Whenever I think about forgiveness, at least lately, two things come to mind. First, I know that if I’m a follower of Jesus, He will be known by my love of others, and forgiveness is under that ‘love of others’ umbrella (ugh). And second, nothing is impossible with God—which is a darn good thing—because for me, forgiving even the tiniest of offences goes against my (sinful nature) grain. I’m not shoulding all over myself, but rather just speaking truth when I say what ought to come to mind is a sense of overwhelming gratitude for all the times the Lord has saved my bacon by forgiving me. I mean, I wouldn’t be going to Heaven or even be able to call myself a Christian, had Jesus (through his death on the cross) not forgiven me before I was even born! Alas, the Holy Spirit is working on this chick, and I’m getting there. Perhaps by the time I go to Heaven I’ll be super good and natural at forgiving. I hope so. Because it’s truly one of the most important things if not THE most important thing Jesus taught us how to do while He was here, and continues to be paramount, because His character doesn’t change whether He’s walking the earth or sitting at the right hand of His Father in Heaven.
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God waits upon our agreement that we’ve fallen short, and our humility to ask for another chance. @Grace_and_Such
I, too often, play it safe when I have every opportunity to talk about how Jesus has given me new life and adopted me, flaws and all into His family. Know what that is? That’s denying Him. Because if I were as utterly gobsmacked as Paul and Peter were at God’s saving, forgiving grace, people would not only know Him by the life I live, but by the words I say.
When I don’t speak out against things that grieve Jesus, I deny Him. I grieve Him. I’m the cheat and the dum-dum. When I don’t forgive easily and completely, it’s as if I’m allowing each of those nails to be driven into my Lord’s hands and feet.
Know who didn’t repent? Judas Iscariot. What’s so sad is that I know Jesus loved Judas and even would have forgiven him, had Judas asked. But nothing I read says he asked. He died a horrible death after selling Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver, and I don’t believe I’ll be meeting him in heaven. I hope I’m wrong, but…That’s a very sobering reality to me. Either I ask for and receive forgiveness, or I don’t. I have been given the free will to decide.
Thank you, Lord for your death on the cross which was so undeserved, and yet, so life-giving to me, a sinner, saved only by Your grace. Thank you for Your precious free will which saved me from certain separation and death, and gives me life eternal. Help me to be more like you each day and live unashamedly for You, Lord, I pray. Please forgive me and give me eyes to see when I fall short. Lastly, help me to forgive others quickly and completely, because You loved and forgave me first. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. ~ John 13:35 NIV
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
but deliver us from the evil one.[b]’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:9-14 NIV
23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him.But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, “You have said so.” Matthew 26:23-25 NIV