The impression of God in this new age is that His only character is love. He loves everyone, accepts everything and has made a home in Heaven for all of us. We’re led to believe that if we are a real Christian then we, too, will love everyone and accept everyone as equally loved by God; after all, God is our Heavenly Father and we are all His creation. We’re told that the real “god” doesn’t’ hate Continue reading
Much of “Christianity” today has digressed from a commitment to follow Christ to an “everything goes” attitude that gives false spiritual security. It’s a “new age religion” that says we can do our own thing and know that God loves and accepts each one of us just as we are now. It’s no wonder that this deception is growing so rapidly! Continue reading
We read in the Old Testament that after Moses led the people out of Egypt, they began to engage in terrible acts of sin including idolatry, immorality, and murder. So, God gave Moses some laws known as the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) to be used as a benchmark to govern the people so they would stay away from sin and follow Him. Continue reading
Our world is quickly racing toward convenience and short cuts in almost every facet of life. The things that used to require time and effort can now be accomplished online in seconds—things such as banking, paying bills, shopping, ordering a meal and even securing lucrative employment. These conveniences require little effort and almost no thought as we take for granted what technology has given us—short cuts! We just click a button and we have instant success. However, when we’re looking for salvation, there are no shortcuts to the cross.
As we travel forward in our Christian walk we realize that not everyone along the way is in the same place as we are in our personal relationship with God. Some will be brand new Christians and others will have a mature walk with God. Some were once back-sliders, but are now back on the path, while still others need to be prompted to get back on. There are those who are abundant in love and radiate in peace while others are still focused more on the law than on His grace. Some will have a shallow understanding of the scriptures while others have a deep understanding of them. We have all come from assorted backgrounds and been brought through different circumstances, and we all have our own mountains to climb, but the one thing we have in common is that we are forgiven!
We have all sinned, regardless of what we’ve done, and be it big or little there is no difference to God. Sin is sin and it will separate us from God. That’s why He gave His own Son to be a sacrifice for us. He wanted to take the sin from us and bear the punishment of it for us so that we could get rid of the sin and stand holy before Him. But we’re not holy on our own merits. We are only holy because the blood of Jesus covers us and has taken away that sin. And when we accept His sacrifice and turn away from the worldly sins, we are forgiven and we become children of God.
We are forgiven! We have been redeemed back to God and every sin we committed before we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior was forgiven. The record has been washed clean and God doesn’t see it anymore. We now live under grace. We are no longer under the law and sin can no longer hurt us.
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” … Galatians 4:4-5
Without God’s forgiveness we have sin in us, and when we commit one sin, one felony or offence – a single transgression against the law – then we commit sin against God. He gave us the law through Moses and it’s known as The Ten Commandments as set out in Exodus 20:3-17. If it were possible for any person to live one hundred percent according to this law and never once waiver even in the slightest bit throughout their entire life, then they would not have sin in them and they would not need a Savior. But The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that “we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” so we know that it is impossible to live without sinning. This means that every person has sinned and therefore, deserves to suffer the punishment for their sins.
But God loves us with a love so great that few people can really comprehend it. It grieved God terribly to have been separated from Adam and Eve because of sin. It was His plan then to take that sin away from them and from every person ever born because He knew the punishment of sin. He made the world; He made the law and it stands.
“For the wages of sin is death.” … Romans 6:23
The “death” spoken of here doesn’t refer to the death of our earthly bodies when we leave this earth. It’s speaking of the second death that will come to those people on Judgment Day who are found with sin in them, and the punishment will be a complete separation from God forever.
“Then the king [Jesus] said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” … Matthew 22:13
Jesus is the only person ever to have lived a totally sinless life. He was born of a woman, but His father was God and God is Holy, so Jesus was Holy. He was not born of a man and did not inherit the sin of Adam as the rest of the human race did.
