Today’s Scripture: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Curled up in the fetal position on the floor of a dirty, roach-infested prison, Rusty was awaiting execution as punishment for the woman he had murdered. He had been abused his entire life and had sought refuge in subway stations and public bathrooms. No one had ever seemed to care about Rusty…until Bob came along. Once the deputy chief of staff for the governor of South Carolina, Bob had been born again and had become a man with a heart for inmates. Although Bob would talk to Rusty every day, all he received was a blank stare. Day after day, Bob would share that Jesus loved Rusty and that He could have new life. Little by little, Rusty began to open up until one day he began to weep. That day, he decided to place his trust in Christ. When Bob returned to his cell the next day, he found a new man who was clean and had a cleaned cell.
Bob continued to visit Rusty regularly and pray with him. In fact, the two men became so close that Rusty began to call him “Pop.” Rusty knew he had God’s forgiveness but now also desired forgiveness from the family of the woman he had murdered. Thankfully, God had already done a work in that woman’s family. Her brother had gotten saved and wrote a letter to Rusty offering him his forgiveness. Not long after, he and his wife came in to meet Rusty, and they embraced each other as family.
When the day came for Rusty’s execution, Rusty asked for Pop to come in and read to him from the Bible. After listening for an hour, Rusty sat up from his cot and said, “All I have ever wanted was a home, and now I am going to get one.” Although Rusty was executed shortly after, God had given him a new life the moment he put his faith in Jesus Christ, and immediately after his execution, Rusty entered His eternal home.
Consider for a moment how Rusty’s life would have ended had Bob not been willing to reach out to him. There are countless people in this world like Rusty who feel unlovable. Rather than ignoring them, we need to understand that they matter to our Heavenly Father just as much as we do; they desperately need His love and forgiveness. No soul is without value in Heaven. Ask today for the Lord to place someone in your life who needs to hear of His love and mercy. Like Bob, you too can show an unlovable soul what it is to be loved and forgiven for the very first time.
Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.