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When Pastor Michael Brooks answered the phone at his church one evening, he never expected to hear the story that unfolded. The man, who called had blocked his identity, explained how he and two friends had broken into a soft drink machine at the church 40 years earlier and had each grabbed a handful of quarters. He explained how he felt guilty all this time, and how he wanted to make restitution. The unknown man also explained how he had become a believers a few years after stealing the money and knew it was wrong to steal. He said Brooks could share the story anyway he liked, but asked that his identity be kept a secret. When the check actually arrived on Christmas Eve, Brooks used it as an illustration of how the man’s story was an illustration of how forgiveness came through Christ’s birth. He said though his sin had haunted the man for years, and how now he was free of the unconfessed sin. Brooks said the man said that perhaps telling the story would help others who were facing decisions about right and wrong in their lives.—Jim L. Wilson & Jim Sandell

Man finds redemption 40 years after theft, By Grace Thornton, http://www.bpnews.net/44193/man-finds-redemption-40-years-after-theft, Accessed February 9, 2015.

Luke 19:8 (HCSB) But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, I’ll give half of my possessions to the poor, Lord! And if I have extorted anything from anyone, I’ll pay back four times as much!”

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