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Archive for the ‘Forgiveness.’ Category

With or Without.


But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
Matthew 5:44

Recommended Reading
Luke 23:34http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2023:34&version=NKJV )

When Caleb Donnelly deployed with the Marines to Iraq, his wife Grace gave him an expensive love bracelet to wear. After his return, their home was burglarized and the bracelet, along with other jewelry, was stolen and never recovered. When the thieves were caught, the judge sentenced them to make restitution to the couple, but the couple declined the money. Instead, Grace wrote a letter of forgiveness to them, saying, “I have already forgiven you with or without an apology. . . . I will be praying for you.” A lawyer involved said he had never met anyone as forgiving and truly Christian as Grace.1

Listen to Today’s Radio Message (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

When it comes to forgiving those who have harmed us, Jesus is the extreme example: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). A few weeks later, the first Christian martyr, Stephen, prayed the same prayer concerning those who stoned him (Acts 7:60). Ephesians 4:32 is the principle: “forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

If there is someone you need to forgive, do so today — with or without an apology.

Nothing causes us to so nearly resemble God as the forgiveness of injuries.
John Chrysostom

1 Portsia Smith, “Letter of forgiveness,” February 21, 2013. <news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2013/02/21/letter-of-forgiveness-moves-caroline-court (accessed 3-8-2013)

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Isaiah 9-11

By David Jeremiah.

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Face Up – Jesus on Forgiveness (3 of 3).


Series: The Relationship Principles of Jesus
Pastor Kerry Shook

This sermon includes the sermon outline and the full sermon transcript. Below you will see a preview of the outline and a portion of the full sermon.

1. Recognize the Damage of Resentment

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

Forgiveness is not about…

• performance

• pretending

• projecting

—-

In the 1950s, anthropologist called the Waodani tribe in the rainforest of Ecuador the most vicious and violent society on the face of the earth. The Waodanis had this culture of revenge that had passed down for generations. In the Waodani tribe if you were wrong it was considered your right to spear the person who wronged you. They were killing each other at such a rate that by 1955 they were almost extinct.

Now we look at that and we think that is crazy, a culture of revenge? That is insanity that it is okay to spear the person who wronged you. But, think about it. We live in a culture of resentment and it’s just as crazy. It may not be the proper thing to do to spear the person who hurt you.

We may not spear them physically but we spear them by holding onto our hurt, holding onto our bitterness and holding onto our resentment. We hold onto the spear of resentment when we refuse to forgive and it’s just as insane as what the Waodanis were doing because resentment never works. Resentment never rights a wrong.

Resentment never solves the situation and it doesn’t make me feel any better. We think when we hold onto our hurt we are getting back at the person who hurt us. We think when we hold onto our bitterness we are getting revenge of the person who wronged us. We think when we hold onto the spear of resentment then we are spearing the person who hurt us but whenever I use the spear of resentment it doesn’t hurt the person who wronged me. It only hurts me.

How we need to realize that. We think we are spearing that person who wronged us but we are just spearing ourselves and some of you have been hurt by someone in your past and you are refusing to forgive and you think about holding onto that hurt and you are getting back at them but they are not even thinking about you.

Settle Your Accounts.


Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants—Matthew 18:23

Jesus used the parable of the king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants to explain one of the laws by which citizens of His kingdom are to abide.

He said, “I’m holding you to a higher standard—my standard.” If Jesus could forgive you while you were still a sinner—cheating and stealing, still running around on your spouse, lying to your friends and stealing from your employer—He expects you to be able to forgive just as fully and completely.

He goes on in verse 24 to say that if we don’t settle our accounts by being forgiving, God will have a rough account to settle with us! God’s forgiveness, though freely given to repentant sinners, is nevertheless conditional. He forgives us as we forgive others. Keep your accounts in order. Forgive as He forgave you.

Jesus, today I forgive _________________.
Help me to forgive quickly so that I
might receive Your forgiveness.
Amen.