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” … Hebrews 4:15
Jesus died on the cross and took upon Himself all of our sins so that everyone who accepts it will be forgiven and will live under the grace of God. This means that if during our Christian lives we do something that we know is wrong, we can come to God immediately and ask Him to forgive us and He will not only forgive us, but He’ll erase it from our record.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” … John 3:16
We are forgiven! We live under the grace of God and as we grow and pray and study the Bible and worship the Lord, we become more and more like Him through the Holy Spirit in us. But every Christian won’t be like us. We shouldn’t judge them or put them down, but instead we need to show the love and grace of God toward them. We need to pray for them and teach them at their level so they can see God from where they are.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” … Colossians 3:16
The Christian life is wonderful when we see others through the eyes of Jesus and not through our own ideals. There are many people around us who aren’t Christians, but who watch us and who deep inside want to know God. We need to treat all people with love and compassion, using only scripture as a benchmark and God’s love and grace toward them so they can see Him. But we also need to tell them about His judgment for those who still live in sin so they’ll know why they need to repent.
The only difference between Christians and people of the world is that we are forgiven and His Spirit now lives in us. And for this we are eternally grateful! Thank you, Jesus!
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” … Psalm 32:1
So many of us are living in defeat because we have issues from years gone by that we have never dealt with as they are just too painful to think about. Some of us know about them, have forgiven the ones who hurt us and have chosen to ignore them and pretend they never happened. Others of us don’t even realize that the hurts are there because they’re buried so deep into the cobwebs of our mind. They are hidden from all recollection, and yet every day we live the nightmare of their effects without even knowing it.
So, how do we know that we have unresolved issues that need to be taken care of? Often, we don’t know about them until we begin to analyze some of the things we do. We all have our opinions and attitudes toward various issues, but when one of those issues strikes a key with us and we become defensive or aggressive or sad, we have to wonder why we react that way when it doesn’t bother anyone else.
As we grow in the Lord our thoughts, attitudes and actions should be like those of Jesus, but if they’re not then we need to find out why. The best way to get to the bottom of every single issue in life is to take the matter to God in prayer. Psychologists and psychiatrists are all waiting to hear from us because trauma today is a growing business and we will make their day. But as Christians, the Bible says that the only person we should talk to is Jesus.
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” … 1 Peter 5:7
When we can identify our reactions by comparing them to those of the Lord, then we’re on our way to discovering the problem. But if the problem is buried deep, it’s not going to be a simple answer because it’s not a problem that we are able to easily detect.
Sometimes we need to fast and pray and wait on God for Him to give us the answer, and He WILL give us the answer. But when we get it we may also realize that we’ve opened that door to fear and pain that we had subconsciously locked, and the issue may come at us just as it did years ago when the real issue came at us. The difference between then and now, though, is that Jesus is going to fight it for us; we are no longer alone.
The issue is now in the hands of Jesus and so we need to thank Him for taking it, for defeating it, and for setting us free of it. We need to look at it as something very material that we visually hand to Him and then we need to accept that it’s gone.
But it doesn’t stop there because we need to replace that void with something good or else we’ll find another issue to fill it and bother us. We need to ask God to fill that void with His Spirit. He has set us free from the clutches of the devil and we are no longer under the curse that the world is under and His Spirit is inside us to keep it out.
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” … Galatians 3:13
When we’re hurting from these kinds of things, it’s almost impossible for us to even realize that we have an issue, let alone know how to solve it. In some cases, our reactions are disciplinary issues that come when we haven’t committed that particular thing to the Lord yet. But when we are committed to the Lord and we see that our feelings or reactions are wrong, the only way we are going to understand fully why is to talk to Jesus about it.
He will bring it to light and we’ll remember it all including all the fears and hurts, but He doesn’t do this to hurt us; He does this so we can understand why we’ve reacted the way we have and He does this to get rid of it and to give us closure on it. And when Jesus takes it away, IT IS GONE for good! The devil can no longer play on it because it’s no longer buried inside us and he can’t cause us any more pain.
The Holy Spirit lives inside us and He gives us strength and He reminds us that we belong to God – and there is no one greater or mightier or more defensive of His children than our Heavenly Father. So we don’t need to be afraid anymore because we know that God loves us and cares for us, and nothing else in this whole world is more meaningful than the love of God.
