• Chris Steele

We Must Be First Responders

Be Strong, Be Well — Thursday, April 23

Jesus Christ was on the front lines of the battle. He was a first responder. As His disciples, we should follow His example.

The Lord’s twelve were arguing among themselves about position and importance. Jesus responded by saying, “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.  And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:43-45).

We hear the stories of our brave and exhausted first responders, those on the front lines fighting this enemy, COVID-19. The list of these heroes is long—doctors, nurses, technicians, hospital workers (food service and housekeeping), ambulance crews, police and other security officers, fire rescue, military, construction workers, and those bringing in supplies, etc.

So how can we be first responders and join the fight? Jesus taught us to be like Him and help people with their physical needs. Not all of us can fill the needs of every person or every type of need, but we all have our own abilities and opportunities. (Remember the lesson of the one-talent man.) “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).

How can we be first responders when we are confined to our homes? First of all, we can spend more time in prayer. “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive" (Matthew 21:22).

Second, we strive to serve as we can. Those who cannot get out at all, can still make calls and give words of encouragement. Others use texting to do the same. The postal service is still coming by our mailboxes everyday. We can write a note or send a card. We can still talk face to face using the guidelines of social distancing.

Those who are able and willing to get out occasionally can offer to run errands for those who need food or other things. How about thinking of others while we’re out getting our own stuff. “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). Some may be able to offer financial help to those who have been out of work.

The most important effort we can make as a first responder is what Jesus did. He came to seek and save the lost. He was a first responder in the spiritual world. He stood on the front lines fighting against the devil and sin. “Jesus said, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work’” (John 4:34). The context of this scripture is evangelism. 

Our primary goal in this life, is to find those who are lost and introduce them to Jesus Christ. The same methods as we described above can be used for this purpose. With or without a virus floating around, we still must find ways to preach the gospel to the world and edify our brethren at the same time. —Chris

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