Friday, November 13, 2009
Forgiveness Day 22
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Good morning, friend. Forgiveness. What a powerful word. Of all the things we struggle with, sometimes this is the most difficult – and yet the Lord says it’s absolutely necessary. I’ve listened to people talk about being saved. I’ve heard them say that they are definitely going to heaven. And I’ve also heard them talk about how they will never forgive so-and-so for what they did. Amazing. We think we can go to heaven just because we said the sinner’s prayer! But you know, it doesn’t sound like Jesus is mincing words in these verses. He makes it very clear that we must forgive others. Period. This isn’t a negotiable thing. If someone in your life has offended or hurt you or someone you love, you are still required to forgive them. If you’re struggling with unforgiveness, let me just ask you a question…is your eternity important to you? Is it worth it to hold onto that anger, bitterness or unforgiveness and end up in hell? Is the hate you may feel for someone more important to keep than spending eternal life with God? I mean, we may get upset with people, but quite frankly, no one – or their sin – is worth giving up my life in heaven! I hope you feel the same way. If you are having a hard time forgiving someone, humble yourself. Even if they did something horrible and unspeakable, don’t let this day come to an end before you repent, forgive them and ask God for His forgiveness for your sin of unforgiveness. After all, you have no guarantee that you will wake up in the morning and have another opportunity to make things right with God. The real estate in hell isn’t pretty, beloved. And the view in heaven is amazing! Where do you want to be?
Father God, I am so sorry for the things I have held in my heart against people. Please help me see my way to forgive them, Lord. I know that You paid for all of my sins, but I understand that I won’t be forgiven for them if I don’t let go of the sins of others. Please help me, Lord. I know this is a decision I must make, but I ask You to show me my own sin so that I may see more clearly the path to true repentance and forgiveness. Your love amazes me, God. Expand my heart so that Your love in and through me amazes everyone I meet. In Jesus’ Name…