Seminary Student Gets Beat Up
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14-15, NLT).
The Old Testament story of Joseph is one of the most moving stories in the Bible and in the history of the world.
Joseph was truly a great and godly man, who suffered tremendously, was misunderstood, but was faithful to God. The late Dr. J. Vernon McGee counted numerous ways in which the details of Joseph’s life were a foreshadow and a symbol of the life of Christ.
When Joseph’s brothers came before him in Egypt asking for food, he faced a stiff test. Years before, they had threatened to kill him. Then they sold him into slavery.
But now, years later, Joseph forgave them. After their father Jacob died, they feared Joseph might take revenge, but he assured them of his complete forgiveness.
Chuck Swindoll reports that a seminary student in Chicago faced a similar forgiveness test. Although he preferred to work in some kind of ministry, the only job he could find was driving a bus on Chicago’s south side.
One day a gang of tough teens got on board and refused to pay the fare. After a few days of this, the seminarian spotted a policeman on the corner, stopped the bus and reported them. The officer made them pay, but then he got off. When the bus rounded a corner, the gang robbed the seminarian and beat him severely. He pressed charges and the gang was rounded up. They were found guilty. But as soon as the jail sentences were given the young Christian saw their spiritual need and felt pity for them. So he asked the judge if he could serve their sentences for them.
The gang members and the judge were dumfounded. “It’s because I forgive you,” he explained. His request was denied but he visited the young men in jail and led several of them to faith in Christ.
As with Joseph and the seminarian, if we are wronged, may we be quick to forgive and allow God to use the situation for His redemptive purposes.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15, NLT).
Yours for helping to fulfill the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
About the Author
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world’s population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, “JESUS,” which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Dr. Bright recently co-founded Global Pastors Network to “Touch, Teach and Train” a group of 5 million new house churches around the world 24/7/365 at http://www.globalpastorsnetwork.org.
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. Used with permission.