30th January 2011


You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we still were sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8 (NIV UK)

A young woman broke up with her fiancé when she learned of the women in his past. A few weeks later she had a change of heart. In a love letter to end all love letters, she wrote the following words:

Dear John,
     Words cannot express my deep regret at having broken our engagement. Will you please come back to me? Your absence from my side leaves a hole that no one can fill. And I want you to know that I sincerely forgive you for all your past transgressions and betrayals. Let us start over again. I miss you. I love you. I cannot wait to see you again.
     P.S. Congratulations on winning the 20 million dollar lottery!

Her forgiveness had about 20 million strings attached!

The Bible, on the other hand, tells us about a forgiveness that has no strings attached. God doesn’t wait until you’ve got something to offer him before he forgives you, as Paul explains (above).

Long ago when the first Christian missionaries went to Alaska, they couldn’t find a word in the Eskimo language for “forgiveness”.  So they had to coin a compound word that would sound sensible to Eskimos. They came up with a 24-letter whopper that has a profound meaning for those who understand it. The word translates literally into English as, “not being able to think about it”: issimagijoujungnainoermik.

Isn’t that exactly the essence of Godly forgiveness? God removes our sins from us “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). And the apostle Paul said in Ephesians 1, verses 7 and 8, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:7-8).

Forgiveness might be a hard thing for us to give, and even sometimes, for us to receive. It might be hard to believe that God really loves us and that he has really forgiven us. But we can only go by his word, and his word, the Bible, tells us that in Jesus Christ, it is so.

Heavenly Father, thank you for forgiving us to the point where you are “not able to think about” our sin. As a concept we find forgiveness of others a wholly different degree of difficulty. But with your help and with this understanding, we will set out to forgive as we are forgiven. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph tkach 

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