Welcome to Walk-on Wednesday. By Hump Day, we are struggling, but we believe a good devotion can strengthen us to finish the week strong.
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13 NKJV
No greater love must have been his motto.
Although Joseph O’Callahan loved teaching at Holy Cross College, he felt the need to enlist. World War II raged, and he thought he could better exhaust his calling by helping those who fought.
Four years later, he found himself on the aircraft carrier, the USS Franklin, when a Japanese plane suddenly appeared and dropped two five-hundred-pound bombs. Flames erupted.
As a captain watched the flames creep closer to two enclosed gun turrets, he saw the padre moving through the flames with a fire hose. O’Callahan calmed others and even helped defuse bombs.
The ship was eventually saved. On May 17, 1945, in the Brooklyn Navy Ship Yard, awards were presented. As O’Callahan’s mother came aboard, Les Gehres, the captain, met her. He said, “I’m not a religious man. But I watched your son that day, and I thought if faith can do this for a man, there must be something to it.”
What better person to talk about laying down one’s life for others than the person who did? Thousands followed Jesus. Laying down his life for them—his friends—was honorable. But what about those who despised, abused, ridiculed, and tried to kill him? Could he lay down his life for them with the same ease?
Love demands action, as it did with Father O’Callahan and Jesus. If we only love in words, few benefit. True love for others requires that we do something . . . anything.
Jesus calls the ultimate expression evangelism. We don’t have to berate others with Bible verses or be obnoxious in other ways. We can simply demonstrate the love of Jesus in kind actions. Making Jesus a regular part of our daily conversations also helps us obey Jesus’ command. We don’t have to be Bible scholars—just Jesus talkers. In numerous simple ways, we can lay down our lives for others.
Choose one way you can give of yourself to someone.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, move us to lay down our lives for others even as you did yours for us.
Tweetable: How are you showing God's love to others?
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