October 6th 2010

Forgiveness

“…But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love.”
Nehemiah 9:17 (NLT)

The sin of Adam caused death to rule over many. But God’s grace and gift of forgiveness through Jesus Christ leads us to being made right with God.

Forgiveness is the most God-like thing we can do. In the Beatitudes, Jesus tells us, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7 KJV). And when He teaches about prayer He tells us we must forgive (Matthew 6:12).

Forgiveness can take time. Remember, for example Joseph in the Bible—it was many years before he was able to forgive his brothers and when he did, he didn’t blame them but pointed to God’s hand in it.

With God’s help nothing is unforgivable. When Jesus hung on the cross He said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Don’t ever forget, “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness…” (1 Peter 2:24 NKJV).

We all think forgiveness is a good idea until someone offends us and we have to forgive.

When we forgive someone we don’t change them—we are the ones who change. J. F. Kennedy said, “Forgive your enemies but never forget their names.” But Jesus said when Peter asked how many times he should forgive, “Until seventy times seven.”  According to the KJV Life Application Study bible, seventy times seven is the number of eternity (Matthew 18:22). That shows we should forgive indefinitely. In other words, we shouldn’t keep track of their names and how many times we forgive them.

Forgiveness is a decision we make because we are forgiven. It is a lifelong commitment and when you forgive someone don’t tell others—God doesn’t tell others our sins.

Prayer
Father, please help me never to forget the forgiveness I have received from you and help me always to be forgiving to others.
Amen

Study by Jill Newman

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