Nelson Mandela

Date: 06/29/2016 
Every now and then in the panorama of history, we hear about individuals who go from the lowest depths to the highest pinnacles, emerging from the shackles of prison to lead and inspire a nation. Learn about one of these, Nelson Mandela, in South Africa—as Pastor Doug explores a powerful and inspirational Bible that can lead every man and woman from out of the lowest of lows to the highest of highs!
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Every now and then, the panorama of history, we hear about individuals that go from the lowest depths to the highest pinnacles. They emerge from the shackles of prison to lead and inspire a nation. Take Joseph for instance, he's sold by his brothers as a slave, then falsely accused and thrust into prison. Yet through a series of divine circumstances, he miraculously goes from the prison to the palace ruling the ones who once imprisoned him. Sound far-fetched? It's happened in history more than you think. South Africa is the home of just such a leader.

Nelson Mandela worked tirelessly to establish peace and freedom in his country, and his influence was felt around the world. Before freedom there must be forgiveness. Like Joseph who was unjustly accused for a crime he did not commit, Nelson Mandela was accused of terrorism and sentenced to life in prison on Robben Island. He was often exposed to cruel punishment and abuse, but even in the midst of apparent failure and discouragement, he never lost heart, he never gave up.

After years in prison, a growing number of supporters rallied for his release and eventually took place. God used him so that he was instrumental in helping to abolish racial segregation in the country of South Africa. Incredibly, he now was virtually the absolute leader in the country that had imprisoned him, he had all of the tools in the power of his disposal to get even with the prison guards and others that had mistreated him. Instead, Mandela chose forgiveness. It reminds me of that verse in the Bible in Ephesians chapter 4 verse 32, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and wailing be put away from you with all malice, and be kind one to another tender-hearted, forgiving each other. Even as God also in Christ forgave you.

I'm so thankful, that Nelson Mandela like Joseph chose to forgive those who are once his enemies and to serve his nation with love and courage. You can find a number of examples of this happening in the Bible. You have Daniel who is a captor from the land of Judah, and yet God arranged things where he as a prime minister in the kingdom of Babylon. You have Esther, who is a poor orphan girl in Persia, and yet God where Kings out where she becomes the queen of that country. The book of Jeremiah ends with an incredible story of a young King named Jehoiakim, who is in the Babylonian dungeon for 37 years, and then King evil Marduk has mercy on him and he has a new status going from the prison to the palace. This is what the Lord wants to do for you and me friends. He gives you the bread of life.

He gives you the robe of Jesus righteousness, he gives you a seat at his table. If you accept his forgiveness and you're willing to pass it on, you and I can live and reign with Christ. Wouldn't you like that experience.

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