Where are Malaysia Air 370 and its 239 passengers? I can't remember a time when so many nations - 26 so far - have mounted a search-and-rescue effort. Across such a wide swath of the world.
To search for - and, if possible - save people who are lost.
As I was watching the unfolding news...and praying - God seemed to say to me, "There's something else I want you to see here."
Suddenly I was hearing in my heart the words of Jesus - that He had come "to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10).
Then it hit me. Jesus has launched a search-and-rescue force from every corner of the globe. To seek and to save hijacked lives. Heading for an unthinkable destination.
His worldwide rescue force is His Church. His people. From "every nation, tribe...and language" (Revelation 7:9).
As ships and planes and computers search for the missing plane, they're looking by "grids." Each has its assigned stretch of ocean or land to cover.
Just like the rescue forces of Christ. Each of us with our assigned "grid" -the spiritually dying people in our circle of influence.
There's so much ground to cover. So many eternities in the balance. The only way every unbeliever can have a chance at Jesus is if every believer is a rescuer.
"How can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?" (Romans 10:14, NLT).
The life-saving mission of my Jesus compels me to consider those questions in light of the people I know. "How can __________ hear about Him unless Ron tells them?"
Neighbors. Coworkers. Facebook friends. Family. Social acquaintances. They're the "grid" where the Great Rescuer has assigned me to "seek and save."
And the desperate search that dominates our headlines today has a lot to teach us. About our rescue assignment from Jesus.
1. Seek them.
We can't expect those who are lost to show up where we are. We have to go where they are. Taking the eternity-changing News of Jesus outside the walls of the church. Showing up with Jesus at the office, the gym, the club, the store, the game, the hospital.
2. Deploy every means possible.
Ships. Planes. Computers. They're using every conceivable tool for the mission. We who know the eternal stakes of our life-saving mission can do no less. Social networks. Websites. Acts of kindness. Fervent prayer. Intentional relationships. "That by all possible means, I might save some" (1 Corinthians 9:23 ).
3. Work together.
The Malaysian Air search depends on people from different backgrounds coming together for a cause larger than their differences. Our failure to do that as the rescue force of Jesus is costing lives.
4. Time is lives.
That's what a Chinese official said about delays in the search. Surely that must echo God's heart as His rescuers focus on themselves while lost people keep slipping into an awful eternity.
I answer to the Final Orders of Jesus - as does every child of God. "Go and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere" (Mark 16:15, NLT). It is the passion of His heart. It must be mine.