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” … John 8:36
We all know that the first step to becoming a Christian is to ask God for forgiveness; to accept Jesus as our Lord and to repent of our old lifestyle as we seek after His. And we know that the next step is to forgive other people and to be free of the anger, hostility and resentment that we’ve carried toward them. Yet, there is another part to this healing that many of us overlook and this is that the petition for forgiveness begins at home.
Many of us don’t realize that we have to forgive ourselves for things that we’ve done or not done and that have become tormenting burdens we carry in the back of our heart; things that we can’t change and that we truly regret; things that we think about often with pain and remorse; things that keep us captive in the shadows of the enemy and that prevent us from receiving the fullness of God.
Some of us aren’t even aware of these burdens until someone points them out to us. Then once we realize that we have not forgiven ourselves for something that’s affecting our life, our eyes are opened and our heart cries out to God. We are able to come to Him in prayer and “cast all of our burdens” onto Him and truly get the release from this weight that we’ve been carrying.
“…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” … 1 Peter 5:7
Some of us are aware of the burden, but we struggle with it because every day we see the results of what we did or didn’t do to someone and we can’t forgive ourselves for causing this injustice to them. We can’t be free when we know that they suffer because of what we did even though whatever it was may have been years ago and long before we knew Jesus. Or even though it may be something that we didn’t even know we did at the time and the weight of the guilt weighs heavy.
The Apostle Paul knows what it is to have done terrible things because he had many innocent Christians killed in his mislead quest to serve God. He thought he was doing what God wanted him to do, but when he was saved and repented, he was sickened by what he had done. He pled for God’s forgiveness and so the Lord forgave him and filled Paul with His Spirit, and Paul was able to forgive himself because he knew that if he had been serving Christ at that time that he would never have hurt anyone. And we have to think the same way.
Each one of us will stand before God to account for the things that we have done while we were here on earth. The good things that we have done to His glory will be noted, but the bad things that we have done – and that are all under the blood – will not be recognized because they are forgiven. The thing we did that we harbour the guilt for has been forgiven by God, too. We are the only one who won’t let it go.
This guilt – or unforgiveness – will keep our heart polluted with a burden that will continue to give the devil glory for something that he got us to do. God forgave us for it, but we won’t forgive ourselves so the effects of this sin will stay with us and will rule over us – and keep us from God. The devil smirks on because he still has a piece of us.
We need to give this burden to God. It may take many times of coming to Him and pouring it all out because the wounds are deep within us, but if we diligently cry out to Jesus and ask for His help, He will help us. When King David struggled with guilt, he cried out to God until he got this release.
“Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.” … Psalm 51:14
Faith is our lifeline to God, so if we have faith to accept Jesus as our Saviour, faith to believe that we are forgiven, and faith to know that God has a purpose for us, then we have to act on that faith. If we believe that Christ has forgiven us then we (being filled with His Spirit) must forgive ourselves and get rid of the guilt that Satan has put on us. We need to put our faith to work and break all ties with the devil.
“…..faith without works is dead”. … James 2:20
Some may argue, “It’s not that easy. I’ve physically hurt a person who can never be healed and I feel sick about it”, or “I was a bad parent and now my child is messed up and doesn’t know God”, or “My parent died angry at me for things I’d done”.
We can’t turn back time. We can’t change what we’ve done, but God forgave us for all of our sins when we came to the cross and repented. Now we need to come to God and ask Him to help us get past them so we can forgive ourselves. We need to pray and believe that He will help us.
Each person is responsible for their own salvation, and that includes the person we’ve hurt. They must come to God and seek forgiveness, as well, and ask for His direction and blessing on their lives. We cannot carry this burden for them. This is something they have to do on their own, and if they choose to not forgive us for what we’ve done to them, then that is their choice.
“….choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….”… Joshuah 24:15
God does not leave anyone out in the cold. That’s why we’re here, filled with His Spirit and working on His behalf to reach out and show God’s love to people who have suffered physically, mentally, emotionally and every other way. Even the people who were hurt by something we did will have opportunities to come to God and seek forgiveness and healing for their own lives.
