The great thing about being alive is that we always have a second chance. No matter what we may go through and no matter what may come our way we can try again to do better, to be better and to strive to be all that God has created us to be. While we try to be as perfect as God commands us to be we will still fall short, we will falter and we will fail, but when we do we can seek forgiveness from the Lord and from those whom we have transgressed against. When we acknowledge our shortcomings and seek redemption I believe that is the process that begins healing in our life and in the lives of those whom we have sinned against. We should never think it pointless to make right our wrongs because people remember when they have been hurt and want to be acknowledged for the offences they endured. When we do as the Bible says and seek forgiveness we will find our burden become lightened and our spirit more at peace. That is because we have a conscience that convicts us when we have done wrong and the only way to remedy that conviction is to repent and ask forgiveness. (Matthew 5:43-48) (2 Chronicles 7:14)
The apostle Peter inquired of the Lord about forgiveness. We read in Matthew 18:21-22 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, when my fellow believer sins against me, how many times must I forgive him? Should I forgive him as many as seven times? Jesus answered,
I tell you, you must forgive him more than seven times. You must forgive him even if he wrongs you seventy times
seven.” Just as we should seek forgiveness when we do wrong, we must also forgive when someone does wrong against us. We can’t have a holier than thou attitude thinking that we are better than others because the Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The Bible also says that there are none righteous because we have all done wrong at one time or another, but when we humble ourselves before our fellow man acknowledging our wrongs, that is when healing and restoration begins in both of our lives. (Romans 3:23) (Romans 3:11-12)
Be encouraged to be the catalyst in which a positive change takes place. Seek forgiveness if you have given offense and offer forgiveness if you have been transgressed against. Do your best to be a peacemaker and peacekeeper. Our life’s example will speak volumes to the changes that God has made in our life. In our own strength we can only fall short, but when we have God with us guiding our steps, our life goes from ordinary to extraordinary. The Bible declares in Romans 10:15 “…How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Let this be your life and allow that scripture to be a direct reflection of your new life in Christ. (Luke 6:31-36)
I hope this message encourages and inspires your heart to go out of your way to seek forgiveness as well as to be forgiving so that healing can take place in both of your lives.
MIRACLES OF FORGIVENESS
“Joe? Is that you?”
The woman speaking to me at the baseball game looked vaguely familiar.
“It is you!” she exclaimed, smiling broadly. “Gosh, it's good to see you again!”
It was good to see Marci, too. Off and on during the past few decades I've wondered about her. I almost tried to track her down a few years ago after talking to a mutual friend who had indicated that the 1990's had been pretty rocky for Marci. So bumping into her at the baseball game was, at the very least, fortuitous.
We spent a few minutes catching up on the business of our lives: kids and grandkids, spouses and houses, education and recreation (it's always a little disconcerting to see how few words are required to summarize 32 years of living). We played a little “have you seen...?” and “did you know...?” and we reminisced about the good old, bad old days.
Then Marci grew quiet for a moment, looking out over the crowd milling about the concession area.
“You know, Joe,” she said, “I've always wanted to tell you... how... you know... how sorry I am for the way I treated you.”
I squirmed. One does not like to remember when one has been unceremoniously dumped.
“It's OK,” I said. “No big deal.” At least, I thought to myself, not now.
“But I was such a jerk,” she continued.
Yes you were, I thought. “We were both pretty young,” I said.
“I know,” she said. “But that's no excuse for...” She hesitated, then continued. “It's just always bothered me, remembering how mean I was to you. And I've wanted to tell you that I'm sorry. So...I'm sorry.”
The smile on her face was warm and sincere. And there was something in her eyes -- it looked a lot like relief -- that melted any vestiges of icy resentment that may have built up within me during the years since she had played Wiffle ball with my heart.
“OK,” I said. “Apology accepted!”
Overcome by the sweetness of the moment, I reached an arm around her and gave her a quick hug. Just then, the crowd erupted with a huge cheer, and Marci and I both returned our attention to the game. By the time I looked over to where she had been, she was gone. But the warm, wonderful feeling of our brief exchange was still there, and continues to this day whenever I think about it.
We all carry bitter, discomforting memories of deeds done or undone, and words said or unsaid. And we all bear wounds -- some slight, some not-so-slight -- that have been inflicted upon us by others. The healing balm of forgiveness can soothe a troubled conscience and bring peace to an injured soul -- even years after the fact.
Of course, it isn't enough to just say “I'm sorry” and “You're forgiven.” While there is indeed great power in those simple words, it is not available to those who are insincere, or who are only looking for a way to control, manipulate or exploit.
But when those words are truly felt and sincerely expressed, they can open the door to miracles of the heart and soul -- miracles of forgiveness.
Even at a baseball game.
By Joseph Walker
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
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.”
2 Chronicles 7:14-15 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.”
Galatians 6:1-4 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”
Philippians 2:3-7 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today’s Selected Poem: MESSAGES TO REMEMBER
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem110.htm
Today’s Selected Testimony: JESUS MY DELIVERER
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony136.htm
In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry