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Change of Heart

ďÖ A farmer went out to sow his seedÖ still other soil fell on good soil, where it produced a crop Ė a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.Ē1

In 1918, a notorious criminal named Tokichi Ichii was sentenced to hang.

While in prison in Tokyo, he was sent a New Testament by two missionaries, Miss West, and Miss McDonald. After a visit from Miss West, he began to read the story of Jesusí crucifixion. When he reached the point where Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," something "clicked" within his heart. He wrote:

"I stopped: I was stabbed to the heart, as if by a five-inch nail. What did this verse reveal to me? Shall I call it the love of the heart of Christ? Shall I call it His compassion? I do not know what to call it.

I only know that with an unspeakably grateful heart, I believed. "People will say that I must have a very sorrowful heart because I am daily awaiting the execution of the death sentence. This is not the case. I feel neither sorrow nor distress nor any pain. Locked up in a prison cell six feet by nine in size, I am infinitely happier than I was in the days of my sinning when I did not know God."

When Tokichi stood on the scaffold with the noose around his neck, with great earnestness he spoke his last words: "My soul, purified, today returns to the City of God."2

The Word was sown into this manís life, and he was changed. Did Miss West and Miss McDonald know what kind of soil they would sow on? Not likely. But they knew that somewhere in that prison there was someone who needed to hear of Godís great love for them. Their faithfulness led this prisoner from the bondage of sin to freedom in Christ.

Keep sowing the seed, my friend. God will give the growth in his time, but our job is to consistently spread the good news of Godís love. We donít know whose life will be forever changed by our obedience and faithfulness to God.

Suggested prayer: Dear God, give me a heart of compassion and love for others. Change my attitude and perspective as needed to be a better reflection of you. Help me stay faithful and consistent as I sow the seed of Your Good News, and that the soil on which it lands would be good, allowing for the change that will bring them to You. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesusí name, Amen.

  1. Matthew 13:3 & 8 (NIV).



All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.