Complete Forgiveness


             “Take heed to yourselves.  If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he sins against you seven times in a day and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him” (Luke 17: 3-4.)               


             Jesus warned of the danger of unforgiveness; it is dangerous to not forgive, because God’s forgiveness of our sins is dependent upon our forgiveness those who have sinned against us.  He said, “But if you do not forgive, your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins.”  How many times is a person obligated to forgive another?  Jesus used the number seven because in the Hebrew culture it was symbolic of completeness; a disciple of Christ is obligated to forgive an infinite amount of times.  Since the beginning of creation men and women have been running to God to ask Him for forgiveness.  Not a single person who has ever asked Him has been denied; we must do as our Father does.  (In this scripture there are also two persons who must take action; the sinner, and the one who has been sinned against.  The one who has been harmed must confront the one who has harmed them.  In turn, the one who has sinned is obligated to repent and ask for forgiveness.  [Note:  Even if the other person doesn’t repent, it is good for a true believer to forgive them completely.  While Jesus hung on the cross the religious leaders teased him; they were not repentant, but Jesus said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”  We have our example in Christ.])

             Some months ago, I discovered that my car had been vandalized; the stereo had been stolen along with a $150 watch, and a small MP3 player.  After realizing what had happened I was very angry.  But my heart was immediately in communication with God.  The Holy Spirit revealed to me that God had forgiven me of so many sins that I had no right to refuse to forgive the vandals.  A warm feeling came over me, and the anger was swept away like a grain of sand caught in the flow of a mighty river.  I prayed that their lives would be transformed and that they would come to know Jesus Christ; since then I have never wished them any harm.

             To what extent should we forgive others; Jesus has taught us that we should be like him, and forgive all those who need to be forgiven.  We who have been forgiven of so much, have no right to withhold forgiveness from others.  Search your heart; if you know of anyone you haven’t forgiven, you need to forgive them.  You may also need to confront them, and give them the opportunity to repent and ask to be forgiven (follow the leading of The Spirit.)  May the Lord show you any resentment you are harboring, and may He give you the strength to let go of your hatred in favor of forgiveness.

             “Lord Heavanly Father, we come to You and ask for Your forgiveness for all of the sins we have committed.  We desire to be like You, and to forgive like You.  Help us to forgive others from our hearts.  If there is anyone that we have not forgiven, we ask that You reveal it to us now, and help us to be obediant  to You in confronting them of their sin if You so desire; and help us to let go of any hatred we are clinging too.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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