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By His Grace: The harvest of love reaps forgiveness

Edith Nevis

“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.”

Praise the Lord!

Edit Nevis

Often we come to a place in life where forgiveness toward one another or even oneself can be difficult. The question frequently asked is, “Why should I give in, forgive; I did nothing wrong?” The answer is simple: “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Forgiveness deals directly with the heart of man. It requires the willingness to change our perspectives on the offense. Show mercy. Pardon the individual from blame. Is this not what our Lord did when he took our sins upon Himself?

“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.”

Does it always seem fair?

Does another have the right to cause harm?

In no way am I condoning mistreatment of any kind. Address what has grieved you with one or more witnesses while openly declaring you do not give permission to be ill-treated in any way. Remember always to allow room for the love of God to have its way in every situation.

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”

Once past mistakes have been sincerely forgiven, do not rehearse the matter any longer in your heart, mind or words.

Then He adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

What happens when the offense — be it physical, emotional, mental or otherwise — continues to persist? You then have the right to distance yourself from that individual and situation. Continue to pray for them as you walk in love when doing so.

Don’t let pride have its way in your heart when it comes to forgiveness.

“In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”

A prideful heart shows little mercy and grace toward the accused. By its reasoning, it is right and just to remain angry and even bitter. God’s love covers all sins when we repent. As believers in and followers of Christ, we are called to extend the same toward others who apologize and seek forgiveness.

Out of forgiveness, love, which can be contagious, is sure to follow.

Forgiveness accompanies grace and mercy, restores relationships, heals emotional wounds, has a positive effect on one’s health, extends godly love toward others and so much more.

Let’s not leave out forgiveness for oneself. Too many in today’s society are struggling with forgiveness for past mistakes. This causes an individual to feel unworthy of God’s love. God’s love has no limits. He loves you unconditionally and as you are. When you read the Old and New Testament, you will find many such as Noah, Moses and Paul the Apostle who made mistakes in life. Did this prevent the Lord from loving them or choosing them?

We are no different than those before us. Receive the love of God that came through the Son of Man. Plant a seed of forgiveness and mercy, and reap a harvest of love.

Allow me to extend an invitation to experience His love. Allow Him a moment of your time to change you from the inside out into His marvelous image of love.

By your own free will, you accept Christ as Lord and Savior. This will be the most important declaration you will make. Do not allow this moment to pass; tomorrow is not promised.

When you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. This has nothing to do with religion and all to do with a relationship. It is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Please repeat this prayer: "Lord Jesus, forgive me of my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my Lord and Savior from this day forward. In Jesus' name, amen."

Welcome into the family of Christ.

May the lord keep you and bless you continuously. Shalom, go in peace.

Bible references: Micah 7:18 NIV; Matthew 6:15 NIV; Acts 13:38-39 NIV; 1 Peter 4:8 NLT; Hebrews 10:17 ESV; Psalm 10:4 NIV. To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse.

Edith Nevis can be reached at 857-2200 or at enevis@gannett.com.