Three Sources for Forgiveness

Each of us have experienced wounds in our lives, which were caused by other people. Sometimes these actions were accidental and other times they were purposeful acts driven by the wicked sin nature that resides in everyone.

Freedom from these wounds can only occur through forgiveness. Forgiveness is not based on the works that a person does so as to earn it. Otherwise it would not be forgiveness, but instead the payment of debt that was met. Forgiveness means to send, to leave or to put away. When a person forgives, they are breaking the tie between themselves and the person who sinned against them. In other words, they are leaving it or letting it go.

What gives a person the ability to forgive or release someone from a debt against them? There are three sources: the source of pain, the source of mercy and the source of one’s love for God.

Countless people have been hurt by someone and after carrying the burden of hurt for so long, finally decided to forgive the offender and let the issue go from their lives. This decision resulted from their pain. It was not caused by faith or any virtue, but merely from pain and the desire to be free from the source of it.

The two other sources for forgiveness are the spiritual virtues of mercy and love. It is by these virtues that the Psalmist petitions God for forgiveness. (Psalm 51:1) Forgiving out of mercy comes from recognizing the struggle of the offender and reaching out to them in forgiveness because of it. The forgiveness is not condoning the wrong, but recognizes the person’s fallen state and releases them from personal debt because of it. Those forgiving out of the source of mercy have insight into the needs of the offender and are moved to meet that need. This type of forgiveness occurs most often among friends, family and spouses, but will also be manifested towards others by individuals filled with the Holy Spirit’s power.

The final source of power for forgiving is love for God. The pain a person has may continue to hurt and never get to the point where it moves them to forgive, let go or move on and they may never develop the insight necessary to forgive in mercy. These occasions require another motive or source for forgiving and this source is love or specifically love for God.

God, in his tender mercy, has forgiven us. It was his love that moved him to create, implement and submit to his plan for redemption. Although it would be extremely difficult and very rare for a person to forgive because they love their offender, it is possible to access this great motivation to forgive someone who has been wounded greatly. Since the greatest of qualities that a person can have is love, the same love can move a person to forgive. The difference is that the focus of love is on God and not the offender. Love for God will create a desire to be in his will, an obedience to his leading, a yielding for him to receive glory, and a submission of faith. A heart in this condition can forgive because the focus is not on the event or the offender, but on God. When they forgive, they are putting the care of the matter into the hands of a righteous and just God and are able to let go and finally leave the matter behind them. However, this love can only come about by abiding in God. When we abide in him, we as a branch tap into the vine of his strength and enable it to produce the love that can move someone who has struggled for years to finally forgive.

Forgiveness is never easy, but God has provided all that we need in order the be victorious and conquerors in life. (1 Corinthians 15:57; Romans 8:37)

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The Root and the Fruit (Rev. 22:16)

Did you ever wonder how they produce seedless grapes or make large fruit bearing trees into small ones, but yet still have them produce a large amount of fruit? In order to accomplish this, two practices are used: cross pollination and grafting.

On Father’s Day, I received a dwarf fig tree as a gift. It had the root of the fig tree, but the trunk was cut and spliced together with another tree that would grow much smaller. The end result was a short tree that produced a bunch of figs.

Spiritually speaking, God does the same. However in this case, he is the root and the fruit bearing tree.

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David… Revelation 22:16

Think about the statement, I am the root and offspring of David. Jesus is the root from which David is an offspring. Additionally Jesus is a descendent of David or a fruit that comes from David’s lineage.

Spiritually speaking, the same occurs for us. He is our root or the root of the vine (John 15) and he also is that which produces fruit in our lives. We do not produce fruit: he produces fruit in or through us. He is the root of our being and the fruit of our lives.

Everything good in our lives is really fruit produced from him. Our part is to abide in him because without him, we can do nothing. Many years I spent toiling trying to produce fruit only to recognize that I cannot. I finally came to realize that he can and will produce fruit. If I allow him, he–the root of my being–will produce the fruit of his being in me.

Praise, Honor and Glory (1 Peter 1:7)


At the seat of the new man in Christ is faith. All that man is will come from his faith. Trials are not temptations to sin, but are testing of that faith. The results of the testing of faith affect man, testify to those around them and are intended to bring praise, honor and glory to God.

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (1 Peter 1:7)

It is not our actions that bring glory to God, but instead our faith. Abstaining, performing and working may all appear to be what is expected of men, but they are not. Each of these could have a motive other than faith. Fear, shame and pride could all motivate man to strive at achieving these and the results would be nothing more than wood, hay and stubble (1 Cor. 3:12). Many have failed because they focused on producing the by products of faith instead of yielding faith to God.

Abide in the vine and you will yield the vine’s fruit. Read his word for the purpose of knowing and experiencing him. Do this so that your heart will love him more and become devoted to him. This is what is pleasing to the Lord.

Since the scriptures say, the just shall live by faith. Are you performing or abiding? The actions may appear the same: one will bring praise, honor and glory, but the other will yield shame.

What Is There to Declare? (1 John 1:1-3)



From the beginning of our salvation until now, we have heard the Lord and even seen him evident in our lives.  What is it that you have seen?  How many answered prayers have there been?  How many times has the Lord spoken to you through the scriptures.  On how many occasions has he guided you in your decisions?  Honestly speaking, we probably cannot number these occasions.  What I believe to be the best interactions with the Lord are when he encourages us.  He picks us up when we fall.  He mends our hearts when they become broken and encourages us as we live in this fallen world.  All of these instances are part of our fellowship with him and the fellowship continues as we lift our hearts to him and offer praise, thanksgiving and adoration.

