Saturday, April 28, 2012

WHITE CLOTHS ON A GREEN TREE

A STORY OF FORGIVENESS AND GRACE!
Back in the days when railroad was the main article of cross-country travel, a minister came upon a young man sitting in the middle passenger car of this long train running. The youth's seat was by the window,  and the minister asked if he could sit next to him. This was a divine appointment, the old pastor thought as he noticed the young man's eyes squeezed shut. Asking his name, he inquired the reason his eyes were shut, even though he was obviously awake!

The young man said that he had run away from home recently, but realized he made a mistake and was going back to his hometown. He told the pastor that he had written his father, asked forgiveness and expressed a desire to return home and make it right. His father never replied. Broken even more now, he said that he then wrote his mother and said "If you forgive me for running away, and would take me back home, I would be on the 5pm train coming into town from Tulsa. If you forgive me and I am welcome back into the family, please place a big white rag on the big green tree right before we stop and pull into the train depot. If I don't see the white cloth, I will stay on the train and go on forever!"


He then told the pastor that the train was about 1 minute from his hometown and he was afraid to look because he was afraid there would be nothing on the tree! After thinking for a couple moments, the pastor finally said "why don't I look for you? I will tell you if I see anything or not".

The train had already slowed down as it entered the small town. As it creeped to a stop, the young man heard the pastor weeping and asked...still with his eyes shut..."well, what did you see?!" Through his tears, the battle-hardened minister barely got these words out "You know what I saw, son? I saw the entire tree covered with white cloth on every branch! Welcome home, young man!"



Stories like this and others should fill our hearts with wonder; gratitude; warmth and joy at the Amazing Grace of God! He says in Isaiah 43:25 "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins".  Psalm 103:12 says "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.


You may say this is Old Testament, well how about this "For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14)


Mark 11:25 says "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."....I can go on quoting verse after verse from the Word of God. (Those who forgave this young man in the story, obeyed that verse).


The point is, there is nothing that you have done in this life, for which you are truly sorry and repentant, for which God cannot forgive you. No matter how young or old or far gone you think you are, if you seek Him, He will be found. Only, seek Him with a truly contrite, broken and repentant heart.


God does not desire that anyone should slip through the cracks. It is easy in today's throw-away society for that to happen; whether it would be in senior homes or public high schools. The Father is looking for true worshippers, those who will worship, praise, bow down, adore and acknowledge Him - in Spirit and in Truth.


He has sent His Only Son, because there is not other like Him. His Only Son's blood was shed red to make us as white as those cloths hanging from that tree outside the train station. Are you in that place now? Are you ready to quit squeezing your eyes, hoping to see the lily white cover of your redemption....well here is how you KNOW instead of just wish:


Father in the Name of Jesus, I have not only sinned against You, but against some of my loved ones who have been hurt even more than You have, by something I may have done, said or not done, in the course of my life. Lord, there is nothing I can do, on my own, and I know it now, In my weakness, I know now that I have never been stronger and come to You to seek total forgiveness, restoration and reconciliation. I come to You to ask that the Blood of Christ would wash and cleanse and purify and refine me to be as clean as snow that I may enter into Your Holy Presence.


I repent of all that I have done and acknowledge that YOU and YOU Alone are the Lord of my life, right now...and right now, I commit my life to You. I also accept the Forgiveness You have just given me and promise to now live the rest of my life for You. And Father, when I think of that story of the cloths on the tree, which indicated that this young man was forgiven and welcome home, it reminds me of another pure Sinless Soul, Who hung on a tree, that I may be welcome by You.

I love You, praise You and now bow down before You in complete humility and gratitude at that sacrifice on the Cross for me, in Jesus' Holy and Precious Name, amen.



(CREDITS: images by google)



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