Arms of Love Never Let Go

“I didn’t do anything that any of my co-workers wouldn’t have done.”

That’s what the Bridge Tender said about his act of heroism when he prevented a man from committing suicide.  He held the man in his arms and didn’t let go until he knew he was safe.

What you are about to read is a story of every-day heroism.  Every-day, but not mundane or insignificant.  Heroes are selfless and sacrificial.  You will also read about an act of heroism that occurred over 2,000 years ago.  In this post, you will read about Jesus, the ancient hero who remains the hero people unwittingly crave today, and who will prove to be a hero for all eternity.  And you will read about God, His Father, the one whose arms never tire and never let go.  God’s embrace follows up Jesus’ sacrifice.  It offers the surety that the salvation we receive through faith in Jesus will not fade, but is secured from history past thru eternity future.

(What follows can be read aloud to a group.  It is a Gospel presentation and a celebration of the loving embrace God offers to all mankind.  If you want to share this with a group, you have my permission to read it.  That’s why I wrote it.  Pray that listeners will understand and appreciate the unrelenting love of God and His Gospel.)

Arms of Love

“…nothing can ever separate us from God’s love...” (Romans 8:38, GW)

eternal life is a gift of love that never goes away


The following story appeared in an employee newsletter, the Alameda County Courier, July 2012, page 1, print format.  The underline is mine to highlight a key phrase.

Employee Honored for “Heroic” Act

Gibson Douglas, a Bridge Tender for the Public Works Agency, was honored by the Board of Supervisors on July 24 for saving the life of a man who was attempting to leap from the Fruitvale Avenue Railroad Bridge.

Douglas was working on the bridge that connects Oakland and Alameda at about 4 a.m. on May 31 when he encountered a man who was visibly distraught and expressing a desire to end his own life.  Gibson called 911 for assistance, but when the man began climbing over the bridge railing Douglas realized he needed to act.

Douglas reached out and wrapped his arms around the man and prevented him from jumping off the bridge, which rises 65 feet above the Oakland Estuary.  He then engaged the man in a conversation that urged him to consider his faith and the suffering his death would cause to his friends and family.  This allowed enough time to pass for the Alameda Police to arrive at the scene and help to detain the man.


We’ll read the rest of the article later.

Douglas saw a man that reached a point in his life where he could not do anything to save himself.  And he wrapped his arms around him and saved him from an ill-fated end.  This is also what God does for us.
  • Our ill-fated end is eternal separation from God in the unbearable pain and loneliness of Hellfire.  It is an end without hope, and we can’t escape it by committing suicide.  In fact, we can’t escape it at all.
  • But when we come to God and accept His gift of salvation, He protects us and welcomes us into His presence, and He holds us for all eternity.

Romans 8:38-39 (GW)
I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love which Christ Jesus our Lord shows us.  We can't be separated by death or life, by angels or rulers, by anything in the present or anything in the future, by forces or powers in the world above or in the world below, or by anything else in creation.


Now let’s read the rest of the article.

To the roaring applause of a packed Board chamber, County Supervisors paid tribute to Douglas for his “heroic and compassionate actions.”

“This was an extraordinary act of heroism,’’ said Supervisor Wilma Chan, who presented Douglas with a written commendation.

Douglas said his actions reflect a commitment he shares with County colleagues to the people he serves.  “We’re public workers; we’re all very much about public safety,’’ he said.  “I didn’t do anything that any of my co-workers wouldn’t have done.’’

Douglas attributed what he did to who he was, a public worker who is “very much about public safety.”  In fact, he said he “didn’t do anything that any of [his] co-workers would not have done.”  That’s what they do because that’s who they are.

In the same way, God reaches out and embraces us and saves us because that is who He is and that is what He does.  And He embraces us and protects us, and never lets us go.

Here’s another set of verses that remind us of how God embraces us with foreverness.  This is who He is, and this is what He does.

John 10:27-29 (GW)
My sheep respond to my voice, and I know who they are.  They follow me, and I give them eternal life.  They will never be lost, and no one will tear them away from me.  My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than everyone else, and no one can tear them away from my Father.


No one and nothing can tear us away from the Father.  God never lets us go.  This is who He is and this is what He does.  He seeks us.  He saves us.  He never lets us go.

But to claim a life with God, we need to take a step.  We need to step away from whatever we are naturally inclined to trust, and step into the security that God designed for us.  We are separated from God because we are not perfect like Him.  His Son, Jesus, who did no wrong, paid the price of our shortcomings with His life.  He paid the penalty for our sins by dying on a criminal’s cross in our place.  We need to step forward and trust in Jesus’ sacrifice to save us, and acknowledge that He is Lord.  He will save us and secure us.  This is who He is and this is what He does.

John 3:16 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 Eternal life is a gift of love, and it never ends – it keeps on giving.
Eternal life is a gift of love that never goes away.
God embraces us with love for all eternity.
  

If you want to know more about Jesus’ sacrifice of love on the cross and what it means to be a child of God, or if you have questions about using this post to share with your group, please email me at authordlv@attnet.com.

Read more blog posts here.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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