Sunday, February 17, 2013

Forgiveness brings life Part 2

Unforgiveness is like shooting yourself with a poison arrow and expecting the other person to die from YOUR self inflicted wound.  Unforgiveness is like jumping out of an airplane and the last parachute was given to the guy you hate. He'll float to the ground unharmed or unscaved but you will make a forever impression into the dirt below. Unforgiveness is like drinking arsenic laced cool-aid but expecting the person you hate to kill over. Unforgivness is like swimming in a pool filled with 20 starving alligators and expecting the person you hate to fall in " Any minute now."


Ok, Ok, I believe you get the point. Unforgiveness has never upon never to ever beyond ever to ever to infinity done anyone any good. It is a living parasite which feeds off of it's prey and in most cases destroys. Your hate can never penetrate the object or person of that hate. Revenge and other acts of retribution never work and leave the bitter person worse off.

I know some people have endured horrible acts done to them. Many have been abused, sexually assaulted, turned into sex slaves, had a loved one killed right before their eyes, lied upon, treated unfairly, and much more horrendous acts by the hands of evil men and women. Has your hate for them helped in any way? Has your crusade for revenge stop the emptiness inside of you?

Forgiveness is the key to unlocking the pain you have endured. Forgiveness is not letting the swine out of the pen. It is not letting the catfish off the hook. What has happen to you is horrible. It is painful. It is hard to forget. No one denies this truth, but what you do with the pain is at question here.

Peter asked Jesus how often should we forgive another. We know Peter had a mother-in-law. Maybe he had unforgiveness towards her, and he wanted to know when he could stop forgiving and start revenging. ( Just making a joke.You can laugh here.)

Matthew 18:21-35  Then Peter came to Jesus and asked him, "Lord, how often do I have to forgive a believer who wrongs me? Seven times?"  (22)  Jesus answered him, "I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy times seven.  (23)  "That is why the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.  (24)  When he began to do this, a servant who owed him millions of dollars was brought to him.  (25)  Because he could not pay off the debt, the master ordered him, his wife, his children, and all that he had to be sold to pay off the account.  (26)  Then the servant fell at his master's feet and said, 'Be patient with me, and I will repay everything!'  (27)  "The master felt sorry for his servant, freed him, and canceled his debt.  (28)  But when that servant went away, he found a servant who owed him hundreds of dollars. He grabbed the servant he found and began to choke him. 'Pay what you owe!' he said.  (29)  "Then that other servant fell at his feet and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will repay you.'  (30)  But he refused. Instead, he turned away and had that servant put into prison until he would repay what he owed.  (31)  "The other servants who worked with him saw what had happened and felt very sad. They told their master the whole story.  (32)  "Then his master sent for him and said to him, 'You evil servant! I canceled your entire debt, because you begged me.  (33)  Shouldn't you have treated the other servant as mercifully as I treated you?'  (34)  "His master was so angry that he handed him over to the torturers until he would repay everything that he owed.  (35)  That is what my Father in heaven will do to you if each of you does not sincerely forgive other believers."

The servant owed millions of dollars to the King but the king forgave all debt. The evil servant was owed hundreds of dollars by another, and he wanted it paid immediately. You and I have been forgiven of a debt that costs much more than all the money in the world. Our sin comes with a hefty price.( Death). Jesus forgave it all on the cross. Even while on the cross; he asked the living God to forgive everyone which had a hand in his demise.

Luke_23:34  Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing." Meanwhile, the soldiers divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice.

Forgiveness is not for the person who has hurt you. Forgiveness is for you. Forgiveness frees the soul and allows God to work in your behalf.  Below is some key points about our topic.

Forgiveness:

1. If you can't forgive then God can't forgive you.
 Matthew_6:14  "If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Matthew_6:15  But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failures. 



2. Forgiveness ensures your prayers are being answered and heard by God.
Mark_11:25  Whenever you pray, forgive anything you have against anyone. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your failures."

3. Forgiveness keeps the unity within the Body of Christ.
Colossians_3:13  Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 

4. Forgives restores the person who once was deep into sin. ( I Corinthians 7, then II Corinthians 2)

5. Forgiveness does not mean that you become friends with the perpetrator who has hurt you. In some cases God allows it but it is not the norm. King David forgave King Saul but they were never friends again. David did, however, bring Jonathan's crippled son to his dinner table and took care of him for the rest of his life.

6. Forgiveness brings healing physically and emotionally to the individual who is bound to bitterness.

7. Forgiveness restores your standing with God.

8. Forgiveness does not mean the acts your have performed with unrighteousness or the acts some one has done to you is condoned by God. God's grace is given to us despite our sin. We deserve hell but his grace and love has covered our sins. This is what forgiveness does for us.

Now I know this is allot to take in. It goes against our human nature to forgive horrendous acts done to us, and I am not saying that evil men and women should not be brought to justice for the evil acts they perform. This is another topic.  Our sinful nature desires to enact revenge on those who have harmed us. If Christ is in us then we must forgive. He will help us with the forgetting or the repression of the images if we ask him. Don't let hate and bitterness stop you from living your life to the fullness in God. Don't let the cowardly acts of evil men and women stop you from fulfilling your destiny in God. Those individuals , which have harmed you, might not know the Lord. They need Jesus just like we need Jesus. Their sins need forgiveness just like our sins need forgiveness. Also understand this. Our God will avenge his children if anyone has ever hurt them.

Luke 18:7-8  Won't God give his chosen people justice when they cry out to him for help day and night? Is he slow to help them?  (8)  I can guarantee that he will give them justice quickly. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
 


Galatians 6:7-8  Make no mistake about this: You can never make a fool out of God. Whatever you plant is what you'll harvest.  (8)  If you plant in the soil of your corrupt nature, you will harvest destruction. But if you plant in the soil of your spiritual nature, you will harvest everlasting life.







As a believer in Christ, it is important we forgive others no matter what. Our very existence consists of forgiveness, and it should be something that illuminates from our person.



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