Let Us Forgive One Another

Ephesians 4:32 ESV, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Christ forgave us, and still forgives us every time we repent, so we are commanded to forgive one another. When others offend us, it can really hurt, but God is merciful and understanding. He is our ever present help who is willing to help us to forgive our offenders. He wants us to be free from the pain we feel, so we can be free to live our lives and fulfill our purpose.

Photo by: Vera Arsic

Although we are not always able to have a relationship with those we forgive for various reasons, forgiving them will help bring healing to our souls. God has wonderful plans for His children, and learning to forgive is an important part of those plans. Remembering all that God has forgiven us of is humbling, and it inspires us to show the same kindness to others.

“Forgive one another, as God in Christ forgave you”.

He is Faithful and Just To Forgive

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

When we confess, God forgives. It’s a simple truth, but can at times be hard for us to accept, especially when we struggle to forgive ourselves. Sins we’ve committed, rather past or present, can keep us stuck in a place of guilt and shame if we let it. Conditioning our minds to receive God’s forgiveness can take determination.

We must be determined to see ourselves through God’s eyes and understand that He is faithful to forgive us when we confess our sins to Him, no matter how big or disgraceful the sin is. Although God forgives us, there still maybe consequences we have to endure. For example, if someone steals, they may have to repay money and go to jail. If someone gets caught cheating on an exam, they may end up failing the class. But God will strengthen us as we walk through any consequences we must face. The key is to receive His forgiveness and let His love bring healing to your heart.

Photo by: Josh Sorenson of Florida, USA 🇺🇸

Remember the criminal on the cross beside Jesus in John 23:39-43. He recognized his sin, and he spoke these words…

We are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”

“…Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”

And Jesus spoke these words back to him…

“…Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

He acknowledged that Jesus was the One who could save Him. Jesus forgave him and promised Him a home in eternity. Jesus forgave this sinner, even as he was facing death. He also forgives you and me.

We must believe what God says about forgiveness and reject the lies of the enemy. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), so enjoy freedom from guilt and shame, and rejoice in the victory that His forgiveness brings!

Hurt At Church

Colossians 3:13 NLT, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”

As I was writing, “You Are Not Alone” a couple of days ago, I kept thinking about those in the body of Christ who have been hurt at some point by fellow believers. It’s still heavy on my heart right now, even as I write this. Some are so hurt that they have made a decision to no longer attend church, or even if they do, the pain they feel keeps them from experiencing the joy that God wants them to have. Or they may isolate themselves by not getting involved in the ministry because they fear getting hurt again. They have no peace because of the wrong they believe was done to them.

Photo by: Polina Sirotina

The reality is that every believer may not feel safe in God’s house for whatever the reason. It’s never God’s will for any of His children to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in His house. He intends for us all to find a church home that is right for us. He is willing to lead us to the perfect place of worship when we ask.

As I thought about believers who have been hurt at church, the only word that kept coming to my mind is forgiveness. Forgiveness is what God requires of us, regardless of circumstances. There are no excuses, He calls us to forgive. When forgiveness is a struggle, we can pray and ask for His help, and He will help us. Forgiveness opens up the door for healing and restoration. Every strained relationship may not necessarily be reconciled, because some people are better off not being a part of your life, but even so, there still needs to be forgiveness. Having a forgiving nature, causes us to continue to progress in our walk with God, unforgiveness hinders our walk with God.

People are not perfect, so naturally the church is not going to be perfect. However as Christians, we do need to show love to those around us. One thing I have heard over and over from people is that they feel left out in church. They feel that certain people or families in the church are more important than others. That should not be the case, because in God’s eyes we are all valuable and He is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11). We all have gifts and talents that He wants us to use for His glory.

Photo by: Luis Quintero

Once you know you are in the church God wants you to be in, then you can trust Him to open the right opportunities for you. Sometimes we can attend a church for years, and then God will call us out and into another church (This has happened to me a couple of times.) It’s important to go if that happens, because otherwise you won’t be content anymore. Things, including relationships, won’t work out if you are not where God wants you to be. Don’t let having a certain social status or position keep you in the wrong church. God has plans for you at the new place of worship that are good.

It’s important to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. People will fall short, because we all fall short sometimes. We have to forgive, walk in love and keep serving God. Our Father’s house should be a place of love. Every member of God’s family and those who visit, should experience that love when they enter His house. Someone once told me that she hadn’t been to church in over a year because someone did her wrong. Then it occurred to me that even when people do us wrong at work, we have to keep going because we need our paycheck. It works the same with church, we have to keep going because we need the spiritual strength and the fellowship with our spiritual family.