This doesn’t mean that we become non-caring or complacent toward someone we’ve hurt in the past; it doesn’t mean that we brush it off as “oh well, they’ll get over it”. It means that we no longer carry the guilt for our actions because we know that Jesus has forgiven us.
In some cases this person or their family might be hateful toward us, but instead of holding onto the guilt emotion, we can lift them up in prayer every day and pray for their salvation, and ask that the Lord bless their lives and fill them with His Spirit. We can turn our guilty feelings into a positive action and give God the glory for our healing – and for their healing.
We cannot change what we did in the past, but we can live a Godly life today and be a positive influence for what happens in the future. We might never be able to tell this person that we’re sorry, or maybe we’ve apologized a hundred times, but they won’t accept it. This then becomes an issue between them and God because WE have done all that we can do.
When we forgive ourselves then we can more easily feel the love of Jesus and we can know that our body is the temple of His Spirit. We’ll know we have the victory when we can turn the guilt that we’ve carried into a mission of faith to lift this person up to Heaven and win their soul for Christ.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” … John 14:27
Michael English sings a beautiful song called Please Forgive Me. It will bring you to the foot of the cross when you close your eyes and put yourself into the words of this song. God is faithful and He’ll heal you and restore you and bless you.
Michael English sings from his heart, Please Forgive Me.
“Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” … Psalm 106:1
Many religions will have us believe that we can “earn” God’s forgiveness through works – give financial aid, support those who come to us for help, and pray for those in need. And these good deeds for this purpose should stay with that religion because it is NOT a prerequisite from the Lord for forgiveness, and nowhere in the Bible will you ever read that you have to earn His forgiveness or that it’s even possible to try.
We cannot “earn” forgiveness from God because He is Holy and perfect and there is no one equal to Him. We are filled with sin from conception and were separated from God because of that sin. If we could earn forgiveness then that would make us par with God without a clean heart, and Christ’s mission to the cross would be for nothing.
What does that mean? It means that no matter how much He loves us, we will NEVER be holy enough on our own merits to come into His presence. Why? Because we are filled with sin – a sin that was inherited to us by our earthy parents that started with Adam and Eve. God will not allow sin to come into his presence and that’s why He had to evict Adam and Eve from the Garden when they sinned.
The only way to receive God’s forgiveness – aka God’s grace, God’s inheritance, God’s blessings – is through repentance. We must come to God with a heart that cries out for Him; with a heart that wants to be like His; with a heart that wants to be able to love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 12:30).
We need to have a humble heart that repents for the sin that’s in us. But it’s not our fault we have sin, so why do we need to repent of it? Because with a humble heart comes the ability to know that we have to get the sin off of us in order to come into God’s presence. We realize that this inherited sin will keep us away from God and will eventually send us right to hell – where all sin has to go in the end.
We must come to the cross and accept the sacrifice that Jesus gave when He was crucified on that cross. Jesus was perfect and without sin because His father was God, not man. He went to the cross and died even though there was no sin in Him, and even though there was no legal reason for Him to be crucified. So why did He die on the cross then? So that He could take on ALL of OUR SIN, and with that sin He was sent down into the pits of hell where all sin goes. But, Jesus didn’t stay there. He dropped that sin there and once He was free of it He rose again, Holy and pure because He was once again filled with God’s spirit. And we were freed of that inherited sin.
When we accept this sacrifice that He made for us, then we will be able to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. We can ask Him to wash us and cleanse us and make us whole as our hearts desire to be with Him, and in doing this God will look at each of us and forgive us or pardon us. And we will no longer belong to the world that is yet to be judged. We will belong to Him.
When Jesus rose He went to Heaven to be with God our Father. He is our example, our leader, and if we accept what He did for us, we too will rise to be with God our Father when we leave this world. But while we’re here, we are free of the inherited sin and Jesus gives us HIS spirit so that we can talk to God, praise God, worship God, walk with God and become His faithful child.