As the apostles, we have a responsibility with this fellowship and that is to share it with others so that they too may fellowship with God.  We owe this responsibility to our brothers and sisters in Christ.  By doing so, we lead them from where they are in their fellowship and relationship with God to where we are.  It is the mature believer teaching the younger.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)

With these thoughts, we must ask ourselves a few questions.  Have I been having fellowship with the Lord?  We know that we have in the past, but in recent days has there been fellowship?  If you were to share a fellowship experience with someone, how far back would you need to reach?

Another question would be: have I shared my fellowship experiences with others?  Our lives are like plants bearing fruit and seed.  The fruit of the Spirit is what our lives should produce because of fellowship and the seed within the fruit comes from us sharing our fellowship experiences with others.

So, what should we do with this fellowship?  Share it at work.  Share it at home: even blog it on the media, but whatever you do, share it.  By doing so, others may begin to experience the wonderful relationship with God that he so longs to have with them.

Fruit With Patience (Luke 8:15)



Recently, I posted online a picture of a tomato plant from my garden.  Hanging from that plant in mid-June were a few golf ball sized tomatoes.  My caption, “Come on” were my words of anticipation for the delicious fruit to get here.  In order to get to this point, it took a great deal of time.  I first prepared the soil and planted the seeds in little cups.  Throughout April and early May, I nurtured the plants with water and exposure to the sun.  Around Mothers’ day, they were planted in the ground followed by pruning, watering and weeding.  In all, it should take about 10 weeks before I will get the fruit that I desire.  Fruit just takes time.

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)

It also takes time to produce the fruit of God.  It is easy to make fruit that shows on the outside and you can do it in no time at all, but it might not really be fruit.  Change your clothes, change your hair, you can even change your words and the places your feet may take you.  However, true fruit takes time and first begins on the inside of the believer and like any fruit bearing plant, it will take time to grow.  It begins with a seed of truth from God’s word.  If we yield to it, it will begin to grow.  Each day, we will need to keep or guard this truth in our hearts.  As we do, the early signs of fruit will begin to show: much like my small green tomatoes.  Over time, the truth will become a habit that we have put on.  If you continue the process, you will grow and your fruit will yield 30, 60 and even 100 fold. (Mark 4:8)

Your Life’s Garden (Psalm 128:1-2)

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Each year, I set out to have a garden and sometime late in the winter, I begin to plan what I want to grow. I plant the seeds for tomatoes in March and nurture them until early May when I plant them in the ground. Much work goes into weeding and pruning the plants, but in the later part of July, I begin to eat the fruit of my labors. What a time to enjoy. There are others who attempt the same, but because of their lack of knowledge in gardening or because of inconsistent labor, their yield of fruit is disappointing.

This is much like our spiritual lives in that we eat the fruit of our labors. Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. (Psalms 128:1-2)

Instead of planning, planting and cultivating, we need to fear The Lord. Our fear of The Lord will affect our walk and lead us to follow his ways. The bounty that comes from these two is that we will eat the fruit of our labors, which will cause us to be happy and life will be good.

However in contrast, if we fail to fear The Lord and to walk in his ways, we also will eat the fruit of our labors. We also will fail to find happiness and life will not be good. The decision is ours and by whatever decision we choose to live, we shall eat the fruit of our labors. We may try to blame the undesirable fruit that we are forced to eat on God, circumstances or other people, but the gardener in our garden is us.

If you have weeds in your life’s garden, pull them up. Turn your heart away from your way and seek The Lord. Fear him and walk in his ways. The fruit that you yield will definitely be worth it.

If you would like to read more of these thoughts in a hard copy format, my new book is now available at the link below.

https://www.createspace.com/4441566

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Fruits of Righteousness (Philippians 1:11)

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:11)

Have you ever felt that you cannot live the Christian life? Do you see yourself as inadequate in being able to respond to life’s problems in a spiritual manner? If so, you are right where God wants you to be.

Many believe that living the Christian life is accomplished by making up your mind to live for Christ and then do it. It may sound right, but it is far from the truth. Years ago in a bible college class, I heard a young man present an assignment on sanctification. In short, his message contained two thoughts: “I am sanctified positionally in my relationship with God. This is God’s part. Sanctifying me practically (or lifestyle) is my part.” So he believed that his position in Christ was done by God, but his work at living more holy was done by him. How far from the truth this is. It is God who sanctifies me positionally and also makes me holy. Without him, I can do nothing and will be nothing.

This passage declares that the fruit of righteousness, which God wants to see in our lives, comes by Jesus Christ. If you are at the point in your life where you recognize that you cannot live the Christian life, you are at a good point. You will only come to Christ for him to perform your practical sanctification after you have recognized your inability to accomplish it. God wants to sanctify your life and as a result receive all glory and praise.

I have a saying that I would share with people as I presented the gospel. I would tell them, “You need to stop trying and start trusting.” They needed to stop trying to get to heaven and start trusting Jesus. Along the same lines, we need to stop trying to be holy and allow Jesus to perform the work in us that we cannot do. If I do it, I am only making the outside of the cup clean, but if Jesus sanctifies my life, I will be changed from the inside out.

Ask yourself, “The fruit that people see, is it my fruit or Jesus’?”

If you would like to read more of these thoughts in a hard copy format, my new book is now available at the link below.

https://www.createspace.com/4441566