Saturday, August 1, 2020

A Heartwarming Letter

By David A. Sargent

    He was known as “the Crocodile Hunter.” Stephen Robert “Steve” Irwin was an Australian wildlife expert, television personality, and conservationist. Irwin achieved worldwide fame from the television series The Crocodile Hunter, an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary series which he co-hosted with his wife, Terri. Together, the couple also owned and operated Australia Zoo, founded by Irwin's parents.
    Irwin died on September 4, 2006, after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming an underwater documentary film titled Ocean's Deadliest.
    Recently, Bob Irwin, the late Steve Irwin's father, revealed that his son penned a touching note to him and his wife Judy. Bob states that he recently discovered the heartwarming letter in an unopened envelope while doing research for his memoir, “The Last Crocodile Hunter: A Father and Son Legacy,” to be released in November, 2016.
    In the handwritten note, at the age of 32, Steve informed his parents how much they meant to him:

Dear Dad & Mum,

Probably one of the most unfortunate things in a “Bloke's Life” is that it takes over 30 years to realize how essential you have been to build my character, my ethics and, most importantly, my HAPPINESS.  At 32, I am finally starting to figure it out.

In good times and in bad, you were there.  Your strength and endurance to raise me will not go unrewarded.  My love for you is my strength!  For the rest of my life I will reflect on the unbelievably GREAT times we've shared and will continue to share.  You're my best friends!"

Steve Irwin closed the note by saying, "Thank you."

    There is another “letter” that reveals the great love of a Father and Son for YOU and ME... Here are some of the contents of that “letter”:

  • “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).
  • “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10 NIV).
The heavenly Father and His Son Jesus expressed this great love for you and me, not because we were “loveable,” but because God created us and because we needed a Savior due to our sin. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God, because of His great love for us, sent Jesus to die on the cross to pay the price for our redemption from sin (Ephesians 1:7).
    God will save and give eternal life to those who will place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
    The Bible is much more than a love letter; it is God’s revelation to us that reveals God’s identity and reveals our origin, our purpose, and our destiny. Yet, the central message of the Book is that God loves us so much that He gave His Son to die for us so that we can be saved and receive the gift of eternal life.
    Won’t YOU read the “letter” and respond to God’s great love through your trusting obedience?

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled "Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website.

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