Tuesday, February 24, 2015
“The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”
In January 1996, nine-year-old Amber Hagerman was riding her bike on a Saturday afternoon when the unthinkable happened. As neighbors heard her scream, a man pulled Amber off of her bike, threw her into his truck, and sped away. It would be the last time Amber was seen alive. Four days later a man walking his dog found her lifeless body in a ditch. The autopsy revealed she had been sexually assaulted and then murdered.
As mourning turned to outrage, Amber’s parents resolved that something had to be done to try and protect other innocent children. The child abduction alert system, known as the AMBER Alert, has spread throughout the United States in the years since Amber’s abduction and murder. Similar systems can even be found in other countries around the world. The Emergency Alert System and NOAA Weather Radio distribute AMBER Alerts via commercial radio stations, Internet radio, satellite radio, TV stations, and cable TV. The alerts are also issued via e-mail, electronic traffic coordination signs, and some LED billboards, as well as through text messages, Facebook and Google. There is no doubt that child abduction is taken seriously, as it should be. Many lives have been saved – and dangerous criminals apprehended – because an emergency message was issued.
There is, on a much larger scale, an “AMBER Alert” on anyone who is far from God. Jesus said that the reason He left heaven and came to earth was to rescue missing persons – people who do not have a relationship with God through faith in His Son. In the earliest days of His ministry, we catch a glimpse of Jesus finding His first missing persons. They were four fishermen named Peter, Andrew, James and John. He invited them to follow Him, and to become “fishers of men.” As they answered His call they immediately began to share Christ’s message with others who did not know Him.
As believers who have been rescued by Jesus, our job as we go about living is to be looking for missing persons and to invite them to follow Jesus…to also become fishers of men. We are not rescuers…we are the rescued. Because we have personally experienced God’s amazing grace as He saved us from evil and eternal death, we have a passion to see others saved as well. It is our mission, our purpose in all we do – to see God’s glory revealed as we spread the most important Message of all time.
Dear Father, Thank You for opening my eyes to the truth of the Gospel before it was too late. Please help me to remember that I am here to fish for men and women who do not know You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.