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You wouldn’t know it by all of the rain we’ve been having lately, but we are in the full swing of summer. I love summer because of all the fun activities that we get to participate in living here on the Texas Gulf Coast. We are close to the Kemah Boardwalk, Pleasure Pier in Galveston, and a host of other places you can go to cool off from the heat. At our church camps, the kids always look forward to the hour or so during the day that they get to spend either in the Medina River at Camp Bandina or the pool at Camp Thousand Oaks Ranch. In order for the kids to enjoy being able to swim, we have to have lifeguards certified by the state of Texas in case any of our swimmers get into trouble.

The process of becoming a lifeguard is not an easy one. There is a time commitment involved for the classes and the studying one must do outside of the classroom, a great physical demand on the body of the person who is trying to get certified, and a very mental component to the strain that this training and the actual job of being a lifeguard entail. Knowing all of this, we still have young men and women that volunteer to sacrifice their time every summer to get certified and work at our camps for free in order that our children might be safe. As I consider the demands involved in becoming a lifeguard, I see a connection to the Christian life.

As Christians, there is a definite commitment that we must make in order to be pleasing to God (Joshua 24:15; Hebrews 10:25), the need for great amounts of study both at home and when we gather together (2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11), and the physical demand for us to “go out and make disciples” (Matthew 28:18-20). The most obvious comparison between a lifeguard and a Christian is that fact that they are both in the life-saving business. When a lifeguard sees someone drowning, they go to them, help them, and if the person requires first aid, then administer it. As a Christian when we see someone “drowning” in a life of sin, it is our job to go to them and administer first aid using God’s word. The writer of the book of James said it quite eloquently in James 5:20.

James 5:20
20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
Let’s be on our guard as Christian lifeguards for people who are drowning in a life of sin.

Be Strong and Courageous,
Paul