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Posts Tagged ‘Mark 11:25’

Prayer and God’s Forgiveness

March 7th, 2014

“Our Father . . forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive . .” Matthew 6:12 TEV.

For good or bad, you get what you give, but in multiplied measure.

My thoughts and comments today are about “prayer and God’s forgiveness.”

Thus far in our study of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), we have examined, “The Pattern and Practice of Prayer,” “Prayer and God’s Sovereignty,” “Prayer and God’s Kingdom,” and “Prayer and God’s Providence.” Prayer also involves the practice of receiving and extending forgiveness.

Living without forgiveness results in soul-damaging condemnation, a heavy burden you were never meant to bear. Who has not needed to be forgiven by God and man? The Bible is clear; “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” See Romans 3:23-26 NKJV. This truth offers bad news and good. We all need to be forgiven; we all need to forgive. See Mark 11:25 NIV.

Here’s how the process works: conviction of sin, confession of sin, cleansing from sin, or condemnation due to sin. “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” See 1 John 1:8-10 NKJV. Be warned. If confession is not made, the Accuser imposes condemnation which worsens as confession is delayed. David suffered greatly when he failed to deal with his sin. His testimony is: “When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable . . Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me . . Create in me a pure heart, O God.”  Psalm 32:1-5/51:1-4/10-12 NIV.

In Jesus’ model prayer, He taught, “When you pray, say, ‘Our Father . . forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.’” Matthew 6:12 TEV. The word, “wrongs,” is correctly and variously translated as, “debts or sins.” Elaborating further on His words, Jesus said specifically, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matt 6:14-15 NIV. Whether described as debts, sins, or wrongdoing, they come large and small.

Forgiving is neither optional nor easy, but is essential for spiritual health and growth. The measure and nature of your treatment of others determine what comes back to you – from others and from God. “Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. If you give, you will receive. [What you give] will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving – large or small – it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” Luke 6:37-38 NLT. Let me simplify Jesus’ words, “For good or bad, you get what you give, but in multiplied measure.” Unforgiveness of others is an unkindness you impose on yourself. Read Matthew 18:22-35 NIV.

The ability to forgive others flows from your experience of lavish, unmerited forgiveness from God. “In Him we have . . the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding . . Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” Ephesians 1:7-8/4:32 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that you will embrace and extend God’s forgiveness.

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Love and Forgiveness

March 29th, 2013

“We have redemption through His blood, [and] the forgiveness of sins.” Ephesians 1:7 NKJV.

Without a selfless act of forgiveness, you are imprisoned by an inescapable past.

My thoughts and comments today are about “love and forgiveness.”

Who has not been wronged, whether slightly or severely? And who has not done wrong against God or man? Life is not livable without forgiveness and forgiving; the burden of your wrong, or the wrong of another, eventually becomes too great to bear apart from forgiveness. Without a selfless act of forgiveness, you become imprisoned by an inescapable past. See Mark 11:25 NIV/Colossians 3:13-15 NIV/ Matthew 6:14-15 NIV.

It is not forgiveness with which we struggle; it is love that is our challenge. Love demands more from you. Love keeps no score of wrongs . . bears all things . . endures all things . . love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. With love, sacrifice is less burdensome; inconvenience not worth mention. Forgiveness comes without measurement of wrong or deservedness. The one who chooses to forgive accepts the price and pain of the errors of another.

Good Friday is about immeasurable love. Jesus, who had done no wrong (See 2 Corinthians 5:21), took your sins, accepted your place before the righteousness of God, paid the awful price of your sin, and felt the pain for every sin and wrong you committed or will commit (Matthew 27:46). The worst of which every person is capable was embraced on a cross, the instrument of our Savior’s death.

His cross represents the worst of sins but also the greatest of loves. He forgave you there because of love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17 NIV.

On that cross, your history and destiny were forever changed. “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us . . that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.” Read Ephesians 1:7-12 NKJV. No one has to remain as they have been.

It was a Good Friday indeed, because hope was born there for anyone who would believe. Read 1 John 1:9-10 NIV. Author Max Lucado wrote, “Jesus would rather go to Hell for you, than to go to Heaven without you.” What do you do with a God like that? You can’t just dismiss Him. Instead, you humbly bow before Him, accept His forgiveness, and live your life for Him.

“[Christ] presented Himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready . . We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” Romans 5:7-8 MSG. Imagine; God put His life on the line for you!

Recipients of such grace and love, why do we struggle to forgive? Here is the application. You cannot leave the wrongs of another unforgiven, when yours have been so freely and fully forgiven. The Bible says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God in Christ forgave you.” See Ephesians 4:29-32 NKJV. Love is at its best when forgiving.

My prayer for you this day is that you know God’s immeasurable and wondrous love.

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Emotional U-turns

May 27th, 2010

“Please . . settle your disagreement.” Philippians 4:2 NLT

“A disagreement is not more important than the person with whom you disagree.”

My thoughts today are about “emotional U-turns.”

Disagreements are not hard to come by. They seem to come by every time you turn around. And I am often amazed at the silly things many of my disagreements were about. And even when a disagreement – especially with a friend – is about a more serious difference between you, ask yourself if the disagreement is really more important to you than the person with whom you disagree. That honest comparison puts everything in a much different perspective usually. You can always have your own way, if you don’t care to have anyone else is in your life.

I remember a time some years ago when I felt slighted and disrespected by a long-time friend over a decision disregarding my wishes. I nursed and justified my feelings, wanting little contact with my friend. After too long and enough emotional distance from the incident, I realized that I missed our friendship and my life felt less without the company and communication of that friend. I was not very proud of the direction our friendship had taken over the now not-so-important disagreement. I had wasted time; I needed to turn around and go to my friend.

You know what a U-turn is; it’s a 180 degree turn from the direction you were going to the opposite direction that you should be going. The longer you continue away from a meaningful relationship, the further you go and the harder it is to come back. Sometimes business partnerships, friendships, families, and even marriages are strained – maybe shattered – by too many simple, continuing disagreements. When you are going in a wrong direction and you know it, stop and turn around for God’s sake and others.

When an issue is allowed to become more important to you than a person or friendship, that seldom will be right. At such a time, you need to make en emotional U-turn. You will be a better and happier person for doing so. Disagreements start simply enough. Somebody said something; somebody did something; somebody didn’t say or do the acceptable thing that results in a disagreement where someone just walks away. Reconciliation always requires one person to make an emotional U-turn for the sake of the relationship.

Paul was appealing to two special ladies – Euodia and Syntyche – in the church at Philippi. Both were valued friends and had worked together alongside of Paul. Some unspecified disagreement had caused a rift between them, and inevitably a problem in the church. Paul pleads with each of them, “Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement.” Philippians 4:2 NLT. Someone needed to make a relational U-turn for the sake of the Gospel.

The Bible says to settle your disagreements, When you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins also . . If you are offering a sacrifice to God and remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice . .  go and be reconciled to that person; then come offer your sacrifice to God. Settle matters quickly.” Mark 11:25 NLT/Matthew 5:23-25 NLT. Reconciliation is always God’s way to go, whoever is right or wrong.

My prayer for you today is that you value true agreement more than differences.

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