HomeWord - August 10, 2011

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The Love of Jesus
This devotional was written by Jim Burns

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit. —1 Peter 3:18

At 9:05 p.m., Enrique’s gang members lined up in two rows holding bats and clubs, cussing and screaming obscenities.  They called this 13-year-old boy a sissy for turning to Jesus. Dan and Enrique stood side by side—each wore a horrified look. Dan kept asking, “Is this really happening?” Enrique looked up at Dan and needed reassurance once more. “Dan, you’re absolutely sure Jesus loves me?” Dan, checking every motive in his life, said, “He loved you so much He was willing to go to the cross and die for the forgiveness of your sins and mine.” Dan knew there was a possibility that Enrique was going to his cross for is now two-day-old faith in Jesus.

The leader yelled, “Go for it, Enrique.” Dan watched as his little friend got slugged, hit and kicked. Dan will never forget the picture imprinting on his mind of this terrible beating. Dan had begged, screamed, pleaded, prayed and threatened. Now Enrique was curled up in a ball protecting himself from the blows to every part of his body.

At last the gang leader called it off. Enrique lay still, bloody and bruised. He couldn’t speak and he couldn’t walk. Dan carried Enrique in his arms 12 blocks to the nearest hospital. They waited three hours for help. Enrique’s head was badly cut. His should was already swollen and two teeth were entirely missing. His groin had swollen to the size of a grapefruit.

Finally, a nurse put Enrique on a gurney and wheeled him to the emergency room. Dan walked quietly at his side. In the elevator, Enrique looked up through his bloodshot eyes, and said, “Jesus really does love me, doesn’t He?” Dan smiled. Enrique—whose own face was bruised—added, “He went through extreme pain, even death for me, right?” Dan nodded. “Then I’m glad I could go through this for my Savior,” Enrique quietly concluded.

GOING DEEPER:

1. This is a powerful true story. How does it challenge you?

2. How is Enrique’s commitment similar to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross?

FURTHER READING:

Psalms 148

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