January 18, 2023
FORGIVE TO BE FORGIVEN
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:14-15 NLT
Immediately after Jesus gives us the model prayer that we commonly refer to as the Lord’s Prayer, he addresses the issue of forgiving others. These words are powerful. Jesus chooses to declare that if we don’t forgive, we will not be forgiven by God. It appears that our lack of forgiving others blocks God from releasing His forgiveness in our lives. That is how big of a deal God considers this concept of forgiving others. Notice as You read the instructions of Jesus there is no qualification for someone being forgiven. Jesus does not say, “When they admit they are wrong and ask for forgiveness be quick to give it.” He doesn’t say, “Get even with them and then forgive them.” Jesus says we forgive BEFORE they ask for forgiveness. We forgive BEFORE they admit they hurt us. These words are a lot easier to write than they are to put into practice. I have had some people in my life that I had to work to forgive. I remember one person I really struggled with. One day in my prayer time I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to pray for this person to be blessed. I had been praying for them to get right and change their behavior toward me and others. The Holy Spirit said I was to forgive them and pray for them to be blessed. I prayed for God to bless them for three months before I knew I really meant it. I spoke the words asking for God to bless them, but I knew I did not mean what I said. Then one morning I was praying for God to bless them, and I suddenly realized I meant it. That was the day I knew I had forgiven them. They never asked for forgiveness. They never acknowledged they were wrong. But that day I was free of the burden of unforgiveness.
Holy Spirit please show me anyone in my life that I need to forgive. Show me how I can live in freedom by forgiving others.
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