We are not trying to make what happened right. We are forgiving because we have been forgiven. We are tenaciously forgiving so we can keep our relationship with the Lord on track and full of life. We are keeping our other extremely valuable relationships full of life as well.
We need you in the game and focused on the greater things the Lord has put in your charge and we know our Father is all in with us!
Developing Our Capacity For ForgivenessIs there a way to develop our ability to forgive? There is indeed. When our core values are centered around the purposes of God, forgiveness is much more accessible. Conversely, the more one's core values are based on our own purposes, forgiveness is very difficult to find. So let's line up our core beliefs and the things we value with the things God values.
GratefulGratitude is a great starting place. My prayer is that my gratitude is equal to the forgiveness the Lord has given me. That's something to think about. The Lord taught this concept very clearly.
And Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he replied, "Say it, Teacher."
"A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. "When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?"
Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him, "You have judged correctly." - Luke 7:40-43 NASB
The one who understood how much they had been forgiven loved more. Whoa! This could make for a tough "life recap" but maybe we should take stock in what we have been forgiven and grow in our gratitude.
Extreme ForgivenessTake to heart the extremes that Jesus went to, to make a way of forgiveness. With that kind of effort on the Lords part, where can we find an act of offense against us more egregious than the forgiveness provided for us?
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8 NKJV
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. YET the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.
He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.
Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. BUT he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man's grave.
But it was the LORD's good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD's good plan will prosper in his hands.
When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. - Isaiah 53:5-12 NLT
Could we see this as extreme forgiveness? Oh, yea, sure you betcha. It's epic forgiveness!
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. - 1 John 3:16 NLT
A Definitive PurposeMany times I have heard Christians say, "I would do what God wants me to do but I don't know what he wants me to do." Maybe that's true for you in the area of forgiveness. The solution is to find out what God is doing and then your path and purpose will become more clear.
When your plan is clear and your purpose is definitive, finding forgiveness makes sense. The effect of forgiveness is liberty. Forgetfulness of offenses is reaching the ultimate state of forgiveness and healing.
When we forgive and forget the hurts that demean, subjugate and hold us captive, will have no hold on us. This is also reflective of our final state in the Lord.
He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. - Psalms 103:12 NLT
"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." - Hebrews 8:12 NKJV
"I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins. - Isaiah 43:25 NKJV
What else can I do to enhance my development of finding forgiveness for others?
Make it a part of your daily prayer list. The Holy Spirit draws out our superpowers as we spend time with the Lord. Walk in His instruction and develop consistency in the small things. Prayer, reading, studying the scriptures and spending time with a respected brother/sister in the Lord are the means to building an unshakable foundation.
The prayer taught to the disciples included this very topic!
Pray like this: ... and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. "If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you." - Matthew 6:9, 12-14 NLT
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