Mr. Barnes was a very wealthy man who lived in the early days of this country [United States]. It was one of his chief pleasures to walk through the countryside near his home, and as he walked he often noticed a particularly fine herd of cattle. One day he stopped to visit the rancher who owned the cattle and purchased a cow from him with the agreement that the cow would be delivered to his estate the following day.
The next day as Mr. Barnes was out for his morning walk he saw a young boy trying his hardest to lead the cow over to Mr. Barnes's field. The boy, who did not know Mr. Barnes, called to him. "Please sir, would you come and help me with this cow? She is so stubborn!"
Mr. Barnes went over to help. As they walked along together he asked the boy, "How much do you expect to get for delivering the cow?"
"I ... I don't know." the boy stammered, "but I'm sure to get something because the people who are buying the cow live in that house, and those people are very kind to everyone."
By now the stubborn cow was walking along nicely, so Mr. Barnes excused himself and took a path through a wooded area that led to his back door. As soon as he got into the house he gave one of his trusted workers a fifty-dollar bill and told him to give it to the boy who was delivering the cow. After the cow had been left at the estate and the boy was returning to the ranch, Mr. Barnes went out again and met the boy on the road.
"Well, how much did you get?" asked Mr. Barnes.
"Five dollars," answered the boy.
"Only five dollars? You must have gotten more than that," said Mr. Barnes.
"No," answered the boy, "that's what I was given, and that was plenty, don't you think?"
"No," said Mr. Barnes. "I'm surprised it wasn't more. I know Mr. Barnes well, and I believe that if you come back with me you'll get more than five dollars."
The boy agreed, and they walked back to the house together. When they went in Mr. Barnes called his hired workers and asked the boy to tell him who it was who had given him the five dollars.
"It was him," he said, pointing to one of the workers.
When the man realized his dishonesty had been discovered, he admitted it and tried to excuse himself. But Mr. Barnes interrupted the man's excuses and demanded that he give the fifty dollars to the boy immediately. And he said to the man, "Your dishonesty has cost you your job and your good name. I hope you soon learn that dishonestly is not only very foolish but a terrible sin as well." And he fired him on the spot.
Just as the sin of that dishonest man was revealed, God will also one day reveal every sin, hidden or exposed, and judge every sinner for his or her sins. "For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known" (Luke 12:2).
But God has made a way of escape from the judgment for your sins. He will forgive you if you will come to Him now and confess that you are a sinner and accept the cleansing He freely offers you through the death of His beloved Son on Calvary's cross. "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
Are your sins forgiven? or do you still face the punishment for them?
Copied with permission from Messages of God's Love published by Bible Truth Publishers, Addison, IL 60101.
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