We have done nothing to earn His forgiveness and we can never ever do anything to even think that we could come close to earning it. The salvation that Jesus gave us is the ONLY way to get God’s forgiveness. Jesus says in John 10:9, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” That pasture is Heaven and Jesus is the ONLY way to get there.
We are not perfect and we are not better than anyone else. We are forgiven through God’s grace – and that grace is His Son, Jesus. And we must never think that there is any other way to get God’s forgiveness except through the cross.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”… John 3:16
Praise the Lord that through Him and the sacrifice He gave on the cross, we are forgiven.
The Bible is all about love and it tells us that God is the epitome of love. John 3:16 says that He gave His own Son as a sacrifice for us, and although this shows what the essence of love is, it gets lost in the modern world. Even in the Christian realm love has been confused with emotions and social liberation, and too many people have lost the true meaning of the word and really wonder, what is love?
Love is the motivation within us that causes us to act and react the way we do. It’s the virtue that allows us to love others. It’s the commitment to God, the reverence and respect for Him, the appreciation for the life He has given us, and the reason for our devotion to Him. It is the most important virtue that we have and without it we are nothing but shells that exist through the natural creation of humanity.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 tells us the importance of love:
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love envies not; love vaunts not itself (does not boast), is not puffed up,
5 Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;
6 Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
7 Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abides faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Why is love the greatest virtue? Why is it more important than faith in God?
We can learn about God; we can accept everything we read about God; and we can understand all that He is. We can even believe that He is God and that His Word is life and that it is power. This is the knowledge that is the foundation for love and the basis for our faith in Him. But we must activate our faith to show our love because without love our actions are carnal.
James 2:20 says, “Faith without works is dead.”
Love is the feeling in our heart, the commitment, the devotion, the allegiance and constancy, the trustworthiness and the dependence that we have towards God. We can know it all but there’s only one way to get it in our heart, and that is through the Holy Spirit. He is love, God’s love in us.
When His Holy Spirit is in us, the love of God resides in us and we inherit His loving personality. We have the same heartfelt commitment and purpose as God and our reason for doing what we do is because we want to share the truth of God with others. It’s not just an emotion or an obligation as a Christian; it’s God’s love living and loving through us.
And when His love is in us we are able to love others in spite of their faults, and we are able to forgive those who hurt us and offend us, and we are able to do all that we do with a pure heart because we don’t treat others badly or the way some of them may treat us. We treat them the way that Jesus treats us – with love.
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.” … 1 John 4:7
As Christians we often believe that we should love each other, help and support each other, tolerate each other’s differences and spend all our time with only Christians. We become a clique unto ourselves – aka denominations – and have no tolerance for anyone outside of our own circle of friends. We forget where we came from and we forget to love the sinners.
There’s a balance that we need to find in order to truly walk in love with God and towards all people. And we can find this balance in the Bible through the acts of someone who walked the walk and who gave His life for sinners – and that is our own Saviour, Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 says that God loved the world so much that He gave His life for us so that we could be saved. Were we righteous people deserving of this salvation? No, we were sinners deserving of death. The sin that was in us separated us from God and would take us to hell, but Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to go to the cross for us and take OUR sins upon Himself so that we could spend eternity in Heaven with Him.
What makes this so very precious is God’s forgiving grace. He saw the sin and the corruption in us, and Isaiah 64:6 says that our own righteousness is like filthy rags before Him. He saw the god of this world alive in us and He knew of the horrible things that we’d done in our allegiance to this god, but He saw beyond that sin. He saw the souls of His children. He saw US!
The shed blood has become our redeeming grace and through it we are saved! Romans 5:9,10 says that we are saved from the wrath that He will pour upon those who refuse to turn from their sin. We have been brought back to our Heavenly Father because He loves us and we are now part of His family and one with Him.
God hates the sin but He loves the sinner! That’s what makes His dying in our place so very special. He loves us in spite of our sin. There have been hundreds and thousands of horrific acts of sin committed against people since the fall of Adam and Eve, and yet Christ took even their sin upon Himself at the cross. He hates all sin but He loves all people – enough to die for them.
