King of the Life-Saving Heroes


Three weeks ago my older brother was killed when the light plane he was piloting crashed into woods in North Carolina. Sunday at the memorial service his daughter gave a beautiful tribute to her dad, who was a retired fire chief. She mentioned that his work had been a source of pride for her on the playground. In her view, he was the "king of the life-saving heroes." Later in the service, their pastor spoke. Having heard several testimonies to my brother's deep and mature commitment to Christ, he commented on the daughter's title for her dad. He said that my brother would not have claimed it. As a faithful Christian, who knew the sovereign grace of God, he would instead of pointing out that someone else was deserving of it. The true King of the Life-Saving Heroes is the Lord Jesus. And it is His Resurrection that gives us hope in the face of death. 

As we engage in mission, locally and globally, this reality must always be at the forefront. We don't represent a congregation or denomination, a theological formula or even the worldwide Church, first of all. We certainly don't represent ourselves, our intelligence and wisdom. We represent Jesus. We speak on His behalf and for His purposes. It is only when we faithfully follow the directions of the chief that we can play a role in saving lives by drawing others to Him. Of course, often our own eccentricities and shortcomings get in the way of that representation. People don't see through us to Him. That is why we need to be ever so clear about our role and His in the process of salvation. In this way, my older brother was a faithful example.

Have there been people in your life who have helped point you to Jesus? 

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Steve, I'm so sorry for your loss. My older brother died of ALS a few years ago, also very untimely and unexpected. I know what a sadness this causes for you, your family and friends. How wonderful that your brother's daughter could give such a loving tribute to her dad, and that he was a faithful example of representing Christ on earth.