inside out

November 13, 2016

footsteps

In the book of James, he declared, “Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and sincere grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy” (Jas. 4:9,Living Bible). In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he wrote that godly sorrow works repentance unto salvation (2 Cor. 7:10). In other words, it is remorse for sin that makes a person change his mind about a specific thought or act. He then allows his mind to be transformed. It is these new thought patterns that bring deliverance the next time the temptation arises. Without godly sorrow we would not be as eager to avoid a similar situation.

 

 

Sorrow and forgiveness are separate issues. Forgiveness is complete upon confession. There is no condemnation now or in the future (Ro. 8:1, Jn. 5:24). In the eyes of God the believer’s sin is eradicated.

THE FLIP SIDE OF FORGIVENESS

But there is another side to forgiveness. As freeing as it is to know that God holds I no record of confessed sin, the forgiven one is now faced with the command to forgive others (Eph. 4:32) .Jesus told a story, recorded in Mt. 18:23-35, about a servant who owed the king the equivalent of several million dollars. The king ordered that the man’s wife and children and all that he had be’ sold to pay the debt. But when the man fell to his knees and pleaded for mercy, the king cancelled the debt. Yet as soon as the man left the palace, he set upon a fellow servant who owed him only a few dollars. When the debtor pleaded for time to pay off the loan, the servant had him thrown into prison.

How incredulous we are when we read the story. Yet when we do not forgive one offense when we have been forgiven for a lifetime of sin, how are we different from the unforgiving servant?

Forgiving others is not an option. It is a command. When we forgive we are conformed to the image of Christ in attitude and behavior. He forgave. We are to follow His example.

Let no one think that forgiving is easy. Forgiving is costly. Forgiving cost God His only Son. Forgiving cost Jesus Christ His life. Forgiving will cost you.

But while forgiving is costly, failure to forgive is even more costly. In the parable of the unforgiving servant, Jesus taught that the one who is forgiven and then refuses to forgive will be delivered to the torturers (Mt. 18:34-35, NASB). How ironic that it is the unforgiving one who is tormented, not the offender!

Never in the Word of God will you find that any crime is too great to forgive. Jesus died to forgive all sin. How can we as Christians have the audacity not to forgive one for whom Christ died?

“I forgive, but I can’t forget,” wail some. Praise God! Of course you can’t forget. God created man with marvelous memory banks. Without them, the mental pictures of brilliant autumn leaves, snow-capped mountains, buds in spring, would not last beyond the season. Life’s joys, as well as its sorrows, would fade into oblivion. Education would be useless. Experience would be wasted. Thank God for memory.

Remember past offenses so that you never commit the same acts. Remember past offenses so that you marvel and wonder at the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Only God can forget (the penalty of) sin. He has not given us that ability. However, memory does not have to bring pain. Christ can heal the injuries of the past, too.

In prophesy concerning the Messiah (Isa. 61:1-3), Isaiah wrote,

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

The good news is that Jesus heals the brokenhearted. He releases prisoners from the tormentors. He comforts those who mourn over offenses against them, and over those they have committed. He promises a crown of beauty instead of ashes, gladness instead of mourning, and praise instead of despair. The choice is ours.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Please remember our prayer list, there are just to many to list today but trust me there are several dedicated prayer partners that are interceding for YOU!

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