So as Christians, we need to take our cue from the Lord and reach out to people outside of our little circle of Christian friends. That doesn’t mean that we return to the bars and the dark lifestyle that kept us in bondage because to return to that could be wrong for our own sakes. But we need to pour our concerns onto those outside of our own cliques.
We need to be friendly to all manners of people and we need to be willing to help those in need whenever we can. We can’t have a heart that helps only Christians and that ignores the needs of the sinners because we’re following Jesus and we are to be like Him. He said in Mark 2:17 that He came to call sinners into repentance and so we must also work with sinners so that they can be saved.
Jesus preached throughout Judea and He told the people about Heaven and about the love that God had for them. Thousands of people turned from their sinful ways and followed Him. Matthew 14:14-20 talks about the multitude that followed Jesus and how He had compassion on them and fed them when they were hungry. He didn’t feed only His followers; He fed all of them.
Jesus healed the sick and He cast out demons – and many of those people were possessed with the devil and didn’t have the ability to become saved, but Jesus saw their heart and He cast the demons out of them. He hated the sin but He loved the sinner.
And that’s what we must do. We must hate the sin but love the sinner. James 5:20 says that “he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”
Love covers a multitude of sins, and when we have compassion on those who don’t know God we open the venue of grace upon them so they can get a glimpse of God through us. And when they can see the goodness of the Lord alive in us, their hearts are drawn to Him through the Holy Spirit and they have the opportunity to become saved.
So our life here on earth is to share and grow with our Christian brethren, but our mission is to spread the gospel to the unsaved so that we can bring as many people to Christ as we can. We need to hate the sin but LOVE the sinner, just as Christ did.
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” … Matthew 25:41-46
We need to forgive those who have offended us no matter what they’ve done. The Bible tells us to forgive each other, to lift up each other and to exalt each other. But when someone has done something to us and brought us much pain we tend to not forgive them because we are offended and they haven’t done anything to right the wrong they did.
When Peter asked Jesus how many times we should forgive others, He answered, “seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:22). What does that mean? We forgive 490 times and then we’re done? No. The Biblical meaning of the number seven is “fullness, completion, and perfection”. And so what Jesus is saying is that we continue to forgive until we don’t need to forgive any more.
Why is forgiveness so important?
Why do we have to forgive someone over and over when they continue to do the things that offend us? They don’t care that they’re being offensive towards us. Some people do things ignorantly to bother us and others do them deliberately to offend us. Why do we have to forgive them when we know they’re just going to do it again and again? They don’t mean sorry when they say it so why should we bother forgiving them? And what does this have to do with us standing in faith when it’s them being offensive to us?
Our thinking is wrong when we analyze the reason for forgiving someone before we choose to forgive them. We need to be careful that we’re not judging them and deciding whether or not they’re deserving of being forgiven. And sadly, many of us do that.
God is still on the thrown. He is the ONLY Lord and Judge over us. He never asked us to judge anyone, just to forgive them. It’s not for their sake that we forgive others, but for our sake.
Unforgiveness separates us from God.
Forgiving allows us to release that bad feeling and get rid of the negative issues that we have about someone. Forgiving is a cleansing process for our own hearts so God can forgive us and we can be pure before Him. And then He will bless us because we’re coming to Him with a clean heart.
Forgiving someone means coming to God and asking Him to wash our hearts of unforgiveness, to cleanse us from this sin and to fill us with His Spirit so that we can be made whole. It means not thinking or talking negative about the person who had offended us, and it means not bringing it up to them and making an issue of it. We have cast it aside and it’s gone. It means acting towards that person as if there never was an offence. It means removing the blemish from our own hearts so that now we are pure and filled with His righteousness.
And NOW we can take that stand of faith and know that God is with us!
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in Heaven may also forgive you your trespasses” …Matt.11:25
Michael English sings a beautiful song called, Please Forgive Me. Listen to it and be blessed.