Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Power of Forgiveness

“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4:30,32

Have you ever prayed the Lord’s prayer…”Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name…” (Matt. 6:9)?  Have you stopped to understand what we are asking God to do when we pray v.12…”and forgive us our debts AS we also have forgiven our debtors”?  In other words, Father God, I am asking you to forgive me in the same way I forgive people who have hurt or offended me!  Yikes!!!!  Jesus went on to instruct in Matt. 6:14-15, “For if you forgive others...your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions!”

My prayer list this week has been unusually full of requests for reconciliations between parents and children, friend and ex-friend, in-laws and “out-laws”.  As I prayed this morning, the Lord opened my eyes to the power of forgiveness!

Forgiveness was paid for on the cross!

“In (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us…” (Eph. 1:7-8)

Forgiveness is possible even when the offense is horrendous and the pain intense!

“I gave my back to those who beat Me, and My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting (Isa. 50:6)…He was despised and forsaken of men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him and by His scourging (a horribly cruel act in which the victim was stripped, tied to a post and beaten with leather thongs embedded with bits of sharp bone or metal that ripped the skin) we are healed (Isa. 53:3,5)…But Jesus (said) 'Father, forgive them...' (Luke 23:34)…There they crucified Him." (John 19:18).

Forgiveness is powerful!

God the Father holds the position of FORGIVER by the powerful blood of Jesus! What an awesome position we hold when we stand in the place to extend forgiveness to someone who has hurt or offended us!   Therefore…

“Let all bitterness…and anger…and slander be put away from you…be kind…forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.  Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for you..!” (Eph. 4:31-5:2).  For “love is patient, love is does not keep a record of when wronged…” (1 Cor. 13:4-5)

Forgiveness brings life and peace…to the forgiver and the forgiven!

Jesus, who made forgiveness possible, implores us all to “cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you!” (1 Peter 5:7) and be a giver of grace!

”Pursue peace with all men…see to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble and by it many be defiled (Heb. 12:14-15)

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Phil. 4:7)

Forgive today!

Sisters in Christ all around this globe, let us walk in the power of Jesus Christ and FORGIVE TODAY anyone and everyone who has hurt us! 

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all!” (2 Corinthians 13:14)

2 Spout:

I just want to say that Ephesians 4:32 has been repeated at my house many times this week (memory verse for kindergarten). Today more than ever I need to forgive and be forgiven.

How awesome that God is speaking to you through Eph. 4:32, Jennifer! What a blessing to know that you are indeed forgiven by the work of Jesus on the cross! In the gospels, when Jesus said, "Truly, truly..." I interpret that to mean..."Pay attention, pay attention!" When I see or hear a verse repeatedly, I hear my Lord saying, "Pay attention, my child, pay attention!" God is good!!! God is faithful!!!

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