"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."1
I have read that, back in the 19th century, when many people from Ireland were seeking passage to move to the New World, a young boy who didn't have the fare secretly boarded a ship as a stowaway. At sea the ship ran into an iceberg and began to sink. When the boy realized what was happening, he came out of hiding and rushed to the deck only to see the captain taking the last seat in the last lifeboat. In the tradition of the sea the captain got out of the lifeboat and gave his seat to the boy. The last thing the captain said to him was, "Never forget what's been done for you."
In the years ahead the boy grew up to be a very successful man. When asked what was the secret of his motivation, he said, "Whenever I begin to doubt myself or let up from what I ought to be doing, I always remember a captain standing on a deck and saying, 'Never forget what's been done for you.'"2
May you and I never forget what Jesus Christ has done for us in giving his life on the cross in your place and mine to pay the penalty for all our sins, to grant us a full and free pardon, and to give us the gift of eternal life. May our manner of life and how we live for God and others be evidence of our heartfelt gratitude.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank you enough for giving your Son, Jesus, to give his life in my place so that I could be totally forgiven and receive your gift of eternal life in Heaven forever. Help me never to forget this in the way that I live, in what I do, and how I serve you and help others. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Romans 5:7-8 (NIV).
2. Cited on KneEmail, Mike Benson, editor.
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Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.