DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY – THE FORGIVENESS FACTOR.
Not long before she died in 1988, in a moment of surprising candor in television, Marghanita Laski, one of our best-known secular humanists and novelists, said, "What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness; I have nobody to forgive me." - John Stott.
Peter came up to the Lord and asked, "How many times should I forgive someone who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?" Jesus answered: Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times! - Mat 18:21-22. (CEV)
Since I have come back from holiday and catching up on my Blog reading, I have been disappointed in some bloggers who are continually criticising others who don’t see it their way. I have a simple message for you, and for those who want to criticise others in the future... forgive or forfeit forgiveness!
In his book. Lee: The Last Years, Charles Bracelen Flood reports that after the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a grand old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, "Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it."
It is better to forgive the injustices of the past than to allow them to remain, let bitterness take root and poison the rest of our life. - Michael Williams.
The message from God's Word is simple, do it or you lose out! Many years ago I knew a Pastor, who had held unforgiveness against other Pastors, and his ministry and family life suffered terribly, I have met others who have been crippled in their walk with Jesus, because of unforgiveness. We must respond to what Jesus says in our text above, and forgive the people who have wronged us, it is a command from Christ, not an option. Let’s study the...
THE MODEL OF FORGIVENESS
Father forgives completely, whatever the crime! The human response is... “This time you've gone too far!” Father forgives unreservedly; the price has already been paid by Jesus! The human response is... “I'll forgive you if you...” Father forgives forever, never to be remembered again! The human response is... “Remember what you did...” Father forgives generously, He gladly forgives! The human response is... “I guess I'll forgive you!”
THE MANDATE FOR FORGIVENESS
Father demands the Heart of Forgiveness! Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don't yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ. - Eph 4:31-32.
Father derides the Hypocrisy of Unforgiveness! Don't you think you should show pity to someone else, as I did to you?" The king was so angry that he ordered the official to be tortured until he could pay back everything he owed. That is how my Father in heaven will treat you, if you don't forgive each of my followers with all your heart. - Mat 18:33-35.
THE MIRACLE OF FORGIVENESS
True forgiveness releases the bonds of bitterness! Bitter, critical, unpleasant believers are often bound by unforgiveness! True forgiveness re-opens the channel of blessings! When we forgive it removes the barrier between you and the Lord!
Your sins are the roadblock between you and your God. That's why he doesn't answer your prayers or let you see his face. - Isa. 59:2.
True forgiveness releases love to the unbeliever! Forgiveness displays the miraculous love of Christ to the lost!
True forgiveness restores unity among believers! Powerful unity is restored when believers forgive each other!
"The man I ate dinner with tonight killed my brother." The words, spoken by a stylish woman at a PF banquet in Seattle, amazed me. She told how John H. had murdered her brother during a robbery, served 18 years at Walla Walla, then settled into life on a dairy farm, where she had met him in 1983, 20 years after his crime. Compelled by Christ's command to forgive, Ruth Youngsman had gone to her enemy and pronounced forgiveness. Then she had taken him to her father's deathbed, prompting reconciliation.
Some wouldn't call this a success story: John didn't dedicate his life to Christ. But at that PF banquet last fall, his voice cracked as he said, "Christians are the only people I know that you can kill their son, and they'll make you a part of their family. I don't know the Man Upstairs, but He sure is hounding me."
John's story is unfinished; he hasn't yet accepted Christ. But just as Christ died for us regardless of our actions or acceptance, so Ruth forgave him without qualification. Even more so, she became his friend. - Albert H. Quie.
LET’S STOP DOING SATANS WORK FOR HIM, AND BE OBEDIENT TO JESUS INSTEAD! BRING IN THE FORGIVENESS FACTOR IN EVERY SITUATION!
Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to release any unforgiveness in my life, by forgiving those who have wronged me. Bless my enemies Father, and let your love be revealed to them in everything I say and do, towards them. I ask this in the wonderful Name of Jesus. Amen!