Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; Lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee. Proverbs 25:17 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.25.17.KJV
We have all wondered about this…
I’m sure Moses wondered if God could use him since he had killed a man, but God used him to deliver the Hebrews to freedom. David led the armies of Israel on many campaigns which is why God wouldn’t let him build the Temple. It was because of all the blood that he had shed while he was king. There have been many people who have done many things in their lives that we might say are too bad for God to use or to forgive. God can even use pagans to do His work when He chooses to. Remember this:
His promise of forgiveness
1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The promise which we see illustrated in this passage has a condition attached to it of “If we confess our sins…”. Why would that be there? Mainly because of our need to be convicted of being a sinner and needing forgiveness. If we don’t think or feel that we need to be forgiven of our sins, whatever they may be, then we won’t seek the One Who can forgive them. Jesus Christ came and died to pay the penalty of our debt for our sins and it is only by having faith in Him for salvation that we will realize that we need Him and the forgiveness that is offered.
It seems that many people believe that they can come to Jesus any time they feel like it and everything will work out in the end. But until the Holy Spirit touches your heart and convicts you of your sinful nature, showing you that you truly do need Jesus, you won’t seek Him out because as far as you are concerned there is no need. It is our decision to turn away from our old way of living and to seek to follow Jesus but without being convinced of our need for salvation by the Spirit not one of us would ever go down that pathway. God knows which people will make that life-giving decision to follow Jesus and which ones will not but He doesn’t force this decision on anyone.
Walking with Jesus on a daily basis is not for the faint of heart. Satan and his demons will attack you with all sorts of temptations and they know exactly which buttons to push to get your attention. They will do this at night and during the daytime and when you see something you like or want and you know you shouldn’t get it. This is not a one-time temptation, it is ongoing. This is what Jesus meant when He said to “take up your cross and follow Me”. It is a daily fight which you will be living with but you won’t be alone. The Holy Spirit will be there with you every step of the way.
The best way that I can do this, and I am not successful at it all the time, is to wake up thanking God for today and everything it will bring. Be in the spirit of prayerful thankfulness during your day. If you feel a cool breeze thank Him for it. If you find a parking place that is convenient for you, thank Him for it. You get the idea. Every good and pleasant thing which comes your way during the day, no matter what it may be, thank Him for it!
Life is much easier when you do this but it is a way of life that has to be practiced. It doesn’t come naturally for us. We wouldn’t think of any of these little blessings at all if we weren’t saved through the blood of Jesus. When we were our natural selves being thankful probably didn’t come to mind unless our parents or grandparents taught us that while we were growing up. Even when they taught us this way, as my parents did, I still questioned why? What is the point of thanking God for something that I did?
The problem is that until we realize that He is in control whether we see Him or believe in Him or not we will continue to think that we did it. When it is God Who has given us the ability and the thoughts and knowledge to do what we do every single day! Seek Him and His Kingdom through Jesus Christ and every good blessing will be yours. That doesn’t mean that God will drop a block of gold in your yard but your strength will be renewed every morning, your day will be more like a pleasant walk than a grind to get through so do this every day, one day at a time until you are called home to be with Him.
Should you forgive others?
But if you do not let men have forgiveness for their sins, you will not have forgiveness from your Father for your sins.
We are to forgive others so that we can be forgiven. There are over one hundred verses in the New Testament about forgiveness and most of them apply this concept from you to another who has wronged you in some way. Will God forgive you? Yes, but He won’t forgive you if you are holding a grudge or some other hurt in your heart toward someone else and you won’t let it go.
We are called to be more like Jesus and He forgave those who nailed Him to the cross just before He gave up His spirit. We are supposed to be more like Him in our walk with God in this life but many of us hold on to bitterness from years ago even though it is giving us an ulcer. Being a forgiver of others shows that your heart has changed and it is now the home of the Holy Spirit of God. We couldn’t forgive without His Spirit within us because it is not in human nature to forgive. But with Jesus as our Savior and with His Spirit living within us ALL things are possible.
