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 Article
 Heaping Burning Coals

Jim was a new recruit in the Navy and he was very excited about starting his career in the military. He was a dedicated Christian who knew Jesus all his life. His mission was to tell every living soul about what Jesus did in His life and what He did for mankind.  Jim had a good reception from people who listened to him present the gospel in the past.  He had a few scrapes with people who did not want to hear that “religious mumbo jumbo.” He was entering a whole new world in naval boot camp where people were a lot less concerned with his feelings or even his physical well-being. He was about to learn a life-changing lesson about” heaping burning coals” on his enemies.

“Soldier I want you to stop talking about Jesus to the rest of the recruits. I have received many complaints about your religious activities. Some of the other men even threatened they would  resort to physical violence against you. You have been warned.”  Jim thought, I will not stop telling them about you Lord, as Paul was persecuted for his witness than I will be too. You said You would be with me.  Jim kept telling his fellow recruits about the good news of Jesus Christ. The persecution had just begun for Jim and it was about to get a lot worse.

Jim talked to one mean recruit in his flight who adamantly warned him to stop “preaching at him or he would pay the price.” Jim kept sharing with him and the angry recruit busted Jim right across the mouth splitting Jim’s lip wide open. Jim’s face and uniform were drenched in blood but Jim calmly walked away from the situation without saying a harsh word. He found his way to the medical office and his lip injury required a few stiches to patch up. Jim wasn’t daunted by this attack and he kept testifying about Jesus. Jim was a well-built man with bulging muscles and a neck as thick as freight train. He was very short but he was compact, solid and built like a tank. That’s why the other recruit, who hit Jim, scratched his head when Jim didn’t respond with a punch back. He thought he was just one of those weak Christians who was a coward and never fought back. Jim knew when he joined the Navy it would be challenging but he had no idea just how much of a challenge it would be for him.

He was sure the military environment would be more receptive to the gospel because the men who dedicated their lives to fight for their country; would be more receptive to the gospel than the guy out on the street. He was so wrong as he found out that very night. Jim thought he was being invited to a surprise birthday party at the airman’s club on the local base. He entered the dark main hall thinking it must be that way because it was a surprise party. It was a surprise party but not the kind he thought…

Jim walked into the hall and was instantly downed by a kick to the stomach. He was fighting for his life in a matter of seconds, as he was repeatedly kicked in the head. He was pummeled by lightning-quick fists from both sides that came out of nowhere. The attack came so unexpectedly that all Jim could do was put his hands over his face to protect himself. His ribs were cracked and his head split wide open from the vicious attack.  Jim staggered out the door and collapsed like a deck of cards on the front walkway. A couple of sailors nearby rushed to his aide and transported him to the local base hospital. The diagnosis on Jim was grim as he was rushed into emergency surgery where the surgeons had to stich up his head and re align his eye sockets that were broken in the attack.

Doctors notified his family that he may not make it through due to the intensive injuries he received; emergency prayers went up to God for Jim’s full recovery. Six weeks later Jim walked out of intensive care with no signs of any injuries making a complete recovery. The authorities had done a superb investigation and apprehended all the culprits in Jim’s beating.  The six men faced long prison terms for assault with the intent to kill Jim. Jim found it in his heart to forgive them and he did not file charges against the men.  It was an understatement to say the men were shocked and grateful to Jim for his extraordinary kindness toward them. Jim told them how Jesus came to earth and died for mankind to save him from his sins. This time the men listened intently with open hearts. Jim had been heaping burning coals on these sailors and they were now ready to listen to the gospel. They asked Jim ”What must we do to be saved by Jesus Christ.” Jim’s mission was successful.

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you. Proverbs 16:21-22

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Added On 08/14/2015 
 
 
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