Good Morning Everyone
Thank you for joining me this morning as we finish up this topic we have been on for the past 2 weeks. We will finish with this this morning and if we can we will start lesson 3 in our series of "forgetting what is behind". thank you for being a part of this blog. Have a great day...Here we go
3. We need to forgive
The word of God is specific when it comes to forgiveness. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37. Also, If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven----if there was anything to forgive---I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake. 2 Corinthians 2:10. And again, Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13.
Forgiving others is a choice we have to make. Most of the time it will not come easily, but that is because (it is not easy). It was not easy for our Lord Jesus to give his all on the cross for us either, it cost Him everything….his life! This is what He said when he was on the cross, Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. Luke 23:34. Even then, He was thinking of us and not himself.
Forgiving others does not require emotion to be present in the forgiveness process, but feeling emotion when we are forgiving is understandable and normal as it is a sign of letting go of hurt and pain. We should not put (how or when) we forgive in a cookie-cutter box of do’s and don’ts because it is an act of God to extend forgiveness it is not something we can muster up out of our own will. So how it happens and when is up to God to bring us to that place of surrender and letting Him have his way in our lives.
What happens when we forgive?
* God promises to forgive us…And when we stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11:25, Luke 6:37
* If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven….If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven. John 20:23. (Reference being made here is to the binding or loosing of things, not persons). Taken from the NIV footnotes in Matthew 16.
* If we forgive--God forgives…If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven---if there was anything to forgive---I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake. 2 Corinthians 2:10
* When we humble ourselves…God will heal our land…If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
* God forgives our hidden faults…Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. Psalm 19:12-13
What do my “chains for Christ” look like?
Paul tells us in Philippians 1:14…Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
* The big question….Do I accept my chains?
When I think of chains being placed around my feet or hands I think of how restricted I would feel. Not having the freedom to do what I wanted to do. We can identify can’t we when it comes to our own spiritual life? We are really aware of this when God wants us to change something in our life that He doesn’t think is good for us. We tend to resist His work in our lives when it is something we don’t want to give up.
* When we are bound, we tend to fight against it!
Do you fight against your circumstances or do you let the Lord have his way in your life? The harder we fight against our circumstances many times the worse our situation can get. I am not referring to situations that are abusive in nature, because those are wrong and unhealthy and we need to take a stand against them. What I am saying, is that we should not just lay down and do nothing when we could do something to change our situation.
So, can I say that my chains are working for my good? Am I advancing ahead regardless of what comes my way? Am I maturing and growing in Christ regardless of what my circumstances are? Paul did not see himself alone with his trials but it was him and Christ together walking through those situations day after day.
And can I say that what I am going through or have gone through is advancing the gospel? In other words, am I stronger because of it and are my sufferings helping others in the process. It is important that our chains cause us to be more courageous and fearless to those around us and not defeat us. By accepting my chains (circumstances) I am deciding that it is “me in Christ forever” no turning back.
Things to ponder
1. Do you feel like life has you in chains, trapped in your circumstances?
2. Is it your circumstances that dictate how you live life, or is it your relationship to Christ that dictates your life?
3. Are your problems bigger than your faith in God? If so, list those things that seem to be bigger than God then surrender them over to him to take care of.
This will conclude lesson 2. Next week we will begin with lesson 3... "God Uses What Happens To Us For His Deliverance". Thanks for joining me this morning Have a great day and be blessed.