We should always hold forgiveness at the center of our hearts. No matter who has trespassed against us, we are to forgive them and show them God's love through our life's example. We must offer forgiveness towards others because we ourselves are sinners who have trespassed against God Almighty, and if God is gracious enough to forgive us of our shortfalls, then so should we forgive others of their shortfalls against us. We are not perfect people. We are not infallible and we shouldn't expect others to be either. The Lord Jesus declares in Matthew 6:14-15 “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Just as we seek forgiveness from God and receive His mercy, so must we be merciful and forgive others their trespasses just the same. (John 8:7) (Romans 3:23)
There is a great story that the Lord Jesus tells about a servant of a certain king who owed a great debt of what could be equivalent today to $100,000 that he could not pay and so he went to the King pleading for mercy and the King who was just and kind was not only merciful to his servant, but he also forgave his great debt and because of the King's mercy, the servant did not owe the King anything anymore. A short time later that same servant who had received mercy from the King for his great debt came across a fellow servant who owed him what could be equivalent to $10 today. The fellow servant fell to his knees and asked for some time and he would pay that man back, but that servant would not accept. He had the fellow servant arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants watched what was happening, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the King. (Matthew 18:21-35)
We read the King's response in Matthew 18:32-35 with Jesus speaking “You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you? And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” It is vitally important that we keep a humble heart and realize that all have fallen short at one time or another. Just as we have received mercy, we must also offer mercy. I pray that you will think about forgiveness in a new light if you have been holding onto a grudge against another. You must let it go for your own betterment so that as you forgive another their trespasses, God will forgive you of yours. (Mark 11:24-26)
I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to see that forgiveness is not only God's commandment, but it is also for our betterment.
When my Mom and my cousin had a baby shower for me, my Mom's gift was a hand woven wicker baby bassinet. It was beautiful. It became one of my most treasured possessions. All three of my children used it, and I had planned that my grandchildren would use it as well. Maybe it would become an heirloom in our family for generations to come.
My cousin, Cynthia, who was one of my best friends, became pregnant when both of our youngest were pre-teen age. She borrowed the bassinet for her baby. As the years passed we grew further apart. I had always planned to go and get that bassinet, but we just never found the time to make that 60 mile trip.
When her “baby” was 8 years old, we were finally going to get that bassinet. I called my cousin to tell her that we would be coming but she was not home. I called her mother to see if she knew when Cynthia would be home. As we chatted, I mentioned that the purpose of our trip was to pick up the bassinet. My Aunt said, “Oh you mean that wicker one?” I said, “yes.” She proceeded to tell me that it was ruined when her basement was flooded four years previous and it had been thrown out. I was shocked, because for four years my cousin had not told me of the loss of that bassinet. I became very angry and left a message on her answering machine that I was upset with her, and I doubted if I would ever talk to her again. I was so angry and hurt, I cried. For two years I held that anger against her.
I was unhappy and my whole world was suffering because of my anger towards her. I am a Christian, but I was hurt, and angry, I felt betrayed, and she had destroyed something that I treasured very much. However I knew that this was not the way to be towards another person.
I was listening to a Christian program and it pointed out that people were more precious than things. I was reading an article in a Christian magazine, and it pointed out that people were more important than things, and when I went to church the sermon was about people being more important than things. That Sunday I was moved to sit down and write my cousin a letter of apology, and ask her forgiveness, because I realized that she was more important to me than anything of this world. I mailed it and I had a weight lifted off of me, I felt I was right with God again.
Monday afternoon I got a call from Cynthia, she wanted to tell me that her brother was moving into a place of his own, and he was looking at the furniture that was stored in their parent's garage to use in his place. In the back of the garage behind all the furniture they found the bassinet!!! It was not in the basement at all, it was in the garage all the time!
God moved me to write that letter, and He knew that my heart was sad, so when I released my pain, and said that my cousin was more important than that bassinet, I got both back! I learned a great lesson about holding anger and how it hurts the one who is angry, and all those who are in one's life. Where your heart is so is your treasure. I still have that bassinet, and best of all, I have my cousin in my life, again.
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
1 John 4:10-12 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us.”
Colossians 3:12-15 “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today's Selected Poem: DOES YESTERDAY BELONG TO TODAY
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem122.htm
Today's Selected Testimony: IT DID HAPPEN TO US
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony59.htm
In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry