Thought For Today - December 9 - Oh ! To Be Forgiven !
Thought For Today - December 9 = Oh! To Be Forgiven !
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Have you ever had someone come to you and ask you to forgive them for something that they had done to you? Have you ever gone to someone else and asked them to forgive you for something that you have done to them? What does it mean to forgive? What is forgiveness? The dictionary says that the word forgive means to grant pardon for, or remission of something; cease to demand the penalty for; To cease to blame or feel resentment against. Forgiveness is the act of forgiving or being forgiven.
The Lord Jesus Christ, when he was on earth, taught the importance of forgiveness; of forgiving others, and in being forgiven by God and others.
I believe that the definition that Jesus had for forgiveness goes much deeper and beyond what the dictionary says it means to forgive. I believe that to forgive the way Jesus taught involved love, God's kind of love. God's kind of love is to be more concerned about the welfare and comfort of others than of ourselves. Jesus was more concerned about the welfare and comfort of the human race than he was of himself. He proved this when he left the glory and comfort of heaven to come to earth to suffer and die for people - sinners like you and me.
"God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have ever lasting life." John 3:16
Jesus taught that all people are sinners and they need to be forgiven by God. They need to be forgiven by each other, and they need to forgive others. When we know that we have sinned against God, or when we know that we have wronged someone else, we have to carry around in our hearts a heavy load of guilt. To have a load of guilt in our hearts to carry with us wherever we go is a terrible thing. It is like trying to climb a mountain, or trying to swim with a heavy sack of bricks on our back. It tends to drag us down. It clouds our minds so that we can not think clearly. It sometimes keeps us awake at night,. It will destroy our mind and our body, and our health, and can cause an early death. It separates us from God.
God loved us so much with his kind of love that he did not want us to be miserable and loaded down with a load of sin and guilt and be destroyed and be separated from him. God wants us to admit to ourselves and to him that we are sinners and need to be forgiven for sinning against him.
To come to God and ask forgiveness of sins involves faith. God honors our faith. "And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no not so much as about the door; and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, son, thy sins be forgiven thee." Mark 2: 2.-5
When Jesus saw that these people had enough faith in his power to heal that they would go so far as to put a hole in the roof to get in where he was, he honored their faith and forgave the man's sins and healed him.
God is all powerful. He is omnipotent. God is all knowledge - all wisdom-all intelligence- all power. God is the source and beginning of all things. All authority is in his hands. He is every where at all times. He created all things, and all things are held together by him. Only God has the power and authority to forgive sins. "But there were certain of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their heart, why doth this man speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?" Mark 2: 6,7 We know that Jesus has the power and authority to forgive sins because he is God.
"But that ye might know that the son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins (he saith unto the sick of the palsy) I say unto thee, arise and take up thy bed , and go thy way into thine house." Mark 2: 10,11.
God's word tells us that if we will come to God by faith believing him , and ask him to forgive us of our sins, he will do just that. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1: 8,9.
When God forgives us of our sins, he not only forgives, but he also forgets. He remembers our sin no more. He removes our sin as far as the east is from the west. God loves us so much that he does not want us to carry the burden and the load of our guilt because he knows that it would destroy us. So when we confess and repent of our sins, he takes the burden off our shoulders and he himself pays the penalty of our sins. He who is not to blame for anything, and he who is sinless and has no sin, takes all the blame for our sins and suffered the punishment that we ought to bear. He is willing to do this because he loves us. We ought to be very grateful and receive his forgiveness with thanksgiving and gratitude, and give ourselves right back to him for his service.
"Surely he hath borne our grief's, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53: 4-6.
Has someone done something to hurt you recently? Has that person come to you and asked you to forgive them? Are you willing to forgive and to forget., and to try not to remember the bad things that were done to you? Do you love that person the way that God loved each of us, and even if you are not to blame for the wrong that was done, are you willing to take all the blame and pay the penalty, and let the one who did you the wrong go free from the burden of his guilt which otherwise might destroy him if he has to carry it in his heart and in his mind?
God's word teaches us that if we expect God to forgive us and take the blame for our sins, that we have to be willing to forgive others and take the blame for their sins and bear their burdens. The Lord's prayer says: "Forgive us our debts as we forgive those who trespass against us".
Have you ever borne anyone else's grief? Have you carried their burdens? Have you ever been wounded for someone else's transgressions? Have you ever been bruised for another's iniquities? God's word says that if we will forgive others, he will forgive us. This is what forgiveness means: to pay the cost , take the blame, bear the shame and embarrassment.
Unless we ask for and receive God's forgiveness, we can never enter heaven. Unless we forgive others we will not be forgiven.
"And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive your trespasses, but if ye do not forgive neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." Mark 11:25, 26
"Judge not and ye shall not be judged: condemn not and ye shall not be condemned; forgive and ye shall be forgiven." Luke 6: 37
Only God can forgive sins against him. Only the children of God can truly know what it means to forgive and be forgiven . If you find it difficult to forgive someone who has asked your forgiveness, perhaps it is because you are not really a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ. Perhaps you need to be born again. Perhaps you need to go to God and confess your sins and seek his salvation and forgiveness. If you know that there is something in your life that you ought to ask God to forgive, find a solitary place where you can get alone with God. Believe that he hears you and is more than willing to forgive all manner of sins, Tell him that you believe that Jesus is the Christ sent from God, that he came to pay for our sins with his own blood on the cross, that he died , was buried, and rose again; that he is alive and will come live in our hearts if we will invite him.
If you just can't seem to forgive and forget the wrong that someone has done to you even though they have asked your forgiveness, pray and ask the Lord to give you the grace to forgive and forget.
When you have truly forgiven others, your own burdens will be lifted. You will not be full of bad attitudes, and resentments. You will not be trying to get even. There will be no bitterness in your heart. When your own heart is cleansed of all these things, then you will experience the true peace of God. Forgiveness brings peace of mind to the forgiver as well as to the forgiven.