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)


What a Loser (Psalm 146:7-9)

We all know them and have worked with at least one person that the world would label as a loser.  The world labels them this way for many reasons.  Some get this label because of their looks.  Others because of their lack of intellect get called loser.  Others who don’t seem to fit in with the norm are cast out as losers.  If we are honest with ourselves, we may have viewed some people that way.  The bad news is, we may be viewed that way by some select group of people.  With all that said, a very important question needs to be asked.  What does God think?

Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners: The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous: The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. (Psalms 146:7-9)

God is for the oppressed, the hungry, the blind, the depressed, strangers, the fatherless and widows.  In fact, you could label God as “The God of the Losers”.  Stop and think about it.  Isn’t that what you were when Christ found you?  When you cried out to Jesus for salvation, you were poor in spirit recognizing that you had nothing to offer God, your life was a mess and unless he would reach down from heaven and do a miracle, your life would be totally lost.  It was at that point that God came into your life and changed it forever.  What made it happen was a very simple formula: loser + God = fantastic salvation and a wonderful life.

Our society–many Christians included–has cast off the “losers” of this world.  They are so stuck on themselves and their agenda and could care less about the “loser” people who are hurting.  We need to make a difference and reach out to the cast aways.  We must demonstrate God’s love so that they can believe in God’s love.  Only then can they recognize that the Savior Jesus wants and accepts all that will come to him: especially those the world sees as losers.

So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. (Luke 14:21)

Miracles Start With Compassion (Mark 6:34)

Miracles performed by Jesus were always for a specific purpose. For nearly all miracles a specific connection between Jesus and people can be identified and because of this connection, the miracle was performed. In the miracle of feeding five thousand, the connection was between Jesus and the multitude and was expressed with the words “and was moved with compassion toward them.”

Because of compassion, God chooses to meet our daily needs. He does not answer prayer or supply our needs because of our standard of living or because we abstained for sin, for there is not a single person on the earth who has abstained or could abstain from sin to a measure that would please God (Romans 7:15, 18). God meets our needs because of his compassion.

We must remember that our physical, emotional and spiritual needs are met because of the compassion of God. His compassion is greater than the miracle. Create more bread and fish? Not a problem, but to overcome the effects that sinners have brought to your heart is another matter. Compassion is a by product of love and for God to love us is the greatest miracle of all.

As you read the miracle accounts, consider God and the part that his compassion plays in each act. As you consider miracles and answered prayers that have occurred in your life, praise him for those works and also for his love and compassion that motivated them.

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.

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God’s Love For Me (I John 4:9) #love of God

Recently I spoke with a man whose wife had just called to say that she was leaving him. Needless to say, he was distraught and angry. As I witnessed his hurt and anger, I asked myself, “Why do people who are supposed to love you, hurt you on purpose?” Do they really hurt you purposefully or are they doing what they want to do, but know that their actions will bring you hurt? I pondered this thought and considered my relationship with God. I do not hurt God purposefully, but I know that my sin does hurt him. When I fall to the temptation of sin, I cease regarding God and how my actions will affect him. As I am drawn away by my flesh, I am only concerned of my self.

But then, God in his mercy is willing to forgive me. Why? He has every right to act in hurt and anger, but he chooses not to. Many will say that he acts this way because of Jesus’ blood and they are right. But with his foreknowledge of how I would act, why did he still choose such a plan to enable him to be forgiving? He could rightly have said, that man’s heart is wicked and that even with being purchased from sin, adopted into his family and fellowship with himself established, he would continue to willfully sin. Therefore, I will not redeem man and instead allow him to plummet into an awful judgment. And yet, he chose not to. Why?

The only possible explanation is that God’s love for me is of greater importance to him than avoiding the hurt that I will bring because of my continual disobedience. Does anybody else love you in this manner? Do you love anyone this way? Oh, what a wonderful God we know and serve. His love is endless and because of it his mercy is renewed everyday. Stop today and ponder this wonderful love and the person who loves you with such endless love.