Wednesday, November 30, 2011
"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:14-15
"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13
Christmas, The Season of Giving, represents one of the greatest times of the year as we celebrate the greatest GIFT that was ever given by God ~JESUS~ HIS ONE AND ONLY SON. Jesus was born to die so that we could be FORGIVEN and experience ETERNAL LIFE here on earth and forever some day in heaven! Forgiveness is a gift from God. A gift to receive and a gift to give. Is there someone or some life experience that God has brought to your mind and heart to extend fresh forgiveness? When we do not forgive over and over this could cause bitter feelings or thoughts.
Some of the best definitions and truths of forgiveness that I heard and learned years ago when I was in a Bible Study about making peace with the past was shared from Focus on the Family and it goes like this "Forgiveness means giving up my right to hurt others that have hurt me! Forgiveness doesn't mean that what someone did to me is OK, it means that God will take care of everything as I put it all in His Hands! Forgiveness doesn't mean that I am suppose to have a close relationship with those that do not have your best interest at heart, I just need make sure that I am not holding any grudges that end up choking the life out of me!"
Usually forgiveness is not a one time action, it is an ongoing healthy habit!! If the enemy fails at causing Christians to turn their back on and/or be bitter at God, he will try over and over to get them to turn their back on/or be bitter at people!!
As a first-generation Christian that was NOT raised in a Christian home and that has suffered deeply from the sins of others projected onto my life. As a Christian, some of the most difficult times in my walk with God has been when other Christian's have betrayed me, but, God has allowed me to learn how to supernaturally FORGIVE the many many offenses of others (as I never forget all that He has forgiven me from) 70 x 7 and much more!! How?
Here are some simple steps, that I pray encourage you, that you can take that I have taken over and over and over to be BETTER instead of BITTER!!!
1. Never forget the many things that God has forgiven you for! (1 Tim.1:15)
2. Never stop praying for others that have offended or hurt you! (Matt. 5:44)
3. Never let the sun go down on your offense or anger! Confession keeps our hearts free from bitterness! God will take care of the offender! (Eph.4:26, 2 Tim. 4:14)
4. Never get confused with who is behind all the offenses and hurts of this world, it is NOT people, that the enemy wants you to hold a grudge against, it is THE ENEMY himself that deserves ALL blame...this is his purpose, let's not give him any purpose in our lives! (Eph.6:10-12)
5. Never forget the many ways, some of these ways will cause others to become believers, when we walk in forgiveness this will cause others to become one step closer to the CROSS, the GREATEST example of FORGIVENESS for us all!! (Gen.50:20!!, 2 Cor.1:4)
For Further Study: The life of Joseph written about in Gen. 37-50 is a great study, Joseph is a great role model, and his life is a great example of forgiveness as we all strive to be Better instead of Bitter!!
"Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. "See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." Hebrews 12:14-15
When, not if, life gives you lemons, add the sweetness of forgiveness and let God turn lemons into lemonade:-)!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUGXtfsEzeU (Seventy Times Seven by David Meece)