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  • Shawn Thornton

Grateful for the Sacrifice and Kindness of Others

Wednesday - November 11th

Day 11: Attitude of Gratitude

Scripture to Read Today: John 15:9-17

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.

John 15:13


Ever since the people of the Netherlands were freed from Nazi Germany occupation on May 5, 1945, by Allied Forces, the Dutch have been paying their respects to the American soldiers who died in nearby battles. After the war, generations continue to show up each weekend to honor those soldiers who paid the ultimate price for their freedom.

The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial consists of 8,300 US veterans who died in WWII. For the past 70 years, Dutch families have come to the cemetery every Sunday to care for a grave they adopted. You read that correctly - every Sunday. Hundreds of people are currently on a waiting list to become caretakers. This kindness continues even though funds set aside by the international community to care for the graves after the war have run out.

Kindness from strangers for such a prolonged period of years - how amazing is that! Their kindness is in response to the sacrifice of the soldiers who’ve been laid to rest in the American Cemetery in the Netherlands.

In the upper room the night before He was crucified, Jesus talked to His followers about the kind of love they must demonstrate to each other. In John 15:9-17, Jesus emphasizes both a sacrificial love and a practical love shown in kindness toward each other. He talks about how their love for each other will show the world they are His followers. Jesus also boldly proclaimed, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 15:13). Sacrifice demonstrates the greatest love. Of course Jesus, as the final sacrifice, has shown us this level of love!

The graves in the American Cemetery of the Netherlands honor the lives of those soldiers who sacrificed all for others. The willingness of Dutch families to care for those graves shows a high level of kindness, respect, and appreciation. As God's children, we should be known for our willingness to sacrifice for others and to show primary care and love for others as we serve them. How often do you deny yourself something to advance the cause of someone else? What acts of kindness do you do to show the love of Jesus to others in your life?

As God's people, we should be known by our love first and foremost. Jesus becomes our example of the type of kindness and sacrifice to which He calls us. Look around this week and notice those God will bring across your path. Be ready to show them a simple act of kindness. Be prepared to make a sacrifice to meet the needs of others.

On this Veteran's Day, thank God for the service and sacrifice of those who serve to defend our nation! They have laid down their lives for our freedom!

Be grateful for those who serve, sacrifice, and show kindness to others in little ways every day!

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