It's got to be one of the most unique sporting events in the world - it's the Iditarod, the ultimate sled dog race in the world This past year 68 teams lined up for the historic 1,000-mile race from Anchorage, Alaska, to Nome. Of course, it didn't start as sporting competition. It started in 1925 when the stakes were much higher than a cash prize - it was the lives of countless children in Nome who had been exposed to the dread disease, diphtheria. The only serum to fight it in Alaska was in far-away Anchorage. It had to get to Nome in the shortest time possible. And it was carried in an amazing, Pony Express-like, relay by one dog team after another. It took 20 drivers, some of whom braved mountain ranges, brutal weather, a merciless gale. But on February 2 - only 127 hours after the first team left - the last driver arrived in Nome with his tired dog team and 300,000 units of that life-saving serum.

Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Race To Save Lives."

Originally, that's what the Iditarod was. But what was once a life-saving mission is today just an activity. They're still racing on the same course - but they're not racing to save lives anymore. Like many of us followers of Jesus. Like many of our churches, many of our ministries.

Oh, we're racing, all right. But not to save lives. There's a lot of activity and excitement - but it's not about rescuing people who will die if we don't get to them. But that's what we're supposed to be about. At least according to our word for today from the Word of God in Proverbs 24:11-12. God's orders are, "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not He who weighs the heart perceive it?'"

As we begin to see the unreached people around us through the eyes of Jesus, we begin to realize that they are the ones "being led away to death." Listen to some of the words God uses to describe the people around you who don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ - they're "lost" (Luke 19:10) - "separated from God" (Isaiah 59:2) - "perishing" (1 Corinthians 1:18), "without hope and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12), and ultimately those who "will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 1:9). Not because God wants it that way - He sent His Son to die so they don't have to. But they don't know that yet.

But that's why God has placed you where you are - where you work, where you go to school, where you live, where you recreate. He's put you there to get the "life-saving serum" of the Good News about Jesus to them, to help some of those people around you be in heaven with you!

So maybe you're busy in the Christian race, but you - or your ministry - has forgotten the life-saving purpose of the race. And God is calling you to see the "dyingness" of the people within your reach, to see that He has positioned you to be the one to rescue them. And it is a race - because every day they live without Christ, they move one step closer to an eternity without Him.

But you're there. And you have the serum. You have nothing more important to do with the rest of your life than to deliver life to those who will die if you don't.



Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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