Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and said, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away? Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her. 

The Apostle Paul once said "For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers..." (Romans 9:3) It may be difficult for us to understand how Paul could be willing to give up so much, even his own salvation so someone else could be saved. He and this little boy knew the true meaning of giving everything for the sake of another.

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