). He explained, “Once the alarm sounds, we have one minute to get into the truck.  In two minutes we need to be out of the station and on the road to rescue.”  Hence the boots, power cord, and open doors.  

As Christians, you and I are engaged in nothing less than an eternal life and death struggle.  The only question is, are you a first responder—or a non-responder?

My Uncle Tom is fond of answering unwanted sales phone calls with, “Fire Department—sorry—we don’t go down that street!”  But imagine a first responder who really didn’t respond!

The very name of Jesus means salvation. Nothing less than an eternal life and death situation is at stake!  That’s why He came. 

If you know Jesus as Savior, you’ve been rescued.  That makes YOU a first responder.  It’s time we saw our lost friends and neighbors in those terms.     

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night and you see smoke and flames just starting to build in your neighbor’s house.  How would you respond?

A. “I don’t have the gift of rescuing.  Someone else more qualified than me should step up.”

B. “I’d like to help, but I’m just not qualified to respond.”  

C. “They might be offended by me telling them their house is on fire.          They’re intelligent people. They’ll known what to do.”

D. “This is a matter of life and death!  I’ve got to do what I can—immediately!”

First responder—or non-responder.  Which are you?

 

 
Unanswered Prayers  

Do you ever secretly suspect God might not be interested in your prayers?  You've prayed and prayed, but "nothing happens."

I know this feeling.

Diana and I pray regularly for our neighborhood.  We do not pray for their prosperity or health, or jobs.  We pray for one thing only: their salvation. 

We’ve prayed for years—in many cases, by name—for our neighbors.  Truthfully, we’ve gone for long stretches when there appears to be no discernible spiritual pulse at all up and down our street. Nothing seems to be happening.

Then came the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

That’s when the neighbors across the street invited us over for dinner.  Before the night was out, they mentioned they were just beginning to read the Bible.  Diana and I shared how much the Bible has shaped our lives. 

The neighbors happen to be Catholic and presumed I was a Catholic priest.  But they learned otherwise—and we had a blast sharing about Jesus together. What a fantastic time!

Just a few days later, my footsteps crunched on the icy slush of a winter storm when a familiar pickup truck drove by.  The guy honked, and I recognized him as a neighbor down the street. We don't really know each other—he lives many houses away.  But we’ve been waving hello for months now. 

Long story short: this truck pulled into the parking lot, and the guy rolls down his window, asking if I'd like a ride home.  For a moment, I babbled something about getting in my 10,000 steps.  But then an inner voice seemed to say, “Yo!  Wake up, Jon!” 

So I climbed into his cab and met Shane, a construction worker. At last—a name for the truck guy who waves in the morning.

After being dropped off, Diana and I got an idea.  Why not go to Shane's house and give him a small thank you gift for the ride (any excuse to build a bridge, right!).  So we knocked on his door bearing a box of chocolates, which brought big smiles from Shayne and his family. We chatted a moment, and I left my cell phone number on the gift-tag before saying goodbye.

On the surface, none of this appears earth-shattering. Yet as I ponder the crunch of my steps on the frozen slush that day, I wonder if I might also have heard the echo of the footsteps of God walking through my icy neighborhood. 

Keep praying. Don’t quit.

And listen for the footsteps of God.

 

 
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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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