The Dirty Bicentennial Quarter
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
- Version: NKJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the NKJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
When I was a kid I used to love to go down to the Villa Roma Pizza Place and play video games with my friends.
Pac Man, Mrs Pac Man or Donkey Kong were the games we waited on. And the first thing we’d do when we got there was look to see who had the high score. It was so much fun! Especially in the summer. We’d take the long walk through the beautifully treed neighborhood to this well known destination. And many of our other friends would meet us there. And we all met about the same time, even without cell phones and texting! If someone didn’t show up, no one knew why—you just found out later, or the next day at school! Could you imagine kids waiting 12 hours to hear from a friend nowadays?
Anyway, you needed a quarter to play. And as we got good, one game could take up to a half hour per person. We’d all stand behind the guy playing, eagerly watching, learning, and rooting. We’d feel their joy and their pain. And it did get painful! There was a lot of anger and frustration, punching the machine or kicking it! There was usually a line of people waiting to play. We had to put our quarter on the screen just to hold a spot in line.
Money was scarce as a kid. Sometimes I’d take the long walk with only one quarter in my pocket.
“Better make it good,” I’d think to my self. Some kids just came to watch because they had no money. I found myself in that situation at times.
Here’s the sobering part, and the most important part of the story. When I ran out of my own money, sometimes I would steal these bicentennial quarters from my sister. She was a few years older than me and she was collecting them in a beautiful little box on her dresser. I felt terrible doing it. And I feel terrible recalling it. To her they were very special. They were special to me, too, but in a different way. It meant one more chance to beat the high score. It meant enjoying time with my friends. But no matter how much I tried to justify it, it was still stealing. And it was wrong.
Fast forward many years.
I was 25. I had just become a Christian. I surrendered my life to God. I received forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ, and I felt terrible for all the sins I committed in my past. So, in addition to asking God to forgive me, I felt I needed to ask certain people to forgive me as well. First I had to confess it to her which was hard. I love her and didn’t want to hurt her. And I felt like I deceived her. And so I went to my sister and told her what I did. And a wonderful thing happened: she forgave me! Just like God forgave me of my sins when I confessed them to Him! Thankfully she didn’t yell or hit me. She didn’t tell me “Maybe I’ll forgive you,” or “In a few months I’ll forgive you.”
It was exactly the same as our loving Father in Heaven. Open and willing to forgive me. No restrictions. No qualifications. No wagging of the finger. No bringing up the past. He is just waiting for us to come to Him and repent. He wants us to receive Him through Jesus. It’s the whole reason He sent Jesus to earth—for our eternal life!
Since that time of forgiveness, we have this little thing going where when I find a bicentennial quarter, I give it to her. Over the years I’ve given many of them to her. And when I come across one, I just smile and think of her … and God. It’s a constant reminder of God’s forgiveness for me and how He has changed my life. He has taken my dirty life and cleaned me up.
And that leads me to the dirty quarter.
The other day I found a bicentennial, but it was dirty (just like the sin in my heart that took those quarters). It didn’t look like usual dirt that would come off with soap and water. It looked like it would be hard to clean. I think it will take a special cleanser. And the more I looked at that quarter, the more I thought of my dirty heart back then. We also need a special cleanser to remove the “dirt” on our hearts.
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
ALL sin. Not some. All. The blood of Jesus is that special cleanser and the cleansing agent is the Holy Spirit. When you ask God to come into your life, The Holy Spirit comes into you and lives with you. He becomes the Person who washes you clean and helps you live a new life. He then convicts you of sin in the future (so you don’t steal more quarters! (-:). He can take your dirty heart and clean it and make it bright again, like it was new. Believe me, He did it for me and He can do it for you. The blood of Jesus represents the sacrifice He made on the cross for you and me. His perfect life for our sin. His death in our place. His blood for ours. Receive that, and get cleaned. It’s that simple. Would you consider asking Jesus Christ to come into your life today? To be loved by Jesus—there is no greater feeling. And eternal life is never to be regretted.
You can pray something like this prayer and walk in it.
Dear Jesus, I admit I am a sinner and my heart is “dirty” with sin like that quarter. Please cleanse my heart with your blood. I believe you came to earth and died on a cross for my sin and rose again. Come and live in my heart today and help me to live for you. Amen.