April 19th – “I’ll Never Forgive”

In William James book “Varieties of Religious Experience” he tells about a collier called Richard Weaver, whose early days were filled by getting drunk and bare fist fighting as a semi-professional pugilist.He was converted to Christ, but relapsed into pounding a man senseless who had insulted a girl and went on, got drunk,and broke the jaw of another man who accused him of being a Christian coward.Well, Christ didn’t give up on him, and later he became a great Christian evangelist.Here is but one incident from his later life.
At the mine he found a boy crying because a big miner called Tom had taken his wagon.
“Tom, you mustn’t take that wagon”.
He swore at me, called me a Methodist devil, and threatened to push the wagon over me.
“Well”, I said, “Let’s see if the devil and thee are stronger than the Lord and me”.
The Lord and me were stronger and he had to get out of the way.
“I’ve a good mind to clout thee on they face” said Tom. “Do it” I said, and he did, and again five times.I put my chin to him for the sixth punch, and he turned away cursing me.I called, “The Lord forgives thee, for I do, and the Lord save thee”.
It was Saturday. My wife saw my face, and I said “I’ve given a man a good thrashing”.She burst into tears, thinking I had begun fighting again:then she thanked God I had not struck him back.
Monday came. Weaver was worried the other miners would mock him for not defending himself.Tom was the first man he saw: “Good morning” I said.No reply. He went first into the mine, and was sat on a wagon waiting for me. He burst into tears, and said “Richard will you forgive me striking you?”.
“I have already forgiven thee. Ask God to forgive thee, and bless thee”.I gave him my hand, and we went each to his work.
Do you not think that a wonderful testimony to Jesus?
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered: “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times”. Matthew 18: 21-22

A Prayer:
Father, forgive us unconditionally, for Jesus sake, and help us to then forgive others in the same way.

Now read Matthew 18: 21-35.

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Thought 4 The Day

If your spiritual powerlessness upsets you and all that you can offer is tears, then weep your prayers to God.

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