1 John 3:17-18 (NIV)
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
On April 14, 1999, 32-year-old Alan Rashid stood in a Cardiff, Wales' courtroom. He was charged with the crime of threatening to kill. Just as the foreman of the jury read the verdict, a throat-clearing cough from a fellow juror drowned out the "not" in "not guilty." Judge Michael Gibbon and everyone else in the courtroom only heard the word "guilty". The judge then began to announce sentencing. "The maximum sentence for making a threat to kill is 10 years. You have not pleaded guilty to this crime and you showed no remorse. Taking all things into consideration, the least sentence I can give you is two years imprisonment," Judge Gibbon pronounced. Amazingly, none of the jurors spoke up as Rashid was led off to a cell, apparently because they believed he had been convicted of other offences. But one confused juror did ask a court usher why a man they had acquitted was being imprisoned. The court was quickly reconvened and Rashid was freed. "I am very relieved, as you would imagine," said Rashid. "I am innocent, so when the verdict came back guilty, I was stunned," he said.
There is no greater joy than to hear the words "not guilty" when the Lord pardons you from your sins. Are you letting others know that Jesus Christ will acquit them of their sins?
Dear Lord, we pray that You would give us the strength to share the good news of Jesus Christ with someone who does not know the You today so they will hear the verdict “not Guilty”. In Jesus, Name, Amen.