John 13:34 NIV, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Don’t let the sin or carelessness of others cause you to miss out on worshipping with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. God is faithful and He knows your every need. I pray God will help anyone reading this who is struggling in this area. Let love and forgiveness rule and reign in your heart. On the other side of the hurt, discouragement, and unforgiveness that you feel is freedom, the freedom Jesus died for you to have. Don’t let the enemy steal that freedom from you. Trust God to bring you comfort and healing, and then move forward in His grace.

Photo by: Michael Morse

Extend The Love Of Jesus

Ephesians 4:2, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”

Humble. Gentle. Patient. Forgiving. These are words that don’t exactly go along with today’s culture. Responding to people with humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness may even be viewed by some as a sign of weakness. But it’s actually quite the opposite. These attributes are part of who God is, and when we extend them to others, we are extending His love to them.

Photo by: Matthias Zomer

Extending genuine love to people is very powerful, because it will help them to see the hope that is found in Jesus. Through Jesus, we have been forgiven of so much. He has pardoned our sins and given us the privilege to be heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). When we are angry and upset, forgiving someone may not be what we want to do, but as children of God, it’s what we are called to do. When He calls us to a task, He will equip us with the grace we need to accomplish it.

We as children of God are set apart by a special calling to be humble, gentle, patient, and forgiving. It’s all part of the new nature we have in Christ. What a joy it is to rise above circumstances and walk in the ways of the Lord. The Holy Spirit living in us will empower us to represent the Lord Jesus in all we do. We are truly blessed.

Photo by: Pixabay

God Forgets Our Sins

Hebrews 8:12 NIV, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

In our human nature, forgetting our past sins can sometimes seem impossible. We remember. Since we remember, we must overcome shame, guilt, and all other feelings of inadequacy. Even knowing that God has promised to forget our sins, it can still be a struggle for us to let go.

There have been many times I have been so angry and disappointed at myself for falling into sin. Even after repenting before God, the anger would continue. I knew I was forgiven by God, but my mind kept going around in circles, rehashing my sin and trying to figure out how I could have allowed myself to fail.

I remember one day I was praying, and the Holy Spirit begin to give me a fresh revelation of the Cross. I understood with complete clarity that the work Jesus Christ did was enough. No amount of guilt or shame that I had, could ever add to His finished work on the Cross. We as humans can know something in our minds, but it takes the power of The Holy Spirit to help us understand it in our hearts, and fully accept it as truth.

Understanding God’s forgiveness with our hearts, is what will bring us freedom. Freedom to enjoy the present and embrace the future. Freedom to be all He created us to be, and freedom to receive His unconditional love everyday. Holding on to our past, is part of the enemy’s attempt to steal from us. But greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

In Christ, we are free to repent of our sins and receive His forgiveness. He will empower us to live for Him shame free and guilt free. Once we repent, He remembers our sins no more.

Forgiveness: Making Allowances For Others

Colossians 3:13 NLT, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”

Remembering the forgiveness God has shown us through Christ, is definitely a way to stay humble and forgive others. He has forgiven us of so much, over and over again. Walking in humility means that we will be more willing to remember that everyone is human. Being human means we will all have bad days and sometimes make mistakes. When people do make mistakes, showing mercy and forgiveness to them will promote an atmosphere of love and peace.

Having a forgiving spirit keeps our souls healthy and strong. It also frees us up to keep moving forward in Christ. Unforgiveness holds us back and keeps us in bondage. We must push past the temptation to hold a grudge against others. Instead we must forgive, and then we too will be forgiven by our Father in heaven. (Matthew 6:14).

It’s All About Love – 4

(2 Thessalonians 3:5, NIV), “May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

Love Connects

Connecting with people is more of a challenge today. Although we have email, texting, and social media right at our fingertips, real interaction with people has faded away. In order to have meaningful healthy relationships, we must be intentional about spending quality time with people.

Hebrews 10:25 NLT, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

As Christians, we definitely must put forth extra effort to be aware of those around us who need encouragement. We should also be willing to go beyond our inner circle of familiar people, so we can reach out and touch someone who is unfamiliar. Even if that someone looks different, speaks different, or acts different from us.

Love Forgives

Although difficult at times, we must forgive people who hurt us. Not forgiving will keep us in bondage. A person with an unforgiving heart is not walking in love. We must decide to forgive, and then trust God to help us to walk in that forgiveness.

Mark 11:25 NIV, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Ephesians 4:32 NIV, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

It’s all about love

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