Last week, my thoughts focused on what it takes to be a hero. There are stories of great heroism that involves the risk of life and limb, and we often get caught up into thinking that people who engage in this type of gallantry are the only real heroes. But we can rescue others by simply putting their physical and emotional needs before our own. And, most importantly, we can be heroes in this life and the next when we look out for the spiritual wellbeing of others.

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3­4) When God asked each one of us to “count others more significant than ourselves,” He didn’t do so without giving us an example to follow. Jesus’ ULTIMATE sacrifice was made for YOU and ME. But can WE sacrifice ourselves so that others will go to heaven? This is one area in which you won’t be able to help others until you’ve taken care of yourself. As hard as you may try to minister spiritually to others, you’ll never succeed unless YOU are serving God.

It is also important that you protect yourself spiritually to keep from being dragged down by the ones you try to help. In Jude 1:21­23, we read “keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” Notice that the “hero” is urged to keep him/herself in the love of God before trying to snatch someone else out of the fire.

There’s no greater way to serve others than look out for them spiritually. Think about the people you know. Could it be that YOU are the ONE person that God has in mind to help save their souls? Your love for other people and for God will determine what you do with your opportunities to serve others. What if YOU are in their life for such a time as this? Will you “leap” to their rescue, or allow them to perish?

­­­­Darrell Powell