We had such an overwhelming response to the message on forgiveness this past Sunday that I thought I’d do a short series of blogs on the topic. If you missed Sunday, you can view the message at: http://www.gfcfamily.com/unlocked-part7/
One of the things that Jesus makes clear in Mt 18 and other passages is this; if you’re a believer, forgiveness of others is not optional for you if you want the blessing of God in your life!
The servant in Mt. 18 who had been forgiven of a huge debt was unwilling to forgive his neighbor of a very small debt. As Jesus told this story He ended it with some very sobering words! 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” Mt. 18:34-35 NIV
You and I are represented by the servant who was unwilling to forgive in Jesus’ story. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, the reality is that you’ve been forgiven a debt so large you could never repay it on your own. Jesus Christ died for you – satisfying the debt we owed to God for our sin – and through our faith and trust in Him and what He did – we can be forgiven.
When I think of all the evil I’ve done in my life; all the sinful thoughts, attitudes and actions – I realize how much God has forgiven me. In light of this, I have no right to refuse forgiveness to others. If I want to maintain an intimate relationship with God – forgiving others is a must!
Over the next few days I’ll add to this blog because it’s also important to understand that forgiveness doesn’t mean that trust is automatically restored and it doesn’t mean you’ll forget the offense. So I hope you’ll check back as we explore the idea of forgiveness further.
Here are a couple more verses to consider in light of the fact that God says we’re to forgive because we’ve been forgiven……
James 2:13 NLT – For there will be no mercy for you if you have not been merciful to others. But if you have been merciful, then God’s mercy toward you will win out over his judgment against you.
Matt 6:14-15 NLT “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Mark 11:25-26 NASB – 25 “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your transgressions. 26[“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”]
Luke 6:37 NKJV – “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”