At the time of the appeal two men who had been sitting side by side both rose to go forward. As it happened one was a professional pickpocket. The pickpocket turned to the other man as they began to walk forward and said, “I must give you back your wallet which I took a few moments ago!”
What an astonishing and thrilling tale! I was fascinated by this immediate reaction to the claims of Yahshua and the instant effect of true conversion. Here is salvation in action, an immediate transformation reminiscent of the story of Zacchaeus. I was reminded how that, after the war (during which he was converted) and his demob from the RAF, my father returned to England and emptied the bank account that my mother had scrupulously amassed for their future together. Why? To make restitution for his many ‘wrongs’ in his pre-salvation days. She was devastated, but he was delighted with her for giving him the wherewithal to make amends.
Yahshua’s Presence in my life must effect a change! It should penetrate into the corners we hide from view. It should affect where we go, what we read, what we look at; it should affect the way we speak, the way we dress, the way we act. It should teach us to make amends. The apostle Paul urged us to “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For [Yahweh] is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:12-13 NLT) Salvation is the free gift of a gracious and merciful Father, but we must take up the responsibility to cultivate that gift with reverence and awe.