FORGIVE!

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! —Matthew 18:21-22
Have you truly forgiven that person? To forgive means to never bring it up again. We may not forget it and there may still be hurt that we have to work through, but to forgive is to “let it go.” To not forgive is to “hold on to it.” So, who is it you have not forgiven, but need to?
Forgiveness— we cannot really understand it until we understand the forgiveness that the Lord God Almighty extends to us. Nor can we understand that until we understand the seriousness of sin of which He forgives us… even the seriousness of just one sin! Nor can we understand the serious of sin until we understand somewhat of the holiness of God. Think about it. What is the sin a person may say is the least? Maybe it’s a so-called “little white lie.” Is water still water regardless of if it being a huge lake or one drop? Light is light and there is no darkness in it. The holiness of God is complete purity and there is no impurity with Him. For a person to be in heaven with God one day means that he cannot have any impurity in him at all. None! Not even a partial drop of impurity! So, how can a person get to heaven because we are all impure to one degree or another? We all are sinners.
Here is the marvel of marvels, the awesome love of God displayed, the forgiveness of God made possible to the least and greatest of all sinners through the final sacrifice of Jesus the Lamb of God. When He died on that cross we are told in First John 2:2 that He died for the sins of the whole world. The reason He did this was so that “whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Those who trust Jesus are forgiven because Jesus took the punishment we deserved and gave us the “righteousness of God” which we do not deserve (II Corinthians 5:21). Now we are to forgive as Jesus has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 2:13; 4:32).
For those of us who are following Jesus we need to understand the seriousness of forgiveness in our own lives. In Matthew 6:14-15 we read “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” May we ponder those words! They are life impacting!
Dear Father, help me to be a forgiving follower of Yours understanding how much You have forgiven me in Jesus. Oh, please help me not to harbor any type of unforgiveness, but in the power of You, Holy Spirit, to be able to forgive even those who desire to do me harm. May it be so!

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