The Power of Forgiveness
Luke 6:37: Don't judge others, and you will not be judged (by your Father). Do not condemn others, and you will not be condemned (by your Father). Forgive others, and you will be forgiven (by your Father).
Have you ever been really angry at someone and you were not able to just let it go? It's the kind of anger or resentment that gets a hold of you and takes root --you just can't shake it. You try to rationalize what was done to you, and search your heart for a glimmer of forgiveness, but "that thing" they did or said, the way they disrespected you or hurt your feelings, you just can't get it out of your mind. And, over time "that thing" becomes a much bigger issue than it ever actually was at the time of the offense. Well, if you want to "get over it", you just give it over to God and start practicing His word!
How many times have you prayed the Lord's prayer and spoken the words "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Sounds familiar doesn't it? If these words are true, and we know the word of God is true, then we have to take God at His word and forgive those who trespass against us in order to be forgiven of our sins too. Who made us the judge of all mankind? That is the job of our heavenly Father! And, rather than judge us and condemn us, the Father has loved us so much that He gave His only Son for us. That tells us a lot about the character of God. He seeks not our destruction, but to love us and draw us close to Him. And, He loves our enemies the way He loves us. He holds no offense toward us no matter how many times we sin or disappoint Him, as long as we repent of our sins and ask His forgiveness. If you love God, then you know His purpose is to mold us into His character and to teach us how to draw others close to Him.
Matthew 5: 43-48: You have heard it said that you should, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But, instead I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. In this, you may be sons of your Father in heaven. Your Father causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and Your Father sends rain on the righteous, and the unrighteous too. What good is it for you to only love those who love you. What reward does that bring? . . And if you greet only your brothers (and those you hold in esteem), (are you doing anything special for the Father?) Even pagans can love those who love them. . . Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Allow your character to be molded in His image.)
If you are living with unforgiveness in your heart, then you are living in sin to God. But, if you can repent of your sin, ask for His forgiveness, and release your enemies into the loving care of the Lord, then you too can experience the healing power of His forgiveness in your life. Let the love of the Lord cleanse your body, soul, mind and spirit of unforgiveness and sin, and experience the peace of the Lord once again!
When you release your enemies to the Lord, you are releasing them into His care, where He can draw them close to Him and do a good work in their lives. Just as the Lord does not seek our destruction when we sin against Him, He also does not seek the destruction of our enemies. If you know the character of God, you know that He loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son that we would have life, and have it more abundantly. His desire is to mold us into His character, and to mold our enemies into His character as well. In doing this, He draws us all near to Him. He also knows that you must show love to recieve love. He knows that hate begets hate among those who do not reflect His character, and so it is His desire to draw us all close to Him where He can show us His love and use us to wins souls for the Kingdom of Heaven and all His righteousness.
Matthew 6:14: If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Pray this prayer (or one like it) to repent of unforgiveness, release your enemies to God and recieve forgiveness from the Father:
"Father please forgive me for I have sinned against you. I have harbored anger toward my enemies, become frustrated with your timing, and questioned why I was allowed to be treated poorly when You know and see all things. My anger was not only directed toward my enemies, but also toward You. So I repent of my sin with all of my heart and ask for Your forgiveness. Thank You for showing me a facet of Your character that I had not known before. Forgiveness is a mighty gift You have given each of us, and I release myself and my enemies over to Your loving care since I know that You are our only judge. I am not worthy to judge my enemy, but you Lord can search the heart of a man and know its full depths. I pray You do a good work in my life through the power of your forgiveness, that You do a good work in the life of my enemies and those who I feel have wronged me, and also those who I have harbored unforgiveness toward. I release them into your loving care, and pray you draw them close to You. Use them as a mighty witness of your love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. I seek not their destruction, but that you claim them as your own. Thank you Heavenly Father in Jesus' precious name!"
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