As part of our swim classes, our students play lifeguard as we teach water safety. We pose the question, “How do you save someone from drowning?” Their method typically involves leaning over to offer a hand or an object the victim can grab in order to pull them to safety. When the student does this, I promptly pull them into the pool.
The correct response requires the student to first get on their stomach and then offer a hand. The low position gives added security because it anchors the rescuer. Only then can they help the person in need. It’s a fitting picture for the Christmas season because
God didn’t just dangle a noodle before us, tell us to grab it, and pull us up. He humbled Himself, got down on our level, and offered Himself to a drowning world.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8 NIV)
Most major world religions are based on works. Want to go to heaven? Do this. In essence, the drowning man reaches up hoping to grab God.
Christianity speaks of a Savior who left heaven and met us here. He did life with us to show us how He meant life to be, then He died to make that life possible.
God came to us.
God did the work.
God offers salvation as the gift of His grace.
No hoops to jump through.
No pilgrimage to make.
No trying a little harder.
Salvation comes by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, He gives us His Spirit to live it out, because we can’t love God, ourselves, our neighbors, or anyone without Him.
That’s what makes the second part of Philippians 2 noteworthy:
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
O come let us adore Him!
Workout of the Week: Saving a Drowning World
Memory Verse: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5
Meditation Passage: Philippians 2:5-11
Do It: Humble yourself and reach out to someone who’s drowning.