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Keeping a watchful eye out for deer and other hazards along the dark and desolate stretches of two-lane roads, Jeff's thoughts fast-forwarded to tomorrow-his 24th birthday. The good-natured officer loved life, loved his job, and there was so much to celebrate. But thoughts of tomorrow would have to wait-a fellow officer needed help.
With adrenaline surging and his foot pressed to the gas pedal, Deputy Davis guided his patrol car toward its destination. Like two tiny searchlights in the middle of a vast ocean, the car's headlights did not illuminate enough of his path to warn him in time of the danger ahead.
Three teenagers in dark clothing were walking in his lane.
Swerving to avoid them, Jeff's car left the road, hit a pine tree, and burst into flames, trapping the deputy inside. When rescue personnel arrived on the scene, they were stunned to find the deputy still conscious. Badly burned, he was flown to a hospital 40 miles away, where he died the following day-on his 24th birthday.
Through all of the tributes and testimonials presented in his honor over the days and weeks that followed, there ran one common theme: the assurance that Deputy Jeff Davis, Badge #629, was now in the presence of God.
During his brief time on earth, Jeff touched many lives with his compassion, humor, service to others, and faith in Jesus Christ. He wasn't perfect. Like all of us, his life had its share of mistakes, failures, disappointments, and sins. And although he bravely gave his own life to save others, his sacrifice could not earn him a ticket to heaven. Nor would a life of good deeds. Jeff knew that his eternal life depended upon someone else who made the ultimate sacrifice by exchanging His life for Jeff's. That someone is Jesus Christ.
If you're a cop, you might be willing-and tough enough-to take a bullet. But what about being nailed to a cross?
Jesus didn't wear a badge or carry a gun, but He faced some of the same things police officers do. He was cursed at and spit at; yet He put His life on the line for the sake of others, even those who hated Him.
God never promised a trouble-free life. He did promise to be with us in the midst of trials, troubles and tragedies, if we trust in His Son.
The doctors, nurses, friends, and family members who were at Jeff's bedside until his death will tell you he was at peace.
Will the same be said of you when your time comes?
Always in the back of an officer's mind is the thought that each day could be his or her last. Deputy Davis was prepared for that possibility. Are you?
A traditional tribute to fallen officers ends with a "final call" in which a radio dispatcher declares the officer "10-7" (out of service) forever. Each of us will one day face a "final call."
Make sure you're ready when that final call comes. Ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord by praying something like this:
Lord, I want to be sure that when I die, I'll spend eternity with You. I admit I'm a sinner in need of a Savior, and I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again for me. Please forgive my sins, and help me to serve You, as well as my fellowman. I place myself in Your hands, committing my life now to Jesus Christ, and ask You to guide and protect me. In Jesus' name, amen.
Something to Think About:
"And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear . . ." - Hebrews 9:27-28
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9
"And this is the promise that he made to us-eternal life." - 1 John 2:25
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16
Dedicated to the men and women who serve in law enforcement.
© 2002-2004 Good News Publishers. Used by permission.