Thursday, October 29, 2009

Forgiving Others as Christ has Forgiven You

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

How do you respond when somebody has hurt you, abused you, or misused you?

God wants to heal you from the brokenness and bitterness that comes from un-forgiveness.

At some point in our lives, all of us will be hurt by another. We will be cheated. Betrayed. Lied to. Lie about. Let down. Somebody we love will leave us. Abuse us. Or hurt us. But God wants to heal us!

For God to heal you will require that you do what God commands you to do-forgive the one who hurt you.

Why does God command us to forgive other? (verses 30-32)

The sin of bitterness and un-forgiveness grieves God's Spirit who lives within us.

Our sin does not break the "seal" of God's Spirit, but it "grieves" God's Spirit. The human "heart" is the "holy of holies" where God's Spirit dwells and it "grieves" Him to dwell in an un-forgiving heart.

Bitterness and un-forgiveness is a hindrance to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

But when we relinquish the resentment and we're broken from our bitterness, something supernatural begins to happen within us-the Holy Spirit fills us with His power and peace.

In every healthy human relationship giving forgiveness and receiving forgiveness is a contant.

The difference between healthy/happy relationships and broken\bitter relationships is forgiveness. All of us at times need to be forgiven and at other times we need to forgive. The mark of a strong, healthy relationship is one where forgiveness is freely given and freely received.

When we "hold grudges" and "keep score" and "bury resentment" we become bitter people.

Bitterness that seizes our hearts becomes a poison to our souls. Hebrews 12:15, "Pursue peace with all people...lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled".

Bitterness is a life of bondage. It's one of Satan's methods of holding us in captivity so we never live in victory and , as Jesus said, abundantly.

But you CAN forgive-forgiveness is more than a feeling-it's a choice.

God is not commanding an emotion- He's commanding a motion. Forgiveness is more than a feeling-it's a decision. When you put forgiveness in motion, the emotion will eventually follow.

You'll eventually feel it if you'll make the decision to do it. But forgiveness is not something you do one time-it's something you have to choose over and over again. Every time the bitterness starts to "well up inside" you have to choose forgiveness again.

To forgive and forget doesn't mean you suddenly have amnesia and can no longer remember...It means you no longer hold the offense against them or hold it over them. It means you no longer keep a record of the offense-you may never forget in your mind, but you no longer remember it in your heart.

When we stop keeping record of all the wrongs, we let go of the past so it quits affecting the present.

Three things to learn about true forgiveness: 1.) It knows no limits
2.) It keeps no record
3.) It sets you free

Bitterness brings bondage, but forgiveness brings freedom~you choose. Your decisions define your destiny. You can choose forgiveness and find freedom or choose bitterness and live in bondage.

God's word is clear...Colossians 3:13 ...bearing with one another, and forgiving one another even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do....

An unforgiving heart is a prideful heart-it wants to be forgiven by God, but not forgive others.

Pride likes the feeling of self-pity...but humility brings healing...humility "lays it down" and forgives.

Let God keep the score~He's got it under control. Let God deal with you and leave it to God to deal with others.

Lord, thank you for your goodness and your mercy...Help me to be a woman that extends forgiveness freely and quickly. Help me to put me aside and choose to do as Your word commands. In Jesus Name, Amen