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Forgiven and Forgiving

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Forgive today, and Jesus promises that you will truly know what it is to be forgiven!

‘And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your father in heaven may forgive you your sins.’ (Mark 11:25)

Just how much do we appreciate God’s forgiveness? Asked that question ‘in a vacuum’, all of us would no doubt come up with the right answer, even if we found it hard to find words that were adequate to explain it. Of course, not only is it hard to sometimes put our appreciation into words, it is often hard to put into practice too. That is why Jesus said that one very tangible measure of how much we really appreciate God’s forgiveness is how forgiving we ourselves are towards others.

Jesus taught that there is simply no place in our lives for anger or judgmental attitudes towards others who are simply as flawed as us; no place for feelings of hurt, injury, or resentment towards others who have wronged us; no place for clinging on to old wounds and grievances. For, if we have truly understood and received forgiveness ourselves, anger will be replaced by affection. Left to our own resources, of course, this is quite impossible; but we are not left alone – God has promised us his grace.

The truth is, it can be sometimes be hard to find the grace to live like this, however – especially when people have hurt us. But this is the very point at which this teaching needs to be implemented! Anyone can believe it in the comfort of a sermon or in the theoretical setting of a group discussion. But God wants us to implement it in life – at the very moment when it is hard to do! For that is the every moment at which his promises work!

God’s grace to forgive can be found, for God has promised it in his word – and it can be found by you today as you take God at his word and ask him to help you let go of your hurt and offense (which, after all, is only an expression of pride). Forgive today, and Jesus promises that you will truly know what it is to be forgiven!

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14)

Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

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