What is Your Response Time?

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality” (Romans 12:9-13).  
 
During a life-or-death situation, emergency response times can make the difference between losing a life and saving a life. The faster first responders can arrive on the scene, the quicker someone can be brought to safety or receive medical attention.  

We’ve been discussing the value of community and how Romans 12 is a call to action not just for one person, but for all of us collectively. We’ve talked about the mark and the ministry of the Christian, and we touched on the mindset of the Christian in our previous devotion, but what exactly is the mindset of the believer?  

When we talk about stewardship in the kingdom, this idea doesn’t come naturally. In the natural man, before Christ lives in us, our initial response is to take care of ourselves. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and we grow up with this mentality that we have to get ours before someone else takes it. We do whatever means necessary to protect ourselves. In the spiritual man, we are taught the opposite. Jesus tells us to risk it all for others, put our desires aside, lay down our fears, and live to bring others to safety rather than ourselves.  

There’s a reason why first responders have what are called “high-risk” jobs. Their job is to risk their own security for the sake of someone else. In the kingdom, Christians have high-risk jobs, and it’s not always easy to respond quickly to a call for help. You might be walking into a fire for someone, giving all you have so that a friend or your family or a stranger sees Jesus.  
When a person loses a loved one, many times their first instinct is to blame God and believe that He’s left them. Our job as ambassadors and stewards for Christ is to show up and sit with them as they grieve so that they’ll see God never left them—He’s in us; He’s nearby. We’re His feet, and we come running when there’s trouble.  

So let me ask you this: how quick is your response time? How fast do you run when your neighbor is struggling to find joy or when they find out they have stage four cancer? Do you get there quickly when a friend needs you? In the worst situations, we might show up eventually so that we can say we were there, but we might’ve been dragging our feet the whole way because we didn’t want to come.  

Paul reminds us to be fervent as we serve—be quick to arrive, and bring your army while you’re at it. We outdo one another in honor; we’re swift to respond. We’re passionate people who engage the danger because that’s where our duty is.
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