Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19, 2010

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." Matthew 6:14

A famous British general once told John Wesley, "I never forgive!" To which Wesley replied, "Then, Sir, you had better never sin."

Three of the sweetest, most welcome and healing words in the universe are, "I forgive you!"

Those words heal the one to whem they are spoken but the also bring relief and healing to the one who speaks them!

When was the last time someone let you off the hook? Is there someone you need to forgive?

Remember a time when someone spoke those welcome words to you? Remember how good that felt?

What does it take to become a forgiver?

First, be forgiven!

Forgiven people are the only ones who can forgive. You can't offer what you don't have.

So, how do I get forgiveness? Receive it as a gift!

"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:8-9

You can have forgiveness when you realize you need it and honestly, humbly ask for it. Have you done that?

So, how do I forgive someone else?

Once you have received forgiveness you have received the love and grace of God. Once you have been forgiven you have the presence of Christ in your life. With His presence and in His grace you CAN forgive. In fact, you are required to do so.

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:14-15

Forgiven people are able to forgive.

Third, forgiving becomes a way of life for forgiven peope.

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

Being forgiven changes you. Receiving Christ changes you. Extending grace to others in forgiveness changes you. And it also changes others through you!

Imagine what a world this would be if forgiveness was the rule rather than the exception. Think how great it would be if everyone could receive forgiveness. Think how different it would be if all those who received forgiveness forgave others. How freeing would that be?

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you."—Unknown

Have you received God's forgiveness?

Have you forgiven yourself?

Who else do you need to forgive? Are any unresloved issues with your spouse?

Freedom could come to your home today with just one act of forgiveness.