For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:14-15). If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7). Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye (Colossians 3:13). 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). And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil (Luke 11:4).
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”
Three little words, yet so difficult to utter: I forgive you. It can be an arduous task, for many. When one is forgiven, they have been released from guilt; they have been exonerated, excused, or acquitted. The words, “I forgive you”, if not spoken from the heart, are empty and meaningless. However, when said from a place of the heart, there is a powerful exchange between the individuals involved. Those are the benefits received by those who have been forgiven. However, there are many benefits received by the individuals who forgive. The chain that binds is broken, and the captive has been set free. It is an onerous task to hold unforgiveness in one’s heart. It is as if one is carrying a heavy weight, or yoke of bondage around one’s neck. If we confess our sins to the Lord, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity. If we can be afforded the opportunity to be forgiven, we must also be willing to forgive others their trespasses. It is a mandate from the Lord that we forgive others, otherwise we will not be forgiven our trespasses. Peter, a leader of the disciples, and the most loquacious and boisterous of the 12, asked of the Lord, “How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22) Peter was probably surprised by the answer he received from Jesus. The enlightenment that Peter received from the Lord that day, which is true for us today, was no matter how many times we have been offended by our brethren, we must forgive them, that our sins be forgiven us. Sometimes it’s difficult to forgive, when one has been offended. However, when I look back over my life, I certainly cannot begin to comprehend, the measure of forgiveness, as well as the numerous times, that God has forgiven me. Oh, if not for the grace of God, where would I be? Extending forgiveness, brings one back into a right relationship with the Lord. It is pleasing unto God, when we forgive others their trespasses against us. After all, “Jesus, who knew no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (I Peter 2:22-23) Jesus needed no forgiveness, yet He suffered vicariously upon Calvary’s Cross, that our sins might be forgiven, and that we might receive salvation through the shedding of His precious blood! When placed in that perspective, forgiving others their trespasses, should become a bit easier, I would think. Forgive, that ye be forgiven. Are you willing to forgive? Reaching a place of forgiveness will take us down a path which is paved with deep hurt, emotional anguish, and shattered hearts. Only Almighty God is able to deliver us from the bondage and burden of unforgiveness, when we place it in His most capable hands!
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you.”
Lord, I thank you for loving us enough to forgive us, over and over again, when we have sinned against you, and only you! Thank you for forgiving us, for the sin of offense. Thank you, for suffering in our places, that we might have a right unto the tree of life! Thank you so much, for completing the work of salvation, though the cup was bitter! Help us God, to have a heart of forgiveness, when others have offended us! Help us, to follow your example of forgiveness. Help us to pray for those that have despitefully used, and trespassed against us, and please forgive them Lord, as well. Only you can forgive us our sins, and for that I am so grateful, and I give you thanks! Jesus, this I pray in your precious name, amen! Praise God! Enjoy the song, “A Heart That Forgives.” It’s the most beautiful song about forgiveness I’ve ever heard! You will truly be blessed! Feel free to share your thoughts! May the Lord bless you abundantly, today and every day!