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Fifty-two Story Talks To Boys And Girls by Howard J. Chidley

ABRAHAM'S GUEST

You have all heard of Abraham, who went out from his home in Ur of the Chaldees to find God. And you remember how he dwelt in tents, and had hundreds of cattle. And you know how good he was to his nephew, Lot.

There is a story told about Abraham which you will not find in the Bible. Abraham received into his tent one day an aged traveler. After he had invited the traveler to dine with him at his sunset meal, Abraham went out to offer up his evening sacrifice to God. But the traveler would not join him in prayer and thanksgiving. Abraham was angry because of the old man's lack of religion, and drove him from his tent.

Later in the evening the angel of the Lord appeared to Abraham and asked him why he had driven out the old man. Abraham replied:

|Lord, he refused to acknowledge Thee!|

The Lord replied: |What! I have borne with this old man for eighty years, and you could not bear with him for two days!| After that, so the story goes, Abraham helped everyone who came along, no matter what his religious belief might be.

That is a good story for boys and girls to remember when they feel that they cannot forgive someone who has done them a wrong. What would become of you if God never forgave you when you did wrong? It is this spirit of forgiveness that Christ means to teach us when He says in the Lord's Prayer, |Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.| If, then, you say that prayer and refuse to forgive anyone who has done you a wrong, you mean that you want to have God act just as unforgiving with you as you are with your enemies. That would be terrible, -- to ask God not to forgive you. None of us would dare pray like that.

You remember Peter came to Christ once and asked how often we were to forgive people. Peter thought seven times was enough. But Christ said, |No, you must forgive until seventy times seven.| That would be four hundred and ninety times. Christ did not mean exactly that many times. But He meant more times than you can think. That is, if you are a follower of Christ you are to forgive a person as often as he is sorry for having done you a wrong, and comes to you and asks your forgiveness.

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