Can you forgive?
Once there was a man that sat on a mountain and spoke. As He spoke many people gathered around Him. During His speech, He discussed several topics including law, murder, marriage, adultery, promises, enemies, love, treasures, riches, judging others, salvation and even prayer. The man who spoke was wise, powerful, described as having fire in His eyes, feet like fine brass, and yet at times as gentle as a lamb. Those who listened and obeyed His teachings were changed forever! He is my Hero, my Lord, my Savior and my Redeemer, Jesus Christ. The scene I briefly described is explained in greater detail in the book of Matthew chapters 5-7. It is known as “Sermon On The Mount”. A well known verse, in this sermon, is when Jesus teaches us how to pray, which is called “The Lord’s Prayer”(Matt 6:9-13 NLT). In this prayer, God reveals His heart on the matter of forgiveness.
The act of forgiveness is so important Jesus mentions it twice; once in The Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” and also in the two verses after the prayer. “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15 NLT).
To me this is mind blowing and life changing; Jesus explains that forgiveness from God is tied to how we forgive others. So often we hear people quote the Bible saying don’t judge me or you will be judged. (Matt 7:1-2); or they say only God can judge me. But, in the scripture after The Lord’s Prayer, look how God judges an unforgiving person. Jesus turns the tables on us to look inwardly first. This is why the topic of forgiveness is so crucial in this broken and fallen world. Many have asked, “How do I forgive others in this sinful world?” Well as disciples of Jesus we must understand one simple fact when it comes to forgiving others; we were once sinners too and God forgave us. So in return we should show that grace, mercy and forgiveness to others.
God First Forgave Us!
Often we take God’s mercy and forgiveness lightly but remember He died on the cross for our sins, the ultimate sacrifice to show forgiveness to a fallen world. So next time UN-forgiveness creeps in your heart remember God first forgave you, now extend that forgiveness to others. Simply put forgiven people, forgive people.
“What a blessing when God forgives our sins and our evil deeds. What a blessing
when the Lord erases our sins from his book.” (ROMANS 4:7-8 NLT)