Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
A little girl in the Philippians stood outside the doorway of the church intrigued by the love and joy displayed by those inside. The American missionary had asked her to come in, but she had politely declined. It wasn't because she didn't want to accept the kind of offer. Quite the opposite; her heart was beckoning her to join in their singing and worship. They seemed so happy, and the fellowship was so spontaneous and natural. But this was a hostile area in the Philippines, and her father had strictly forbidden her to have anything to do with those Christians.
Unknown to the little Filipino girl, the missionary was praying fervently for her soul, longing to see the day when she would accompany her inside the village church and learn of Jesus and how He shed His blood on a cross so that her sins could be washed away. The girl knew something was happening because each week she found it harder and harder to say no to the missionary.
Finally one Sunday morning, she accepted. She accepted the invitation to attend the Sunday school class, but also opened her heart to Jesus and became a child of God. The missionary, overjoyed with the new believer, soon presented her with a beautiful white dress, representing the fact that Jesus had washed all her sins away.
Eager to see her new disciple the missionary rushed to the next service. But the girl was nowhere to be found. No one had seen or heard of her whereabouts. Concerned for the girl, the missionary traveled to her home village.
Upon arriving at her home, she found the young, new believer lying in the dirt. Her white dress was torn, filthy, and soaked in blood. The girl's father hadn't shared the missionary's joy in his daughter's new found faith. In a drunken rage he had beaten her, repeatedly kicked her, and left her to die.
The missionary gently lifted the fragile girl and carried her back to the church where a doctor rushed in to help her. But there was nothing he could do. He removed the ragged dress and cleaned her up, but her injuries were too severe. The young Filipino girl would soon die.
The missionary and other friends stayed with her, trying to comfort her during her final hour. Upon regaining consciousness she made an unusual request. Despite the pain and trauma of her father's beating, she was insistent on holding the white dress the missionary had given her.
They explained that it was torn and soaked with blood and dirt, but she insisted on having it in her hands. With the simple faith of a ten-year old she whispered, "I just want Jesus to know I was willing to bleed for Him."
Are you willing to bleed for Him?
Dear Lord, thank You for shedding Your blood for us so we can have eternal life. Help us be like the little girl and be willing to bleed for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.