Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Of him that hopes to be forgiven it is indispensably required that he forgive. It is therefore superfluous to urge any other motive. On this great duty eternity is suspended, and to him that refuses to practice it the throne of mercy is inaccessible, and the Savior of the world has been born in vain.
-- Samuel Johnson
Corrie Ten Boom tells of a time she learned an important aspect of spiritual growth. It was 1947 and she had just finished speaking of God's forgiveness to a group in a small German church. The audience was still haunted by memories of war. Yet the message they heard that day brought a sense of hope. They could forgive those who treated them so cruelly and go on with life. As the service concluded, Corrie noticed a heavyset man coming toward her. Instantly, she remembered him. He had been a guard at the concentration camp where she had been imprisoned. "I know God has forgiven me for the things I did," he said. "But I would like to hear it from your lips. Will you forgive me?" "It was the most difficult thing I had ever had to do," she writes. "I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. [A] healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes. 'I forgive you, brother!’” One of the ways we measure spiritual growth is by the way we extend our arms of forgiveness to others. In doing so, remember that Jesus extended His arms completely for you at Calvary.
It s sometime hard to forgive those that have sinned against us, but it is needed. I believe when we have not forgiven others, our walk with Christ is weakened because He tells us to forgive-not just once .....But 70x7.
Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, " Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants
When you look at Corrie Ten Boom, it must have taken a lot to forgive the guard that worked at the concentration camp. Can you imagine what must have been going through her mind at that moment or what must have been going through the guard's mind? Corrie had the mind of Christ and forgave this man and this man had the mind of Christ when he asked for her forgiveness. When she shook his hand they both felt the love of Jesus Christ. In Christ we can conquer anything; this is a testimony to that. We need to right the wrong to restore someone else and most importantly restore yourself and our relationship with Christ.
When Christ went to the cross he gave us the right to forgive others as He has forgiven us. What was easier, crucified on a cross or saying I forgive you? Not hard to answer is it, yet some make it difficult to forgive by holding grudges against one another. Instead of holding a grudge against a brother or sister or whoever, think what three little words can do for someone. It can take such a burden off their hearts. What can it do for us holding that grudge; it takes us out of fellowship with Christ.
(Mat 6:14-15 NNAS) "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions."
Unforgiveness can have a hold on you and it can have hold on the one you are having trouble forgiving .Many times forgiveness is not happening because pride gets in the way. Boy oh Boy, pride seems to be the cause of so much doesn't it? There is so much freedom when we forgive others that have tresspassed against us. If Christ can forgive us, we should be able to forgive others just as easily.
Someone told me to forgive,
To set the prisoner free.
I forgave those who had hurt me,
Only to find the freed prisoner......was me.
Thank you Lord for what you did on the cross to set me free!