Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV) Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has also forgiven you.
A great deal of the ground that Satan gains in the lives of people of God is due to unforgiveness. We are warned to forgive others so that Satan cannot take advantage of us ( II Corinthians 2:10, 11). God requires us to forgive others from our hearts or He will turn us over to the tormentors (Matthew 18:34, 35). Why is forgiveness so critical to our freedom? Because of the cross: God didn’t give us what we deserve; Jesus gave us what we needed according to His mercy. We are to be merciful just as our heavenly Father is merciful (Luke 6:36). We are to forgive as we have been forgiven (Ephesians 4:31, 32). It’s not easy but it’s the Lord’s way of doing things!
Please understand forgiveness is not forgetting. People who try to forget and realize that they cannot. God says He will “remember no more” our sins (Hebrews 10:17), but God, being omniscient, cannot forget. “Remember no more” means that God will never use the past against us (Psalm 103:12). Forgetting may be a result of forgiveness, but it is never the means of forgiveness. When we bring up the past and use it against others, we are really saying we haven’t forgiven them.
In fact, forgiveness is a choice, a crisis of the will. We choose to face and acknowledge the hurt and the hate in order to forgive from the heart. Since God requires us to forgive, it is something we can do. (The Lord would never require us to do something we couldn’t do.) But forgiveness is difficult for us because it pulls against our concept of justice. “Why should I let them off the hook?” we protest. You let them off your hook, but they are never off God’s hook. The Lord will deal with them fairly, which is something we cannot do.
Point to ponder- If you don’t let offenders off your hook, you are hooked to them and the past, and that just means continued pain for you. Stop the pain; let it go. You don’t forgive someone merely for their sake; you do it for your sake so you can be free. Always remember your need to forgive isn’t an issue between you and the offender; it’s between you and God. Happy Friday and have a great weekend!
Our Leadership team is especially thankful for those of you who provided financial donations and support in the month of May 2017 by partnering with us in efforts to advance the kingdom of God in this 21st century season: Special thanks to Mr. William Wilson, Ms. Annette Straker, Mr. David Straker, Mrs.. Marguerite Williams and Ms. Gertrude Scott. Why don’t you take the opportunity to write us on our blog and let us know how we are doing in serving you Great people, we’d love to hear from you!
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Pastor James Baker, Jr.
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