Generous Love

This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. –1 John 4:10

Richie Manning and his best friend Jerry Brennan found themselves in a foxhole during the Korean War with bombs, bullets, and grenades flying all around them. They were scared to death. All of a sudden an enemy grenade landed in the foxhole. Jerry looked at Richie one last time and then did an incredibly selfless thing. He fell on the grenade and took the explosion. He was killed instantly.

Richie’s life had been spared. After the war he became very close to Jerry’s family. One day on a flight to Chicago, Richie was very depressed and decided to stop by Jerry’s home to visit Jerry’s mother. They ate dinner together and settled down to watch TV. Richie looked at this beautiful woman who had become his second mother and said, “Mom, do you think Jerry loved me?” For the first time in Richie’s life he saw his second mother immediately explode with anger. She stood and pointed to the door. “Get out!” she screamed. Richie looked bewildered. “Why?” he asked. She shouted back, “How could you even ask that question? OF COURSE JERRY LOVED YOU…. HE DIED FOR YOU.”

Two things happened that evening. Richie Manning never again doubted his best friend’s love. Secondly, he understood once and for all, the fact that Jesus Christ also sacrificed his life for him as well.

Richie (Brennan) Manning spent the rest of his life proclaiming the good news that God demonstrated his love to us in that while we were yet sinners, Jesus Christ died for us.


1. How does 1 John 4:10 relate to this story?

2. What is your response to God’s generous gift of Jesus?


Psalm 68:19-20, 34-35

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

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    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

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