Issue #190

Forgiveness is ever so special particularly when someone forgives me for the hurt I may have caused them or for when I am less than sensitive to their needs or feelings. It sure is a weight off my mind when forgiveness comes my way and when relationships have been restored to normal. Forgiveness and grace is at the center of the Christian faith. Where would we be if we did not have a gracious and forgiving heavenly Father? We would be lost and facing His righteous judgement. How blessed we are to be the recipients of the love of God who sent His own Son to be a sacrifice for us! Forgiveness is beautiful beyond words!

I have been reflecting on Jesus’ teaching on the Lord’s Prayer. He suggests that we should pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name … Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we have forgiven those who sin against us …” Have you noticed that in the very next verse He teaches, “For if you forgive when others sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive you!” Now there is something to think about! We all struggle with forgiving others who hurt us … yet we are told to forgive them … regardless!

Someone once said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you!” As we consider the moving account of the sinful woman and Jesus this morning I hope and pray that you will truly see the wonder and blessing of forgiveness … of being forgiven yourself as well as experiencing the joy of forgiving those who have offended you! Sadly, there are too many Christians who find it difficult to forgive others and yet they expect to have their many sins forgiven! It could be a brother or sister, parent, relative, friend, work colleague or fellow Christian. It doesn’t matter … we are to forgive … and when we do, we will be blessed with freedom … freedom from bitterness and unforgive- ness. Ask God to reveal to you who you need to forgive so that you can become liberated and be more and more like Jesus who delights in forgiving wretched sinners!