By ROD PARSLEY.

Free Forgiveness.


When they couldn’t pay, he forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him most?” – Luke 7:42

 

All of us are in debt. Of course there is a difference in the amount of our debts. Some have sinned far more than others. But whether our debt be little or much, we have nothing at all with which to pay it. We could not more easily pay the fifty than the five hundred pence. He forgave them both. It is just as easy for God to forgive the greatest sins as the smallest. He forgave them. That is the only way we can ever get clear of our sins.

A king owed a large sum to one of his nobles, but could not pay it. The nobleman made a great feast in honor of his king. A fire or perfumed woods burned on the hearth. During the feast the host brought out all he king’s notes and cast them into the fire, thus obliterating beyond possibility of restoration every evidence of his indebtedness. That is the way God does with our sins. Into the fragrant flames of Christ‘s sacrifice he casts them all, and they will never be heard of more.

There is a story of a half-witted boy whose idea of forgiveness was beautiful. He said that Jesus came and with his red hand rubbed out all his sins. A quaint man used to carry a little book, which he took very often from his pocket, and which he called his “biography.” It had only three leaves, and there was not a word written on any of them; yet he said the book told the whole story of his life. The first leaf was black: that was his sin; that was his condition by nature. He would shudder when he looked at it. The second was red: that was the blood or Christ; and his face glowed when he gazed upon it. The third was white: that was himself washed in Christ’s blood, made whiter than snow. His book told the whole story of every redeemed life. Between the black of our sins and the white of redemption must always come the red of Christ’s blood.

By Vine.


Bible In A Year: June 4th…

By Book Old Testament New Testament Proverbs & Psalms
Psalm 1-5 2 Samuel 5:6-6:23 Acts 1:23-2:21 Psalm 69:29-36

Not your problem…


By Bobby Schuller, Hour of Power Pastor

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
Matthew 6:14

A pastor who I love and admire so much told me a story about how, one day, he almost got in a fight. Some guy was saying something upsetting, he held back, and didn’t fight the man, though he wanted to. Then a mentor of his said, “Don’t worry, son. Someday he’s going to get it.” My pastor told us this story so we wouldn’t get in fights. He thought, yes, someday that other guy was going to get it. But, I disagree with my pastor; that’s not the heart we should have. The Christian heart doesn’t say, yes, even though I’m not going to get him, someday he’s going to get it. The Christian heart is one of love.

Every day you’re dealing with real people that have real stories and you don’t know what they are, but God does. You don’t know if the person who just threatened you had a dad that beat him when he young. You don’t know if the person has been molested, or just lost everything, or has a job that is at risk, or is just a jerk. You can’t know. And, you know what? You don’t need to know because it’s not your problem. You don’t need to be angry. It’s God’s problem. Let him handle it.

God calls us to a life of peace, which bows before the cross and says, “God has forgiven me so much that I don’t need to live a bitter life as an angry victim. When someone strikes me on the cheek, I can turn the other the other cheek, and do it with a smile on my face.” We can do this because God is in control.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being in control of everything. Thank you for lifting angry thoughts from my mind, bitter memories from my heart, and the responsibility for revenge off my shoulders. Amen.

Devotion: Are you angry with someone right now? How does it feel knowing that God can lift that anger from your heart?

I Can’t Forgive Myself.


Suzie Eller

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NIV)

The workshop had ended. Most of the moms had left the room while she fidgeted with her bag. I could see she wanted to flee, but willpower and a great desire for freedom kept her feet rooted to the floor.

We sat down and she blurted out: “I’ve been told for years that when I forgive myself I’ll be free. But I can’t do it. I’ve tried.”

I reached for her hands. “I’ve searched in Scripture. It’s not there.”

She looked up in surprise. “What do you mean?”

Forgiving ourselves. It’s not there.

