John concludes his first letter in today’s Bible reading telling us that, “this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden, because everyone who has been born of God conquers the world.” (1 John 5:3-4 CSB)
The world was able to see this play out on their TV screens last year. On the previous day, former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger had been convicted of murdering Botham Jean when she entered his apartment thinking it was hers. Guyger was sentenced to ten years in prison. During the victim impact statement, Jean’s brother Brandt told Guyger that he forgave her and that he wanted only the best for her. At the end of speaking, Brandt Jean asked Judge Tammy Kemp if he could give Guyger a hug. Over the next minute of so, they embraced several times.
As good as that was, here’s some of the “rest of the story” that happened in the courtroom today, as reported on our local ABC affiliate WFAA.
After stepping off the bench to comfort the Jean family, the judge walked over to Guyger, still at the defense table. She bent low and spoke in the young woman’s ear. “You understand?” the judge said, barely audible.
The judge appeared to be overcome in the moment, and left the courtroom. She returned a moment later, a small Bible in her hand.
“You can have mine,” the judge said to Guyger. “I have three or four at home.”
She then began to counsel Guyger. The pair were talking low, barely audible, just the two of them. “This is your job,” the judge said, opening the book.
The judge mentioned John 3:16, saying this will strengthen her. Guyger nodded her head.
“You just need a tiny mustard seed of faith,” the judge said. “You start with this.”
“You haven’t done so much that you can’t be forgiven,” the judge told her. “You did something bad in one moment in time. What you do now matters.”
The judge told Guyger that she can take the Bible with her as deputies prepared to escort her to the prisoner holding cell connected to the courtroom.Source: WFAA (Click this link and watch the video on the page!)
This is what should be happening every single day in courtrooms, boardrooms, and washrooms across America as Believers, serious about their faith do what God tells them to do! We don’t know what Amber Guyger will do with what she experienced and heard in a Dallas courtroom yesterday. We can pray that the seed planted by Judge Tammy Kemp landed on good soil. (Mark 4:8)
Now, I have a quick question…. How easily and quickly could you provide someone a copy of a Bible if they didn’t have one of their own, in a translation they can easily read and understand?
If the Bible is our authority on God and His ways, shouldn’t we be ready to help hurting people find the help they need? If you don’t have a Bible or two that you could provide to someone in need, let me know. I’ll point you in a direction where you can get a few to keep on hand!
This devotional was originally published October 3, 2019 and updated slightly.