Forgiveness – Part 7

Forgiveness requires a layered action of strong faith to achieve divine results.

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Mark 11:25-26 – And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

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Today we enter into our examination of the layered process of forgiveness.  But before taking that journey, I perceive the need to equip you with a Holy Ghost charge that comes to us via the pen of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:31-32.  There we read the following.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Please pay close attention to the final nine words of that passage.  “…even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”   Gaze intently at those words for a few moments, and consider the strength of their meaning.  Then answer the following questions.

  • How does God forgive?
  • Does He forget the wrong done?
  • Does He forget that He had to forgive?
  • Does He ever bring the forgiven wrong up to you again?
  • How can He do this, especially the “forgetting” part?

Dear one, when God forgives, He releases Himself to restore you to right fellowship and blessing.  Then He forgets the wrong you’ve done. And then He forgets that He had to forgive, and will NEVER bring that issue up again.  Now that, dear child of God, is forgiveness God’s way.  And that is precisely what He expects of us.  Take another look at the passage from Ephesians 4.  Do you want to walk in the fullness of the blessing of the Lord and in His fullest power?  Then the following is required of you.  ALL bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, and malice MUST BE PUT AWAY FROM YOU.  But it doesn’t stop there.  That MUST be followed up by being kind and tenderhearted to one another.  Then, the greatest faith challenge I know in “FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, EVEN AS GOD FOR CHRIST’S SAKE HATH FORGIVEN YOU.”

That means, when you are offended, you cannot allow bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, or malice to come on you.  You must be kind and tenderhearted to one another, and finally, you MUST forgive one another the same way God has forgiven you.  My friend, I am convinced that is the greatest faith challenge you will ever encounter in your walk with Jesus.  And once again I tell you that the reason is that offences that come against you are very personal. You can’t pass it off as if it happened to someone else.  And with that sense of personal attack and insult, pride will partner with the unforgiveness to make it even worse.  The work is before you.  Have faith in God!

Manna for Today – Mark 11:22-27; 1 John 1:9; Psalm 86:6; Matthew 6:12-15; Luke 6:37; Luke 17:1-10; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2; 1 John 5:14; Matthew 18:22

Forgiveness-Part 8

The easiest part of the forgiveness process is the declaration of war when you say, “I forgive.”

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Mark 11:25-26 – And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

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Having now laid a good and balanced foundation for our look at the forgiveness process, let us consider the first step in that process.  Many see this step as the complete process, but it is not.  The term many use for this step is the word that speaks of the whole process.  They call it forgiveness.  I personally identify it as the declaration of war on unforgiveness.  And a declaration of war on unforgiveness it most assuredly is.  It is stated very simply.  “In the Name of Jesus, I forgive (…whomever has offended me…).”  It is at that moment you have declared war on the gates of hell concerning unforgiveness and all the appertaining issues (bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, strife, and malice).  And you can be assured that following your declaration of war, you will face each of them, in turn, or en masse, at which time you must make the determination whether they are crises or opportunities.  If you define them as crises, you will more likely face defeat than victory.  If, on the other hand, you view them as opportunities to fight the good fight of faith, you can surely walk in victory, for this is the victory that overcomes the world, even your faith.

You might ask how can saying “I forgive” be a declaration of war.  War always begins with words spoken.  Even if the attack seems to come forth from deep secrecy, someone, somewhere, at some prior time spoke the words.  Have you ever been offended, especially by a brother or sister in Christ?  If you’ve been born again for more than a few months, I can almost assure you that it has happened.   When it did, and you spoke the words, “I forgive,” how often were moments in the following hours, days, weeks, or even longer, did thoughts of the offence come?  How many things could happen, how many words could be spoken, how many places could you go, and have the memory of that offence suddenly rise in your thinking?  Many, I am sure.  You see, when you said, “I forgive,” you declared war on the master offender and the gates of hell.  But if you ever intend to win victory over the offences Jesus said MUST surely come, you must begin with the declaration of war by saying, “I forgive.”  And the moment you make that declaration, make sure you have put on the whole armor of God, and that you are ready for the ensuing battle, for surely, the battle cometh.  Fight the good fight of faith!

Manna for Today – Mark 11:22-27; 1 John 1:9; Psalm 86:6; Matthew 6:12-15; Luke 6:37; Luke 17:1-10; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2; 1 John 5:14; Matthew 18:22