Living a life of forgiveness

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (NIV)  This scripture reminds us that there is no sin that we can commit that is greater than the grace of God.

But here is the clincher: We may be able to see this about ourselves, but can we see this in others? You become an agent of God’s mercy when you remind brothers and sisters that our new life in Christ is greater than our mistakes.

Our job is not to condemn others and continually remind them of their sins. It is to forgive them even IF they do not ASK you for forgiveness. Peter denied the Lord. DENIED him for crying out loud. When the Lord met Peter did He ask him to repent of his denial? Did He even say to him -“Well didn’t I tell you-you were going to do it? What do you have to say for yourself Peter? Here you stand before me, my closest friend and it is business as usual as if you didn’t deny me? Well, are you going to ask me to forgive you?” NOPE, He did not ANDHe my friends is GOD! He stood before the man who denied him and asked him if he loved him, then commissioned him to be the head of His church!! What would we have done if our friend, our close friend, had denied us? It is a form of betrayal! How many people on Facebook would have found out about it? Of course with a little twist. Would you have blown up your friends’ phone with text messes about the betrayal and denial? How many of our friends would we have called and told them, “Can you believe it? I brought him out of his filthy lifestyle and made him my friend. We walked and talked together every day for three years. He ate at my table, and when push came to shove he denied me! Can you believe that He denied me?” NOPE He said none of that. As I read this devotional I thought about the kinds of things we expect from people who have hurt us. At some point, we have to let it go. WHY? Because every single one of us sins every day. There isn’t a human being on planet earth who can say that they have lived a single day where they have NOT sinned. Forgiveness in not a construct that we preach to other people about. Hatred is not even something that should be in our mouths. It doesn’t matter what someone has done to us we must let it go..We are not God, we cannot demand that the person comes to us personally and beg us for forgiveness. Forgive us of our sins as we have forgiven others…that is what the Lord told us to do. Do we remember every single sin that we commit all through the day? then has God not forgiven us? YES. The blood of Jesus covers a multitude of sins. He became sin who knew no sin. That we might become His righteousness. Jesus intercedes for us 24/7/365. How about us interceding for each other? I have experienced all of the above. Lied to and lied about. Massacred by someone’s mouth-yes, received vicious and malicious text and e-mail messages? YES. It doesn’t matter what proof I have to prove that I am right- I just ended the banter and moved on with my life. Was it easy? NOPE. DO the memories try to come back? Yes! What do I do them..? bury myself in the word and praise God for who He is to me. Can we please forgive and forget? We are the body of Christ. LOVE is an action verb. We must reach out to the person who has mortally wounded us. Speak to them even when they won’t speak to us. Find something nice to say to them every time we see them, it doesn’t matter how they respond to us. We must demonstrate love toward them. Look at them as we would look at Christ, WHY? Because Christ lives in them too!

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