Thursday, March 20, 2008

Words of Encouragement

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. – Matthew 6:14

Sacrifice of Praise. Forgiving the unforgivable. Jesus taught what was required of those that would call themselves children of God. What Jesus taught was not only in words, but also in deeds. Jesus willing showed us how to forgive, by his speaking his forgiveness over those that nailed him to the cross. He also spoke not only forgiveness for those standing there but he also spoke a prayer for us to come.

This is one of the gifts that salvation has brought to us. It has brought us the ability to be a living sacrifice as Jesus was. It gives us the ability to withstand the deeds done to us by others. This is the only answer for how we are able to forgive hurts, lies and betrayal.

Jesus gives us this commandment with a stipulation. If we are not willing to forgive others sins against us, how can we expect God to forgive our sins that are far worse than anything anyone can do to us? How can we expect to seek forgiveness from God for our sins that hurt the heart of God, the lies we live and the betrayal of his ways, if we won’t do the same for others?

Jesus then is telling us, we must be willing to give a sacrifice of ourselves, which is praise unto the Lord. I have come to believe praise is not just what I do when I sing songs on Sunday. It also is when my life lines up with the will of God and I walk in the ways of the Lord that my life begins to show as a sacrifice of praise unto God. When my personal time of worship comes, I am an act of praise.

Today, I speak to someone that is having a hard time forgiving hurts, disappointments in others, fears of trusting again, those that have been betrayed by friends, family and loved ones. You can forgive because God has equipped you with the ability to do so. God has given you the tools you need to forgive any injustice you have suffered. He has not removed these things, but he has thought it best to allow you to go through them so that he could perfect something inside of you. Let God help you offer a sacrifice of praise through your life by offering forgiveness to the unforgivable. When you do, know that God stands waiting to forgive you of all that you do that transgresses his will. He not only offers forgiveness for what we do now, but also his forgiveness stands waiting for us for those sins yet undone. His forgiveness is endless. Lord I forgive those that have hurt me and release them into your hands; I forgive them even for those things yet undone, because of the offer of forgiveness that you have offered to me. So help me now to heal from the hurts, so that I can continue to walk in my path and have the victory over all that has been done against me, in Jesus name, Amen.