"My command [said Jesus] is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."1
Terry Austin of Dallas, Texas, tells about Bert Frizen who, in 1944, "was an infantryman on the front line in Europe. American forces had advanced in the face of intermittent shelling and small-arms fire throughout the morning hours, but now all was quiet. His patrol reached the edge of a wooded area with an open field before them. Unknown to the Americans, a battery of Germans waited in a hedgerow about two hundred yards across the field.
"Bert was one of two scouts who moved out into the clearing. Once he was halfway across the field, the remainder of his battalion followed. Suddenly the Germans opened fire, and machine gun fire ripped into both of Bert's legs. The American battalion withdrew into the woods for protection, while a rapid exchange of fire continued.
"Bert lay helplessly in a small stream as shots volleyed overhead. There seemed to be no way out. To make matters worse, he now noticed that a German soldier was crawling toward him. Death appeared imminent so he closed his eyes and waited.
"To Bert's surprise, a considerable period passed without the expected attack, so he ventured opening his eyes again. He was startled to see the German kneeling at his side, smiling. He then noticed that the shooting had stopped. Troops from both sides of the battlefield watched anxiously. Without any verbal exchange, this mysterious German reached down to lift Bert in his arms and proceeded to carry him to the safety of Bert's comrades."
Amazing! A wonderful thing to see! But far more amazing is the fact that when Jesus left the "Ivory Palaces of Heaven," to come to earth as a man, he bridged the gap that separated you and me from God. In giving his life for us on the cross, he rescued us from a lost and hopeless eternity to provide for us forgiveness for all our sins, the gift of eternal life, and a home in heaven where there will be the fullness of love and life forever.
NOTE: To be sure you have received God's gift of forgiveness and eternal life, be sure to read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for giving your Son, Jesus, to stand in the gap that separated me from you and, in so doing, you rescued me from a lost and hopeless eternity. And Jesus, let my life be a living 'thank you' for your dying sacrifice in giving your life to die in my place on the cross of Calvary. Thank your for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. John 15:12-13 (NIV).
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