Choosing to Forgive

Forgiveness. Repaying evil for good. Being set free of those things that are holding you back from the life that God has planned for you.

At Resurrection Life Church, one of the physical churches I’m a part of, we’ve been learning about forgiveness, “To Forgive or Not Forgive.” We’re learning about Joseph and how he forgave his brothers for what they did to him. He had the power to kill them or at least get even with him and instead he chose to forgive them and provided for them. (Genesis 37-50)

Today we learned that Joseph is a good picture of what God did for us. We rejected him but yet he died on the cross and invites all of us, even his worst enemies, to live with him forever. All we have to do is realize that we are sinners, ask for forgiveness, change our lifestyle and live for him. He gives us the gift of eternal life, is willing to do life with us everyday, forgives us when we mess up, and helps us back on our feet when we fall. Jesus could choose to punish us and kill us, this is what we deserve, but instead he chooses to forgive and love us.

We are given the opportunity to be like Jesus, not only to choose eternal life with him one day, but we can forgive others just like He has forgiven us; and like Joseph forgave his brothers.

I don’t know about you but for myself I know that there are things I’m hanging onto, people I need to forgive, things in the past that I need to let go of. John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” For us to have that life to the fullest we need to forgive and let go. Satan wants us to hold onto it and destroy our life, but we can be free. James 4:7-8a says “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

If there are things you are holding onto, people that you need to forgive, you can be free today. This week I’m going to work on praying for those I need to forgive, those who have hurt me, asking God to help me forgive them and let go. I invite you to join me in this, working toward freedom and on to having life to the fullest.

Submit to God, resist the devil, be like Joseph and Jesus and choose  to forgive.

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Posted on June 13, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. If I have learned one thing in my personal walk with Christ, it is to keep short accounts. Just as my horizontal fellowship with people is dependent on my vertical fellowship with God, my vertical fellowship with God can by hindered by my lack of horizontal fellowship with other believers. Paul says about love, “It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

    Have you ever noticed that it is easy to forgive children? As parents, we love our children whole-heartedly. We realize their inexperience and immaturity. We expect them to sometimes be rude and inconsiderate. We know that is part of growing up. We discipline them but we always forgive them because they belong to us and we love them.

    The Lord wants us to have that same attitude when our “brother sins.” Because he is a “brother,” he is God’s child. The father has limitless forgiveness for him. Paul said in Eph.4:32, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.”

    –Richard

    • I’m confused about the horizontal and vertical fellowship thing Richard. The second paragraph I get though! I agree about forgiving children, they are typically easy to forgive at least when young. Sometimes it’s hard to forgive when you know they know what was right and wrong or when the other person really hurt you. Thanks for the reminder to forgive just as Christ has forgiven me..good verse. 🙂

  2. Joseph is such a wonderful foreshadowing of Jesus. I didn’t realize this (in like 50 years) until I was re-reading the story maybe 6 months ago and I recognized him — or should I say I recognized HIM? It’s so amazing how the entire Old Testament points to Jesus; paints us a picture of Him. Understanding that Jesus really meant it when He said to the Pharisees, “The scriptures testify of Me” makes following the OT a lot more enlightening and a lot easier.

    Blessings, Cindy

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