Monday, January 14, 2019

The Sweet Fruit of Forgiveness

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

God's greatest gift was the gift of faith - enabling us to have a relationship with Him.  His second greatest gift is forgiveness which enables us to have a relationship with others and for God to have relationship with us.  The fruit of forgiveness is the sweetest fruit there is – the forgiveness we get from Jesus Christ and the forgiveness He expects us to pass on. Just as He has forgiven us, He expects us to do the same for others, no matter the offense.  Forgiveness is just as much for our benefit (If not more!) as theirs.  When we don’t forgive, it affects our relationship with God.  
Forgiveness means forgetting the past and moving forward. It doesn’t change the past or erase what happened, but it can change the future.  A seed of unforgiveness doesn’t stay in seed form.  It grows until it is full grown bitterness and can leave a wake of destruction in its path.  Unforgiveness will only cause us to hurt others and once you are bitter with one person, it is easy to become bitter at more and more people.  Sometimes those closest to us are the ones that hurt us the most and are the hardest to forgive.  
It is only through the grace we received when we were saved that we can even begin to forgive.  We have to be grace personified to pass it on to others.  We can do this through the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ in us brings peace, joy, love, and hope to the world.  Forgiving can change our spirit and make us more like God.  
There is nothing as sweet as forgiveness for a wrong. The feeling and weight that lays on a soul that is harboring guilt and shame is heavy and the blessed grace of forgiveness lifts all the guilt and shame away.  Forgiving others lifts the bitterness off our hearts and reminds us that we have been forgiven and desperately need that grace and forgiveness over and over again.  
Steps to Forgiveness:
Ask God to reveal to you those you hold resentment toward- If you feel bitterness in your heart, chances are you know exactly who you are bitter towards. We don’t easily forget who had wronged us.  But if you are not sure why you feel this way, ask God to reveal to you those you hold resentment toward.  
Bring the list to Jesuslay them at Jesus feet along with your hurts
Release them and pray God’s blessing for them– really pray for them – good things.  Then leave them there.  It is not yours to deal with now. Release them into God’s hands.  
Forgiveness is hard and sometimes there is no apology. Even without an apology you can still forgive.  Do it for your heart and for your relationship with Jesus.  Leave it in His hands and let go of the destructive  

Scripture to Claim:
Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Colossians 3:13 NLT

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