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?