Forgiveness

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Have you ever forgiven someone only to wake up the next morning feeling all the old hurt and bitterness again? Do you ever wonder, “did I actually forgive them?”
When we choose to withhold forgiveness toward an offender, we actually give ground to the enemy in our lives. Bitterness allows the enemy to have an “advantage” over us.
When Jesus says we must forgive seventy times seven, He was referring to an infinite number! If we grit our teeth and try to forgive in our own strength, we will see how impossible this is.
Can you imagine the burden of a 4 billion dollar debt? Then imagine the feeling you would have you if you were told the whole amount had been forgiven.
While the question Jesus asked is familiar to many, the answer to the question is not as familiar. Psalm 22, which Jesus was quoting in His agony, reveals the answer to the mystery of why God forsook His only Son.
Instead of just reacting to conflict from our perspective, what if we asked God for His perspective? God is able to use even conflict among believers to form Christ in both the offended and the offender!
What hinders us from going to offenders? Maybe it’s bitterness? or maybe it’s going to others who are not part of the problem or solution?
We often approach offenders with a motive of vindication — we go in anger or pride with a desire to expose them. But it’s critical that we approach straying brothers with the heart God has for them.
Going to offenders is not about condemnation — it’s about restoration.
It was a risky, daring mission. B-25s had never taken off from an aircraft carrier before. But high command deemed it important to show the people of Japan and Emperor Hirohito that Japan was not too far away for the United States to give payback for attacking Pearl Harbor! Knowing that it would be impossible to return to their carrier and land, the one-way mission would bomb targets inside Japan, fly over Japan and beyond, in hope of having enough fuel to make it to friendly airfields in China.
Robert Edward Lee suffered many disappointments in life. Near the end of his life, Lee wrote a letter to a close friend and former staff officer, Colonel Charles Marshall. The letter reveals how Lee’s hope was anchored in his understanding of the eternal nature of God. Lee wrote: “The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow, and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.”
Throughout his realm, Duke Wenceslas I earned the nickname “The Good” for his deeds of piety and charity. He strived to defend his borders from the invasions of the Hungarian clans called the Magyars. The duke also promoted the expansion of Christianity throughout his dominions. His leadership had a positive impact upon his people; after his death, many stories and legends would spread in remembrance of him. Some of the reports surely are true, while others are questionable.
According to God’s Word, “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly” with our God by faith is at the heart of true religion in both the Old and New Testaments. In our own day, there is an abundance of every sort of religion. But God is still looking for men whose religion springs from a faithful heart and is expressed by obedient hands. God is looking for men who will do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him. Will you be such a man?
A key to forgiving your offenders is realizing that God can work through your suffering to accomplish His purposes in your life. This understanding enabled many people in Scripture to forgive their offenders.
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What do we do when someone hurts us deeply? What happens when we hold bitterness toward others? Affirming Biblical Foundations (ABF) is a ten-part, interactive workshop where participants walk through common conflicts we often face, whether in the family, the church, the work place, or the civil arena.
In the last verse of the Old Testament, God gives us a remarkable hope for the blessing of family restoration under the Messiah. Malachi announces: “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:6). How interesting and very fitting that the last words of the Old Testament dovetail perfectly with the first words of the New Testament!
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When someone offends you, your response can lead to the bondage of bitterness or the freedom of forgiveness. You might be surprised by the far-reaching results of your attitudes and actions!
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Realizing that I will, one day, answer to God for my every thought, word, and action, and doing what is necessary to make amends with those whom I have offended
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The eighteenth of nineteen children, Charles Wesley was brought up by Godly parents. However, the family’s commitment to follow Christian principles made them unpopular. During the forty years they ministered in the small town of Epworth, England, they encountered cruelty and persecution from the villagers. On various occasions, the villagers threatened to harm the Wesley children, crippled their dog, burned their crops, and injured their cows. The Wesley home was even set afire several times! Despite the persecution, Mr. and Mrs. Wesley remained steadfast in their faith. Their wise responses to such opposition set an example for their children to follow. The children, in turn, influenced others to choose righteousness. Charles Wesley was well-educated, first by his mother and then during years of formal training at two universities. While returning from a mission trip to the United States, he wondered about his own salvation. Aboard the ship sailing homeward, he met a Christian who spoke to him of assurance of salvation. Soon thereafter, Reverend Wesley experienced peace with Christ when he received assurance of his salvation. A year later, he began preaching across the English countryside. Riding on horseback from town to town, he proclaimed God’s Word in churches and […]
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A lack of forgiveness creates bitterness, and bitterness is like the disease of leprosy. Those who have leprosy lose any sensation of pain. Similarly, those who are bitter are often unaware of how they hurt people.
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