Can we forgive perfectly and completely? Eventually. Even with the Spirit of God living in your life and your heart, Satan will bring to your remembrance the wrong that you have tried to forgive. He will pester your mind with it and try to ruin your life with it, but with prayer and by seeking the strength of Jesus to help you to forgive it can be forgiven. Our mind may not let it go immediately and it may take a good deal of Bible study and prayer to let something go if it was a really bad hurt in your past but with God’s help you and I can do it.
Jesus taught that it is our duty, as believers, to forgive others. There is no limit to the number of times that we are told to forgive for an offense, and it is to be done completely and immediately. If you will not forgive your brother, then God will not forgive you for your sins. As I stated in a paragraph above, it may take some study and prayer to completely forgive and forget but with God all things are possible.
What does this mean in our society today? It means that we, as a society, should forgive those who have wronged us in the past. It means that the bitterness and resentment should be forgiven by us first toward those who we hold responsible for a wrong. Forgiveness is the closest that we can come to God before we die and it is an act of will on our part that can take away years of pain and suffering. One word and deed which can change the life of those who have held onto bitterness and anger for so long they don’t remember why they were angry, but with true forgiveness they will feel healing and a peace in their lives which has never been there before.
Our country needs a Spirit of forgiveness to sweep over this land and into the hearts and minds of those living here. It will take God’s Holy Spirit to make this happen and it will take an honest revival in our country before this will happen. Can it happen? Yes, but only if people will stop being so politically correct they aren’t any good to the people around them!
God has never stopped loving you or those who wronged you in the past, but until you forgive them and change the way you feel about them, your health and your life will suffer because of it. That is why it says in the Bible, “if you have anything against your brother, leave your offering and be reconciled to him, then come and make your offering“. Living with anything in your past which is unforgiven and causes you to feel anger or resentment and bitterness will make you sick physically. Healing can only come when the forgiveness is full and real between you and your brother or sister.
Don’t live that way because I have seen this in my family and it truly rips a hole in a family and the relationships in that family. I pray that anyone who reads this will seek God’s will for their relationships with their family member and with Him too.
Did you know that we cannot do this by our own strength but only by the strength of Jesus Christ? God forgives us because of Jesus’ work on the cross and the blood that He shed for you. We are not supposed to keep or hold grudges against others, we as Christians are supposed to forgive even the most hurtful sins which have been done against us. Why? Because every sin which we have committed has been forgiven through the blood of Jesus, no matter how bad they are…yes even rapists and murderers are forgiven if they repent and give their hearts to Jesus.
Is forgiveness easy? NO! When someone has wronged you in any way it is very hard, almost impossible and it usually is impossible for us, in our own strength, to manage to truly forgive someone. We can forgive through our faith in Jesus and by His Strength only! There is no real forgiveness in a human heart until Jesus is in your heart. Because without Him in our heart, we will not forgive or forget.
God loves you and has provided a way for you to be forgiven and by the grace and faith given to you through Jesus Christ, you can forgive others. Refusal to forgive others who have hurt you, no matter what the pain might be, will cause your health to become worse. We must live humbly by the Word of God and live out the forgiveness in our lives toward others. This is not a suggestion but a command. If there is something between you and your brother, leave your offering and be reconciled with him.
Forgiveness is a thread which is throughout the Bible and it is a powerful one between God and mankind. It is part of our life when we have Jesus in our heart and we should practice it for the small things as well as those things which hurt us deeply. Think about the pain which Jesus went through to gain your forgiveness and mine! It was painful but He did it anyway.
In so many ways, forgiving others is difficult and sometimes impossible without the love of Jesus flowing through our hearts. Forgetting the offense of our friends or family is not nearly so easy as forgiving them. An offense from friends or family is usually a very deep offense anyway and forgetting it takes lots of prayers and wisdom gleaned from the Bible during the time that we spend trying to heal from it.
Of course, Satan doesn’t help either. He keeps bringing up the offense and bringing it up, and bringing it up until it is maddening! I struggled with this after my divorce years ago, but with LOTS of prayers and reading the Bible and more prayers and more reading of God’s Word I have finally forgiven my ex-wife, but there are still times where Satan will dredge a memory or two back up. So, the process is never really over at least in this life.
