By His Grace: Is our Heart in right standing with Christ?
‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Today’s message deals with the matter of the heart of forgiveness. You may ask, “Has the subject not been covered in previous messages?” Yes.
Unfortunately, many have perished, subject to eternal damnation in hell all due to unforgiveness prior to natural death. Oftentimes, the person who they were angry with either no longer recalled the offense or never knew why there was hostility to begin with.
It is vital not to dismiss this subject that makes all the difference between eternal life and death. It is for the benefit of us all to continue this topic when sharing the word of God until all have a full understanding of its ultimate meaning.
The word “forgive” appears throughout the Bible in both the New and Old Testament as a direct commandment for a reason. To assure you are in right standing with God when it comes to the matter of the heart. Many view forgiveness on our part as a personal choice. Not so.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Too often many believe highly in their rights when wronged; never considering turning the other cheek in the manner of forgiveness.
How often have you heard, “Why must I forgive? I did nothing wrong." Or, “How many times must I forgive a person?”
Answer: If you forgive others the wrongs, they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Not to forgive an offense of past or present separates you from the Father in Heaven. God is love and he sent his only son out of love as atonement for our sins from which our forgiveness and salvation from the Father derives. What right then do you and I must not sincerely forgive from this very place of love? As followers of Christ, we are to be the example for which he has set before us.
I once heard of a dream of young lady who learned where her eternal resting place would be if she too did not forgive.
How many know the Lord will use dreams to give warnings, gaining our full attention to areas of our life we believed was all well?
What was dreamed drastically changed her life. Allow me to share.
The dream went like this. The young lady dreamed she and her family were raised into heaven in the rapture. Each member of her family was granted eternal life in heaven except her. She was confused and begins to plead her case before the Lord while unsuccessfully explaining she tried to live a righteous life, sharing all she had done in the name of Jesus. Not to boast about her good works. But she sincerely believed there had to be a mistake in this final judgment.
The Lord made known he was fully aware of how she lived her life as a believer of Christ. It was not the lifestyle that caused the final verdict it was the matter of the heart of unforgiveness. It was revealed she was hurt deeply by a loved one and though she verbally said she forgave, deep within her heart there was found unforgiveness. It was this that separated her from the love and glory of God for eternity.
The young lady awoke from her dream very distraught. On bended knees she went before the Lord in repentance. Immediately she addresses the matter with the other person. And when the opportunity arises to share her testimony with others, she does so to prevent the same happening to them before it is too late.
“A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.”
Let not your heart convict you before Christ due to unforgiveness. Love covers and heal all wounds if allowed. As followers of Jesus, we are commanded to love one another as he so loves us. For it is written, “We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
To love like God, a relationship must be established through his son, Jesus. The time draws near for our return to our soon-coming king. Time is becoming increasingly short to make what will be the most important decision in your life. If you are ready for a relationship with the Lord, or would like to renew it, allow me to extend an invitation to experience his unconditional love for you. By your own free will you accept Christ as Lord and Savior. The choice is yours.
Please repeat this prayer: "Lord Jesus, forgive 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: Colossians 3:12-14 NIV (Verse 13, Mark 11:25, Verse 14, Eph. 4:3); Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV (Verse 31, Col. 3:8, Titus 3:3); Matthew 18:21 (Luke 7:4); Proverbs 21:2 NIV (Luke 16:15); 1 John 4:19-21 (Verse 19, V10). To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse. Cross references in parentheses ().
-- Edith Nevis can be reached at 857-2200 or at email@example.com.