- Here’s a precious memory from my years doing jail ministry:
One night I was doing a Bible study with two men in county jail who were enemies.They were in the medical unit, as one had a broken leg and the other diabetes. They lived four cells apart. I’d spend time with each of them separately, studying the Bible and praying with them through the small pass-through opening in their doors.
The deputy on duty said, “I don’t get it. Those two ask for Bible study, yet they hate each other. You should hear them! All day long they curse, shout and argue with each other.”
I talked with Clarence first: “This is not God’s way. Jesus said that if you don’t forgive others for their wrongs, then you can’t expect God to forgive you. Are you pretending to love Jesus or is it real?”
He said, “It’s real.”
“Then you need to love your brother. You need to forgive him and you need to ask him to forgive you. As a true believer, the Holy Spirit has given you self-control. You need to exercise that self-control. You must control your temper and stop the arguing.”
Then I went down the hall to Mike and told him the same thing. Mike said, “OK, I’ll forgive him, if he’ll forgive me.”
I went back to Clarence and said, “Mike is sorry for the bad things he said to you. He is asking you to forgive him.”
Clarence said he’d forgive Mike. So I urged both of them to call down the hall and tell the other one you’re sorry.
Mike yelled, “Hey Clarence! I’m sorry, Man. Forgive me?”
Clarence yelled back, “Hey Bro! I forgive you. Will you forgive me?”
Mike yelled, “I forgive you! Thanks Bro!”
Both men were wiping away tears.
The deputy gave me a thumbs up as I left that night.
I walked to my car feeling overwhelmed with love for God. “Thank You Lord for making it so easy!”
- But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:15
- MARTHA – Lyrics by Liana Wendy Howarth; Music by Kathleen
This life is temporary. This life is short. When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever. Where will the “real you” live? Will you live for all eternity separated from God? Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven? Learn more so you can make your most important decision: http://www.godlife.com/gospel/
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