25 October 2014
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” - (Matthew 6:14).
The first of the seven statements Jesus spoke from the cross is crucial to God’s eternal plan of salvation. Most of the people present for the crucifixion probably expected Jesus to curse His executioners, but He didn’t. Instead, He forgave them!
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). In Christ’s day, forgiveness was not viewed as a mark of strength. Even today, many people refuse to forgive others, thinking that to do so would mean they have become weak. What we fail to realize about unforgiveness is that it has a remarkable ability to hold us captive and bound to the one whom we refuse to forgive.
While the Jews had laws concerning forgiveness, the greater emphasis was placed on the actual act and not on the motive of one’s heart. Forgiveness done God’s way, on the other hand, frees us to live victoriously; the way Christ lived. It gives us an opportunity to be like Him to others; forgiving.
We also need to remember that God knows the motives of our hearts. Quick prayers lifted to Him in an effort to avoid feelings of guilt or the consequences of sin are easily discerned. We can’t mislead an all knowing God. If you are struggling with feelings of anger toward another, tell God. He knows what you are facing, and He will show you how to tackle your greatest regrets and sorrows. Let Him be the One who deals with your offender.
Our Loving Heavenly Father, I don’t want to be held captive any longer by resentment or bitterness. Please help me to forgive (the person’s name) and ask that You would free me from the bondage of unforgiveness. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, In Jesus Loving Name I Pray, Amen."
Labels: Forgive and Live Victoriously