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Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

From my journal…

(God speaking to me.)

 

Every person will visit Gethsemane. Most think that it’s a place where Christ went to ask for an out with regard to betrayal, torture and death. It was something deeper than even all of that. It was that He was fully human as well as God. He had the same decision to make that every human must face: he had to forgive those who offended Him and Myself. At some point someone or several people will come into your life who will betray you, mock you, torture you and kill you either in a physical or emotional way. The temptation is payback. Whereas David expressed this request over and over in the Psalms, Christ never asked for revenge in the Garden of Gethsemane. This issue of forgiveness was so decisive in the olive grove that it poured oil even over his enemies while He looked down from the cross and asked Me, “Father. Behold My enemies. But the issue has been settled. I have forgiven them. Now, would You forgive them as they really don’t have any idea of what they are now doing.” For many of the Pharisees, witnesses and Romans, it may not have had much an effect. But for Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus and others, these words cemented the deal. What Nicodemus couldn’t understand when Jesus told him that he must be born again, he could now understand through this act of Jesus which could only be understood from the viewpoint of having been born into the Kingdom of Light. And Joseph could now confess openly that he embraced the literal sacrificial body of Christ, taking him not only into his heart but his very tomb in the perfect act of replacement. Life and death and life again. Resurrection of the body and the spirit of mankind. The power of forgiveness raises you from the dead as Jesus strips off your grave clothes. Yes, the willful decision to forgive was made in the Garden of Gethsemane. It empowered My Son through Good Friday. Make the same decision He did. You may feel as if you are sweating blood. That’s how hard the decision is. And it will be followed by a Good Friday. Remember that it IS a GOOD friday. Winter fights Spring, but Spring always wins. Go ahead and willfully forgive that one person or those many people who are forcing their way into your garden and are about to take you on a road to where you will be crucified with Christ. Your preparation in the garden will allow you to look at them and say to Me, “Father, please forgive them because they know not what they do.”

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Believe it or not, sometimes when I am tired at the end of a day, I will actually wait until the morning to get with God on a problem or sin that we have to talk over. I AM may not be sleepy, but I am. I tell Him I’m sorry, but add a “let’s wait until my eyelids aren’t being held up with toothpicks.”

So, the morning comes. I check out the beauty of the pre-dawn sky or sunrise and the sun melts my heart. It’s a new day. It’s like God says, “Look, the sun set on those sins you went to bed with last night. I know you’re sorry for them. I wiped them out while you were sleeping. They drifted into the darkness of My forgetfulness.”

Bam! It’s done and my day hasn’t started yet. Like taking your car into the mechanic early and he gets right to it and you’re out of his garage without being late for work. Sweet!

Theologically, I’m not suggesting that anyone “put off” repentance until tomorrow or even a minute later. What I’m saying is, God does have a way of using the sunrise the way I watch my weight: I’m always only one meal away from getting back on a healthy diet. The sun comes up and it truly is a clean slate: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22)

Any moment can be a sunrise in a manner of speaking. Great is His faithfulness.

I say all of that to get to this: when someone sins against me, I haven’t figured out yet how to be as quick as that mechanic… to get to repairing a relationship as quickly as God does it, or more importantly,  to poised in such a way that offenses are quickly forgiven and forgotten.

That little saying, “To forgive is divine,” is a truism. 

There were two people whom I love who had repeatedly offended me and I was thinking of how I’d act toward them when I next saw them in person. Some passing and whimsical ‘get even’ shots did pass my mind. But I will say that after my recent confession and forgiveness by the Lord at sunrise, I knew what I SHOULD do. I should be poised to forgive even before OR if they never ask. If God can forgive so fast, that means He’s ready to forgive BEFORE we ask. Why should I be any different? Because I am not divine? Oh, yea, that’s a nifty excuse, but an excuse nonetheless. 

He not only is ready to forgive, He neatly and graciously gives a sunrise, a good night’s sleep and a welcoming hand each morning as if to remind us we are never more than a few hours away from a “new day.”

His readiness and the warmth and beauty of the sunrise melted my stoney heart like butter on my morning toast. Needless to say, my attitude toward those two offenders came more into line with the way He treats me at His meals. So, I’m passing the forgiveness around His breakfast table.

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