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Whose Duty Is It?

Some years ago there was a shipwreck off the Pacific Northwest coast. A crowd of fishermen in a nearby village gathered to watch the ship as it was smashed on the rocks. A lifeboat was sent to the rescue, and after a terrific struggle, the rescuers came back with all but one of the ship-wrecked sailors.

"There was no room in the lifeboat for him, so we told him to stay by the ship and someone would come back for him," one of the rescuers explained. "We need someone to volunteer to go and rescue him."

"Who will come with me?" shouted a young man from the crowd.

Just then a little old lady cried out, "Don't go, Jim. Don't go. You're all I have left. Your father was drowned at sea; your brother William sailed away a few months ago and we've never heard from him since; and now if you are lost, I'll be left all alone. Oh, Jim, please don't go."

Jim listened to his mother's pleadings, and then said, "Mother, I must go! It's my duty. I must go!"

The onlookers watched as Jim got in the lifeboat and fought his way back toward the wreck. Anxiously Jim's mother wept and prayed. They finally saw the boat heading back to shore, a frail little shell tossed about by the waves. At last, when the boat came close enough to hear, those on shore shouted, "Did you get him?"

And Jim shouted back, "Yes, and tell mother it's William!"

Jesus has given us the Great Commission to go and tell others about the love that God has for each of us and to persuade them to be saved. Who will get into the lifeboat and go out into the raging sea to rescue those who are lost? Will you? Whose duty is it?

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward