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  • Writer's pictureJonathan George

A New Sheriff

Kids Bible Devotional for April 9, 2024

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Focus Verse

I John 3:4-5 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. (KJV)

Jump Start

“Big mouth don’t make a big man.”

That line was said by John Wayne in his 1972 movie, The Cowboys. Wayne was a popular movie star in Western movies from the 1930’s until his death in 1979, known affectionately as “The Duke”. During his time, he was the quintessential image of a cowboy. Rugged, tough, with a swagger and a drawl. He’s the perfect backdrop for today’s devotion.

One of the most common tropes in Westerns is the showdown at high noon between the renegade outlaw and the law-abiding hero. In many ways, this depicts the oft illustrated battle between good and evil. In the Bible, however, there really is no contest between grace and sin, or even between God and the devil. The devil is a defeated foe. A toothless roaring lion going about seeking whom he may devour. “A big mouth don’t make a big man,” John Wayne might say.

The high noon showdown came at the time of the evening sacrifice on Passover some two thousand years ago when Jesus died on a blood-stained cross. The victory came three days later when Jesus walked out of that grave.

Today's Devotion

The black stallion came to a halt on the outskirts of the dusty little town. The stranger dismounted the sweaty steed; his spurs rattled when his feet hit the ground. Dust roiled around his scuffed boots as he kicked at a tumbleweed that bumped against his leg.

He gazed intently at the ramshackle buildings that lined the dirt road through the center of this tiny haven in the middle of nowhere. The place seemed deserted. Not a soul in sight. From the corner of his eye, he caught a door fling open. Out stepped a lone cowboy who ambled into the middle of the street.

The stranger’s fingers grazed the grip of his trusty pistol nestled in his side holster.

The man in the center of the street fixed his steely eyes on the newcomer. He nudged the brim of his hat. “You the new sheriff we’ve been told about?”

“Sure am.”

“Ain’t no sheriff made it through the night here, mister. Best you get back on your horse and keep moving.”

For a long minute, the two men stared each other down, waiting for the other to make the first move. In the blink of an eye, the cowboy reached for his pistol, but the newcomer was quicker. He drew his gun, aimed it toward the man and fired, striking the outlaw’s gun dead center in the barrel. The damaged revolver flew out of his hands, tumbling to the ground in a cloud of dust.

“Well then, I guess I ain’t like the other sheriffs, am I?”


Asher heard a stir at his door. He looked up from his book as his father slipped into his room. “Whatcha reading?”

Asher pulled back the cover. The Sheriff of Brayer County, he replied. “It’s about this new sheriff that comes to town and singlehandedly gets rid of all the outlaws.”

Dad chuckled. “You sure love your cowboy stories.”

“I like them because the good guys always get the bad guys in the end,” he said.

“You know, if you think about it, Jesus was a lot like the sheriff in your western,” Dad said.

Asher looked at him curiously. “I can’t picture Jesus dressed in boots and jeans, slinging a Colt 45.”

“No,” Dad said, laughing. “He didn’t need a gun to get rid of lawlessness. He needed a cross. You see, sin is the transgression of the law. In other words, sin is lawlessness.”

“Now I have this visual of Jesus in a showdown at high noon with Satan,” Asher said.

“There’s absolutely no comparison between Jesus and Satan. But I can see your point. For the longest time, sin reigned. Then a new sheriff came into town named Jesus. He obliterated sin and freed sin’s captives when He rose from the grave.”

Asher nodded. “Interesting. Jesus certainly knows how to clear out the devil outlaws. I’m glad I’m on His side.”

Wrap Up

Jesus fulfilled God’s plan to eradicate the effects of sin from our lives. He came to earth to forgive sin and provide a means of escape from sin for all of humankind. Unlike the Westerns, He didn’t need a gun or a posse. He proclaimed victory through His blood and an empty tomb.

Which has me thinking, "Are you a part of His posse?"

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