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But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful. Romans 5:8

A friend of mine recently ran the Boston Marathon. He’s the kind of guy who takes ‘running to the store’ very seriously! The Boston Marathon has always been considered the granddaddy of all marathons but this year’s marathon drew even more attention because of the bombing in 2013. That event shook the nation much like, although on a smaller scale, the horror of 911.

Whenever a tragedy of that scope comes out, stories of heroic measures by others come to trescuedhe forefront. Stories of men and women who risk their lives to save the lives of other people who are often total strangers. Tragically, those ‘heroes’ often give their lives so others can live.

We all have our heroes. Some of our heroes are athletes or others who, because of their abilities are noteworthy. Other people are heroes because they set aside their own comfort and safety for others. Sometimes they are just people who are at the right place (or wrong place as it may be) and act sponta
neously. Often times they are innocent bystanders just ‘doing the right thing.

Sometimes heroic measures are driven by a need to serve, but ultimately heroic measures are driven by love either for mankind in general (the sanctity of life) or individually (love). Love, at whatever level, is perhaps the biggest reason for people to become heroes.

Heroes generally have four things in common:

First, heroes are known for their sacrificial actions. Many heroes have died saving others with no thought of their own personal safety. Jesus is my hero because he gave the greatest sacrifice anyone can give by giving his own life for me. We know the depth of someone’s love for us by what they are willing to sacrifice for us. Jesus gave everything for me.

Second, heroes often act without regard for whether the person they are working to save is deserving of saving or not. Police officers, Firefighters and medical personnel don’t check a person’s background before risking their lives to save them. They realize time is of essence. The other questions can be dealt with later. That’s the kind of love my hero, Jesus Christ, has. His love, true love is unconditional. Romans 5:8 tells me that God demonstrated his love for me while I was still a sinner! I don’t deserve his love, but he died for me anyway.

Third, we benefit greatly from heroes actions. We see many examples of that when people risk their lives at accident scenes to save total strangers, and then disappear into the crowd. The one saved benefits from a second chance at life. The hero may go unnoticed!

1 John 3:1-3 tells me the benefits I receive because of Jesus. It says, See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Lastly, heroes give us freedom. The men and women of our armed forces are excellent human examples of heroes that give us the freedoms we enjoy in this nation. The amount of love a person has for you is proportionate to the freedom you receive from that love. Jesus resurrection gives me complete freedom from guilt and sin because of his great love. The mark of the freedom I have in Jesus is inner joy that nothing or no one can take from me. Jesus’ joy is unconditional.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for being my hero. Thank you for the many blessings you have given me. I am so undeserving of anything you have given me yet you give freely. Help me to live in the freedom and joy you give through your forgiveness. In your name I pray, Amen.

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