Brett Butler was a great baseball player. In the 1990s, he went in for a tonsillectomy, but discovered that there was also a malignant cancer involved. He had surgery and chemotherapy.

He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, then to the Atlanta Braves. He worked hard to come back from his cancer surgery. At his first appearance on the field in Atlanta, he was given a five-minute standing ovation. He then developed other complications.

He was on one of the late night tv talk shows and was asked about his cancer, but he preferred to talk about his faith. He told how he walked into his daughter’s bedroom as she was saying her prayers. She didn’t know he was standing there, and in glow of the nightlight, he saw her diligently talking about her daddy and what a great influence her daddy was to so many people and how she was asking God to heal him because of all the good that he does.

Brett Butler said he could see tears coming down her cheeks. Then he heard her say, “God, please let me have his cancer so he can live, and he can do so much more for people than I ever could.” Brett Butler saw in his little daughter somebody who was more interested in his life than her own life. That’s DWJD—doing what Jesus did!

What if the whole world had that attitude about life? I had a life-defining experience one Sunday. During my sermon, which was carried on television, I talked about how Jesus died for us. I then made the statement that I couldn’t think of anybody outside my family who would literally die for me.

That afternoon I received a phone call from Dr. Chip Armstrong, one of Alabama’s best surgeons. Chip and I have done a lot together in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes settings. He said, “John Ed, I heard you on television this morning. You are wrong. I would gladly die in your place if I had to make that choice.”

Wow! A medical doctor who was not even a member of my church or my denomination would do that for me. His call both encouraged and challenged me. I will never forget it. That’s DWJD.

A group of people were discussing the question, “What is your favorite football game?” Different people offered different opinions.  A retired Navy Seal said that his favorite football game is the Army-Navy game. I was intrigued by that answer because my grandson, David Hixon, played football at the Naval Academy, and played in that game.

Someone asked the Navy Seal why that was his favorite game. He said, “It’s simple. It’s the only football game in which every player on the field is willing to die for every person in the stands.” Wow! That’s a different look at football and life! That’s DWJD.

I love it when I hear people thank military persons for their service. I always try to do that. Many of them often respond with a simple statement, “Thank you. Let’s make this a nation worth dying for.” Amen!

Our nation needs people who are willing to love all people unconditionally like God has loved us. Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this—that a man would give his life for another person.” (John 16:13) That’s what Jesus did.

  I love you this much a child would say, and throw his arms out wide.

So, Jesus grew up to love that way, and with outstretched arms He died!

Are we willing to DWJD—do what Jesus did?

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