Sunday, February 16, 2020
Power in Forgiveness
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Matthew 6:12
Few things are more precious to receive than forgiveness. After carrying the burden of our sin, it is wonderfully freeing to know that the one we have wronged has completely forgiven us. Jesus told His disciples to ask God for forgiveness every time they prayed. Jesus knew that we would daily incur debts against God, as we inevitably fall short of God's standard. A day does not go by that we do not need to ask God to remove our debt against Him. Jesus warned that we should expect forgiveness from God as we forgive those who sin against us, for God will forgive us in the same way we forgive others (Matt. 6:15). God's nature is forgiveness (Exod. 34:6—7). If we are to be His disciples, we must follow His example. If God will forgive our most relentless enemy, we can do nothing less. Jesus did not say that certain offenses are unworthy of our forgiveness. We have no biblical excuse for allowing unforgiveness in our hearts. If you choose to withhold forgiveness from someone, your worship and prayers are futile (Matt. 5:23—24). Ask God to make you aware of those dark corners in your life where you are harboring resentment. A keen awareness of your own need for forgiveness will put the offenses of others in their proper light. Ask God to make you like Christ so that, even when you are being persecuted, you can pray, “Father, forgive them.” - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
There's been some sharp disagreement on this but there is a bottom line to be seen.
It's interesting to me the timing of this subject in light of a world bent on doing the opposite. Both within the Church and outside of it.
I really like the way Blackaby puts it. There is no excuse not to.
The point of view on it must be Christ's perspective. We want to see some form of percieved justice. We want to see some form of condemnation playing out.
The greater question is: What is God hoping to see in this person?
Really, is it more important that so-called human justice is served rather than a person's soul is kept from Hell? People can go on and on about what's fair. Ok. So you want to go there. What is fair, by God's standards is that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We all stand condemned. Everyone. Only by coming to Christ for Salvation can we be pardoned, forgiven. So what right do any of us have to hold onto such thoughts as to demand something that is only in God's hands to do? How dare we sit in judgment and not forgive? Scripture says judgement is in God's hands. We are free to make evaluations based on Spiritual discernment but that's the end of it.
So many professing Christians bring dishonor to God by not forgiving others.
We do so to our own detriment. To our own hurt. Has someone wronged you? God says forgive. How do you know how your forgiveness or lack of it will play into the plans of the Spirit in that person's life?
Your act of forgiveness may bring them one step closer to Salvation.
It's completely human pride to start saying "I can forgive them but I won't forget!". Go ahead on that train of thought. Explain to me how a Christ follower who claims that Jesus lives in them cannot do what Christ does concerning forgiveness? If Christ casts our sins as far as the east is from the west and remembers them no more, what about you?
The inevitable is next. "Well, I just can't!" So my friend, explain to me how YOU expect Jesus to forgive you. How? Why should He forgive you when you won't obey? What makes you better than that individual whom you have the problem with whom Christ died for just as He did you?
There is no room for disobedience.
My friend forgiveness brings freedom. It pours out Grace that is greater than all our sins. It brings the love of God to a wounded soul. Those Christ healed He forgave. Those whom nailed Him to a cross He forgave. He cried out to His Father to forgive them.
There's one last person you must forgive.
I used to sit in judgment on myself. Every single time that I knew that I had sinned and failed Jesus, I would sink into a deep depression. Doing my best to hide it from others. I would be totally consumed with guilt. Even after asking for Christ to forgive me I would condemn me. Many years ago God squeezed me through some painful lessons on self forgiveness. Yes I still sin daily but His grace continues to cover as I ask for forgiveness from Him. Grace is God's unmerited favor. We did nothing to deserve it. Yet as a child of God it's ours.
When we stand in self-condemnation we reject His Grace.
Forgiveness is very powerful. It changes lives. It changes the life of the one being forgiven and it changes us.
It matters absolutely not as to the offense.
Read that again. It matters absolutely not as to the offense. Christ forgave every single type of sinful offense when it was heaped upon Him on the cross. From murder to sexual situations. And everything else. Every sin known to God was forgiven.
If you want a right relationship with Jesus start with forgiveness. Ask Him to forgive you as you forgive others. No excuses.
Forgive yourself. Let go of the chains that YOU are holding onto that are only there because YOU won't let go of them.