The Power of Love


"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." - 1 Corinthians 13:4

On April 6, 2000, Ricky and Toni Sexton were at their home in Wytheville, Virginia. Shortly after noontime, Ricky, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease and is confined to a wheelchair, remained in the house while Toni went outside to walk the dog. As soon as she got to the driveway, a fugitive couple, Dennis Lewis and Angela Tanner, roared into their driveway, pointed pistols at Toni and ordered her into the house. The couple was on the run fresh from a gunfight with police in Tennessee.

Inside the house, the Sextons turned their hostage experience into an opportunity to demonstrate Christian love. The Sextons listened to their captors' troubles, fed them, showed them gospel videos, read to them from the Bible, and prayed and cried with them. During the thirty-six hours of negotiations with the police, Ricky Sexton refused his own release when Lewis and Tanner suggested that they might end the standoff by committing suicide.

The standoff had an unusual ending. Before surrendering to the police, Angela Tanner left $135 and a note for the Sextons that read: "Thank you for your hospitality. We really appreciate it. I hope he gets better. Wish all luck & love. Please accept this. It really is all we have to offer. Love, Angela and Dennis." One of the requests the fugitive couple made upon surrendering was to speak to a state police chaplain.

Christian love is patient and kind and is a powerful force. Today in prayer, thank Christ for the love He has for you and seek to show that love to others.

"How do I want to be remembered? Not primarily as a Christian scholar, but rather as a loving person. This can be the goal of every individual." - Elton Trueblood

God's Word: "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:13

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2003, Devotional E-Mail DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS pkennedy@devotional.com

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