Front line heroes often step into situations with a job to do that causes them to lay their life on the line. Police officers, fire fighters, military men and women … and fast-food workers. Yeah, one of these things is not like the others. But you don’t want to miss the story of courage.
Before we get to the story of rescue #2 for our unlikely hero, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me because you are the reason I’m here.
If you’re not familiar with Chick-Fil-A, they were started by a Christian who was determined to let his faith dictate how he ran his business. They are closed on Sundays. Chick-Fil-A invented the chicken sandwich. Really! They are known for insane levels of customer service and their signature reply of “My Pleasure.” Their website says they deliberately engage with their local communities and get involved with causes that matter to their communities and guests. Well, after you hear about Mikel Gordon, you’ll see how THAT’S the understatement of the year.
Last week Mikel was at work taking outside orders at the Chik-Fil-A in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. A woman was getting her child out of her car when a man armed with a large stick approached, grabbed her car keys and attempted to enter the vehicle. Mikel heard her screams and bolted into action, tackling the would-be car thief. He knocked him to the ground and then held him in a headlock until the carjacker complied with his commands to stop fighting back. One of the best comments I read about this incident said “Imagine getting your butt whipped, then all of a sudden your assailant whispers in your ear…‘my pleasure’. Chills.” So now Mikel Gordon can add two more people to the list of people he’s saved.
That’s right, this wasn’t the first time Mikel “Flash” Gordon has rushed to the aid of a woman in distress. A few years ago Gordon was – you guessed it – taking orders outside the Fort Walton Beach Chik-Fil-A when he saw a crane collapse and crash onto a nearby car. He unhesitatingly ran over and found a teenage driver and her friend trapped inside. As he carried one of them to safety other bystanders pulled the other one out of the wreckage. And THAT, as they say, is how we do that!
It makes me think that, if I’m ever in trouble, I hope it’s in Fort Walton Beach near the Chik-Fil-A on Beal Parkway.
That brings us to today’s verse, which says BEING JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
“Flash” Gordon isn’t the only hero who’s been busy rushing about and saving lives. Jesus has been in the business of saving the lives of people all over the world for two millennia. Over the last few days we’ve been pretty deliberate about laying out the “HOW” of His rescue efforts. I wanted to make certain that everyone who wanted to be recued had a pretty clear understanding of how to walk through the door that Jesus was opening for them. So in “Finding Love” you and I spoke about how to recognize true love when you see it. Then we spoke in “Simple Math” we spoke about what repentance is – adding Jesus and subtracting sin as we turn around to change the direction we were going and start walking with Him. Then in “What’s Next” you and I examined the how and why of repenting and being baptised.
Well, the outcome of being saved by Mikel Gordon gets you out of armed robberies and crushed vehicles; and that’s no small feat. But the outcome of being saved by Jesus Christ gets you out of eternal separation from God, and THAT, my friend, is a miracle.
A simple way of saying that you found the love of God, recognized your need, repented of your sin by deciding to turn your life around and follow Jesus and then making a public proclamation of it in baptism – the simple way to say that is that you were JUSTIFIED BY FAITH.
“Justified” is a really amazing word. I’ve said before that the word “grace” makes a great acronym to understand what it means. G-R-A-C-E equals “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” Well, “justified” isn’t going to be an acronym, but it SOUNDS like what it means. When we are JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, it is JUST-AS-IF-I’D never sinned! (For those of you who are not reading this in English, my apologies. This illustration simply will not translate well.)
But now you can see why BEING JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Because His forgiveness totally removes any cause for offense, just as if I’d never even sinned. Now THAT is holy! So holy, in fact, that WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD.
It’s like a golden chain. LOVE leads to relationship. Relationship leads to REPENTANCE. Repentance leads to RESCUE as we are justified by faith in Jesus. And BEING JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD.
And THAT, as they say, is how we do that!