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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Toowoomba, Queensland

CBS News reports that at least 25 people have died since relentless rains
started pounding the eastern state of Queensland, Australia, in November.
Out of the devastation that the floods have caused, a hero has arisen.

On Monday, rapidly rising water in Toowoomba, Queensland, engulfed a car
carrying Donna Rice and her two sons: Jordan (age 13) and Blake (age 10).
Warren McErlean and two others stopped to help the family. With great
difficulty, McErlean, a hero himself, was able to reach the car and he began
trying to pull Jordan out. But the teenager stopped him and insisted,

"Save my brother first."

Jordan, who was petrified of the water, made the courageous decision to risk
his own life so that his younger brother and mother could be saved.
McErlean later described how Jordan helped lift Blake out of the
floodwaters, then begged them to take his mother next as the rushing waters
became stronger.

McErlean was able to get Blake to safety, but before he could return to the
car to rescue Jordan and his mother, a rope he was clinging to snapped. He
watched helplessly as the car flipped over and the rushing water carried
Jordan and his mother away. They both drowned.

John Tyson, Jordan's father, said he was heartbroken but proud of his son.
"I can only imagine what was going on inside to give up his life to save his
brother, even though he was petrified of water. He is our little hero."

Jordan is now hailed as a hero by all of Australia and by all who have heard
of his courageous, selfless actions.

Apparently, selfless love was a trait that is shared by other members of
Jordan's family, including his mother. Tyson said Donna Rice was an
incredible woman who tried to save their son. "They both clung to a tree,
and when Jordan couldn't hang on any more Donna let go and tried to save
him. The last thing she did was to try to save her son."

Jordan and his mother give us a glimpse of the love that JESUS has for us
and the price that He paid for our salvation.

When WE were being "swept to destruction" due to our sins, Jesus came to our
rescue. With great effort and determination, He navigated His way through
the floodwaters of wickedness, intent upon saving drowning victims such as
you and me. This mission led Him to the cross where He paid the ultimate
price for our sins so that we might have forgiveness and the hope of eternal
life (Ephesians 1:7). It cost His life but He willingly gave it to redeem
us (see John 10:17-18).

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his
friends." - John 15:13

In order to accept His offer of salvation, we must cling to Him in trusting
obedience: placing our faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turning from
our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Him before men (Romans
10:9-10), and being baptized into Christ so that our sins may be washed away
by His blood (Acts 2:38; 22:16).

When it came time for Jesus to choose, He thought of US first. He died so
that you and I might live.

How will YOU respond?

* Information gleaned from and

--David A. Sargent

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