Last weekend I spoke from Matt. 18 about a King who forgave a man an astronomical debt simply out of compassion. But the man went out and refused to let another man who owed him only a little off the hook. The king heard about and threw him in prison to be tortured. Jesus said, “So shall my heavenly Father do to each of you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
That is some tough stuff huh? Jesus often said hard things.
Hey have you ever just sat and meditated on how much you have done wrong in your life?
Today, I have an awareness of the enormous mountain of sin that has been in my life even since I was a little child (even yesterday!). It must be so repulsive to Him. Some of the choices I have made in my life must have just broken His heart. Some, I’m sure have made Him furious! Our Father has been moved with compassion and absorbed our gigantic debt. His broken heart and fury over our sin has been dealt with at the expense of His only Son and our King-Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT) “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
The sacrifice of Jesus must at some point brake my heart. Not just because He suffered, but because it was because of my deliberate sinful choices that caused Him to suffer.
I believe the reason that some people don’t find forgiveness in their heart for others is because they don’t have any. You have got to have some to give some. If I truly believe this good news of forgiveness and receive it, I find it so much easier to release others from my little prison cells I have built in my mind for them. In light of the things that I have done throughout the course of my life, that God has truly forgiven (by hurting Jesus), how can I not find it in my heart to forgive others for hurting me?
The reason people can’t find it in their heart is because of unbelief. They simply have not truly and thoroughly received the unbelievable forgiveness that God offers.The only other option is not forgive. I hold on to the offence. I keep my debtor in prison (my mind). I get to relive it over and over in my mind. Sounds like torture to me. And that is exactly what it is.
The reason many find themselves returning to the same place of relational brokenness again and again is because we are doing a life sentence with the torturers. They will be with us for the long haul if we cannot find it in our hearts to forgive from our hearts those who have hurt us.
You might say, “I can’t afford to forgive that”. That’s right you can’t. This kind of forgiveness is too expensive for people like me and you. But God our wealthy King is “rich in mercy” and will give you all you need and more.
Freely you have received, freely give.