Connected to Forgiveness through Christ - 19 April 2018

ouise Gevers

“Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.” Matthew 6:12

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

Forgiveness begins with God: the greater being forgives the lesser.  The beauty of forgiveness is that it’s closely linked to mercy and love, and is transforming, because it requires generosity of spirit and humility in both the giver and the offender. The world belongs to God and man falls within His plan, free to be whatever he wants to be and do whatever he wants to do within the boundaries that God has set for our own good; but any wrong that he commits against anyone or anything in the world, he is answerable to God for.

As human beings, we sin so often and need forgiveness as often, but we are also sinned against and must forgive the ones that hurt us, because God forgives us in the way that we forgive them. We mature in spirit and become more like God when we forgive those who wrong us. Forgiveness is something that we should give quickly and generously, as it frees both parties and banishes the devil from manipulating the situation.

When we consider the experience of the tax collector we reflected on yesterday, we remember that Jesus said that he went home “right with God” – lighthearted and happy – because his burden of sin and shame had been lifted because he’d been forgiven. In the same way, if we have forgiven someone who has wronged us, we can tangibly feel a great sense of peace, sometimes even relief, and it paves the way for a new start, bringing glory to God.

To learn how to forgive is the most important lesson in the world to learn and the hardest.  It can only really be achieved by living in a right relationship with Christ who forgave us, along with the men who had turned Him over to be tortured, whipped, beaten and degraded and then nailed Him to a cross to die a slow and agonizing death. His incredible words when He was crucified between two criminals were, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Only by looking to Jesus who has already set the example by forgiving us and by setting us free, and by treating others as He has treated us, can we forgive the person who has hurt us and destroyed our life, or the life of someone we love...

To Him be all glory.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your forgiveness means freedom and love wins the victory – help me to forgive. Thank You for Your miraculous grace. Amen.

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