February 28, 2017 - Such a simple term, such a difficult task at times. Forgiveness is the true test of the Christian's inner self, a true test of the level of faith in each of us.
"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 6:14-15) This verse follows the Lord's Model Prayer which is (Matthew 6:9-13).
Jesus forgave those who nailed him to the cross, even as they drove the nails through his hands. He is our example, our measuring board for our actions in life.
Job sat in sack cloth and ashes, covered by sores from head to toe, suffering extreme pain. Three of his friends came to console him, but instead they judged him guilty of some heinous crime due to his condition. Job however did not let them persuade him, for he knew he had done nothing wrong, instead he trusted in the Lord and the Lord repaid him double what he had before when his test was completed.
Like the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18, we are forgiven by our Master, so to must we forgive others or be judged as hypocrites.
"Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying; "I repent, you must forgive him." (Luke 17:3-4) Note, the scripture didn't say; "you might forgive him, no, it says, you must forgive him." It also tells us it may not always be easy to be a Christian. Not easy to forgive when we are wrongly or unjustly accused or blamed, not easy, but necessary, for the Lord says we must.
"And you who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he sat aside, nailing it to the cross." (Colossians 2:13-14)
As the Lord nailed our trespasses to the cross and forgave us our sins, we too must forgive others of their trespasses and sins.
No matter the situation, whether it is in business, in our family life, with our friends, or in church, the command is the same. Forgive others as the Lord forgave you.
"Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are all members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil." (Ephesians 4:25-27)
Speak the truth, always, because we are all of the same family, the human family. You may be angered by the actions of others toward you, but you must forgive and not sin as they have sinned.
For if you do not forgive; you enable the devil to come into your life and hinder your faith, hurting only yourself. Stopping you from becoming the Christian you can be.
Lord, please, help us to bring the spirit of forgiveness and repentance back into our country, into our daily lives and into our churches.
Help us, O Lord to be the best we can be for your namesake, amen...
May the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you this day...