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The gift of forgiveness
April 14, 2014
by Pastor Steve Nelson, Freedom Church, Stockholm Community Center, Cokato

Greetings to you in Jesus. I pray God is drawing you to Himself. Thank you for taking a moment to read this. I hope that it would encourage you.

I remember, when I was in eighth grade, I had a friend over to trade baseball cards. During our card trading time, I found that he had cheated me on the trade.

I could not forgive him of the deception. Even though he gave me the money and card back; and he said that he was sorry. But my unforgiving heart divided the relationship and we were no longer friends.

Oh, I felt I had the right to not treat him well and not be his friend anymore. Yet, it was me who was in the wrong, and that unforgiving choice turned into bitterness.

Six years later, I came to know Christ as my God and Savior. Jesus forgave me of all my sin; how could I not forgive others out of that same love? I then went to the friend that wronged me and ask for his forgiveness.

Colossians 3:13: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

As I talk with people, one of the things that holds their relationship with God from a lack of intimacy is, UN-forgiveness.

What is forgiveness? It is a choice, not a feeling. You may certainly not feel like ever forgiving someone, and you may feel you have a right to not forgive them. But this, over time, turns into bitterness. The benefits of bitterness are: anger, lack of peace, not being able to trust, physical illness, emotional disorders, etc. Do you want these?

Choose to forgive as the Lord forgave you. Jesus sure didn’t feel like going to the cross for your sin. He chose to!

Forgiveness means that you choose to release anger at others or yourself; releasing all slanderous words about them; and choosing not to bring it up again. As you communicate this forgiveness with someone you have wronged, consider this; you can’t help if the person chooses not to forgive you; your part is to ask. The feelings will follow your choice.

Go to God about the situation and He will deliver, heal, and restore your hurting heart. Walk in that choice each day, knowing that you have forgiven the person and the past is done.

If you have not the strength or courage to forgive the person, remember, it’s Christ’s power and love that gives you the ability to forgive. He is waiting to hear from you.

Amen!


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