We are forgiven of our sins through the blood of Jesus and it was shed for every person on the Earth, but it is up to the Spirit drawing you to Jesus and convicting you that you need Him which will convince you to give your heart to Him and ask forgiveness. It truly is your decision to accept it, God doesn’t force salvation on you. Even when you know you need Him it is still your decision and if you decide not to accept Him then if you die without Him, you are responsible for where your eternity is spent.
Forgiving others is part of our walk with Jesus. The Bible says “if you come to the altar and remember a slight against your brother, leave your sacrifice and be reconciled first“; so forgiveness between brothers or sisters in Christ is more important than a sacrifice. Because with unforgiven slights in your heart, you can’t fully serve the Lord in gladness until it is taken care of. We are supposed to allow the Love of Jesus to flow through us toward others even when we feel slighted or hurt in some way. Even if it is something that may be a month or even a year in the past, get it out in the open and ask forgiveness for it even if one party has forgotten the offense, the hurt, and the pain can still be there.
Through the Spirit of Christ and some determination, we can forgive even the most heinous of offenses with time. But that takes a lot of prayer and meditation on the Scriptures and seeking the Lord’s will in your walk with Him. Forgiving is not easy and forgetting an offense can be even harder, mainly because Satan and his cohorts will bring these memories to the front again even when you have managed to forget them for a time.
God loves each of us much deeper and intimately than you can imagine but we won’t truly know the depth of His love for us until we are in Heaven with Him. That is why we must walk with Him on a daily basis during this life so that we can truly enjoy His Presence for eternity!
Sermons have been preached on this, people talk about this in the news and at home, but…is it given to those who don’t deserve it?
Many times in our lives we seek forgiveness from friends and spouses and would like to receive it from loan companies (being debt free for a change); my point is this: do we extend forgiveness to those around us who have wronged us in some way, even when they don’t deserve it?
Concerning the statement of deserving it part of that statement…how do you know that they don’t deserve it? Who are you to judge? Does holding a grudge against people who have never wronged you help your life in any way?
We should be willing to forgive others regardless of the wrong committed because that is what Jesus did for us. If you are not forgiving others of something which was done to a family member in the past, particularly more than a century ago, what good is this doing you today?
My ancestors came from Ireland as indentured slaves. Should I hold a grudge against some person or family because of it? Should I be that ungrateful for the reason that my family came here? I don’t think so. It is true that many Irish slaves were very ill-treated at the time and many more were put in chains even in the sugar plantations in the Caribbean, but I can’t hold a grudge against people I don’t know anything about.
Forgiveness is one of those qualities which Christians are supposed to express in their lives, but it seems to be in short supply particularly today. While it is true that many slave owners in the South treated their slaves terribly, there were also some in the North who did the very same thing. We who are living in the 21st century shouldn’t be holding the black flag of slavery over our brothers and sisters in America because of something which happened over a century ago.
Was it a crime to own slaves at the time? No it wasn’t, but the treatment of people who were sold into slavery was horrible and that is the true crime. Many of those sold into slavery from Africa were sold by their own people, so the selling of slaves can’t be totally laid at America’s feet. Many nations in Africa and the Middle East today have slaves, but this isn’t publicized because it is illegal today.
Should we forgive those who put our ancestors in shackles to be sold? Yes, we should. It is a shame that many were treated so terribly and the conditions of slavery shouldn’t be ignored, especially in today’s world. Even today, children and women are sold into the slave trade as sex slaves, some even right here in America. But, it will never appear on a news program.
Can we forgive those who are doing these things, even today? In Christ we are supposed to do so, but our human morality and dignity cannot let it go unpunished if they can even be caught and brought to justice. Only through our faith in Jesus and the strength which He gives us can we possibly forgive these things.
Paul said it best in his writing to the Galatians, and we should follow that example to the best of our ability which Jesus gives us.
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
I am nothing but…
By my Creator and Savior, Jesus the Messiah! Amen!