Secondly, we preserve.
Words of truth grant life. Not just long life, eternal life. In Proverbs 11:30 we see that “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” In other words, the harvest we reap, the natural outworking of being righteous, is life. Not just our own, but that of every soul we touch. We have the gospel: “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;” according to Paul in Romans 1:16.
Here’s an illustration the girls gave me in school a few weeks ago. Heaven is a beach. The ocean is the world. It’s beautiful and terrible: wild and majestic, appealing and terrifying all at once. The Bible is the two little flags on either side of the Narrow Way: the bit of ocean where it’s safe to swim until it’s time to get out on the beach. The problem is, for some reason, we can’t resist the appeal of the rocky, dangerous waves all around the outside of the narrow, safe swimming space.
Sometimes we get ourselves into deep water. We’re being pulled out to sea and it seems like nothing can save us. Certainly our own efforts are worthless. We need help! The gospel is one of those funky red-and-white life preservers thrown out to rescue us from peril beyond our ability to solve. The lifeguard who throws it is Jesus, and our job? Tell the blighters to grab the ring! We can’t save the drowning, but we know Who can, and it’s our job and our joy to tell them, before they drown and it’s too late – they never see that beautiful beach, or bask in that glorious Son.
Just an aside: today is my anniversary. As you read this, Papa Bear, Goldilocks, Red and I are headed up country to reconnect with some folks (and do some work), and we’re going to show our offspring where we were married, and where they were born. 16 amazing years of Life with a capital L, shared with my BFF.