There are a multitude of scriptures that show us how to offer forgiveness to others, as well as how to receive it. But none that asks us to remove the burdens from our own hearts.

Thankfully 1 John 1:9 offers a promise. When we hold up our sin before God, He is faithful and just to forgive all our sins.

Faithful to us? Yes, to us. But also faithful to who He is, and His plan for our forgiveness through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as He bore our sin.

But it doesn’t end there. You see, when we are forgiven, our sin is reframed. Yes it still happened. But God removes it from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). We are seen as covered in mercy, spared from the punishment that was ours to take.

My new friend had been trying for years to do a job that wasn’t hers. By trying and failing, she saw herself as shameful. That shame affected every aspect of her life: her relationships, her role as mom, and her faith as she tried to please God through service or acts, all the while seeing herself as “less than.”

I asked her if she was willing to allow Christ to do what she had been unable to do for nearly a decade. Rather than forgive herself, would she accept the gift of forgiveness Christ so willingly offers?

Later that week I received an email from her. She shared that when she walked through the front door that night, her husband said, “Something’s different about you.”

It’s been nearly three months since this young mom stopped trying to forgive herself, and scooped up the generous gift of God’s grace instead. She is still surprised by the transformation. But more so, her family believes she found a miracle.

One that had been waiting for her all along.

Perhaps you carry shame. You’ve been trying to forgive yourself, but realize you can’t undo the past. You’ve said you’re sorry. You have changed. But the guilt or burden remains.

Hand that shame to your Savior today, and allow Him to hurl it as far as the east is from the west.

It’s not your burden to carry any longer.

Dear Jesus, You paid a heavy price for my sin, and yet I am still carrying it as if it is mine to absolve. I have said I am sorry. I am changing. But this burden isn’t mine to carry. Today I joyfully receive Your gift of mercy and grace, and see myself as washed clean because of You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness by Suzanne Eller

Visit Suzanne’s blog for a printable of scriptures to tuck away in your Bible and a link to a powerful radio interview she did on the subject of forgiving.

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can’t compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Reflect and Respond:
Imagine a child carrying a large boulder on his back. There’s a sign on the side of the road that says, “Place all boulders here,” but he passes it day after day, the burden weighing heavier and heavier. What would you say to that child?

Today, speak to your own heart as a child of God through these scriptures.

• God desires to carry my burden (Psalm 55:22)
• My Savior paid a dear price for my shame (Colossians 1:13-14)
• God set me free, so today I will be free (Galatians 5:1)
• My God sees me through His love, so I will see myself that way, too (Psalm 103:12)

Power Verses:
Psalm103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (NAS)

Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (NIV)

© 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

Debt-free…


By Bobby Schuller, Hour of Power Pastor

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
Matthew 6:14

In the parable of the unmerciful servant, there’s king whose servant owes him millions of dollars. So, the king says to the servant, “I can’t believe you haven’t paid back all of this money. I’m going to sell your family and put you in prison until you pay me back this money.”

The servant begs the king, “Please, your highness, just give me a little more time.”

The king feels pity in his heart and says, “All right. Not only am I going to give you more time, I am going to wipe out the debt.”

The servant goes home excited, thrilled that his debt is paid. Then, the very next day, he says to a fellow servant, “You owe me five dollars.”

The fellow servant says, “Oh please forgive me. I will pay you back soon.”

The debt-free servant says, “No! You’ll give it to me now!”

“Please just give me more time,” begs the fellow servant.

“No, you’re going to give it to me now!”

When the king finds out, he says to the forgiven servant, “You wicked man! I forgave you millions of dollars and you couldn’t forgive your brother five dollars?” Then, he throws him into prison.

At the conclusion of the parable, Jesus says, “This is how God will treat those who do not forgive their neighbors with their whole hearts.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for showing me how important it is to forgive. You have forgiven me everything. I must do the same for others. Amen.

Devotion: Who do you need to forgive, with your whole heart, today?

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