Mistaken For A Turkey! (NKJV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 4
- Version: NKJV
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My Dad was an avid hunter from a young age. He loved spending time in the fields and woods hunting everything from squirrels to rabbits, pheasants to turkeys, and buck to doe. As he advanced in age and his health declined, he even installed sliding windows in the deer stand on his 25-acre tract of land and continued participating in his favorite sport.
Years ago during turkey season, he gathered his hunting gear and headed out. After settling into a good spot where he was well hidden, he pulled out his turkey call and began calling.
Suddenly, a shot rang out. A young hunter mistook Dad’s call for a real turkey. He shot Dad in the neck—barely missing the jugular vein. Dad’s uncle (a surgeon) examined the site and declared it too dangerous to try to remove the pellets. For more than 50 years, Dad lived with those pellets in his neck and the constant reminder of how close he came to death that day.
Naturally, the young hunter and his father (acquaintances of my parents) were very apologetic. Dad forgave the fellow and didn’t press charges.
How and why could he forgive someone who nearly killed him? Because of Dad’s passion for hunting, he did not want to cause this young man to lose the privilege of hunting for years to come in addition to possibly paying thousands of dollars in fines. Surely he learned a lesson in caution that continues to this day. More importantly, however, Dad understood the principal of forgiveness as set forth in the Bible.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of One who forgave every wrong done to Him. From the time of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, every person has been born with a sinful nature. God promised to send a Savior to take the punishment for our sins. Every year on Good Friday we remember the day when Jesus was unjustly crucified; His blood was shed for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 1:7). Even on the cross He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
On Easter Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, which was the proof that His death satisfied God’s requirement for our salvation. “Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
All the young man had to do was accept my Dad’s gracious act of forgiveness. He did nothing to earn it. There was no way he could repay it. He merely accepted it. The same is true of God’s forgiveness. The penalty has been paid. The only thing left to do is for sinners to admit their guilt, believe Christ paid the penalty, and accept His free gift of forgiveness and eternal life in heaven.
My parents never revealed the young hunter’s name. It will go to the grave. The same is true spiritually. Jesus took our sins on the cross and then went to the grave. Our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12)—to be remembered no more (Hebrews 8:12).
If God could forgive all of our sins, anything done against us is miniscule in comparison. Accept God’s forgiveness today and then extend forgiveness to those who do wrong against you.