Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us

Wednesday's Word

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us



The concept of forgiveness is one of the most popular teachings from The Word of God. It's clear to see that the underlying concept of redemption and reconciliation, which is the core of The Gospel Message, proceeds directly from forgiveness.
Even people who don't identify themselves as Christian, still feel that they have a pretty good understanding of the Christian duty of forgiveness. Herein lies the problem: We have to be careful to continue growing IN the Word and not just "close" to It. The enemy tries to cover all bases. For those who can easily get stuck in unforgiveness, he's there for that. However, for the rest of us, he isn't trying to sell us a message of UNFORGIVENSS, he's trying to sell us a counterfeit version which, to the naked eye, looks authentic. Once you leave the Bible and start leaning to your own(or other's) understanding, you begin accepting this counterfeit and redefining God's Word. Follow that trail and you're basically rethinking God.
This is a major issue in our day: The world has created a kindler, gentler God by failing to emphasize ideas that don't fit the mold. Sadly, these new ideas never really take hold, they just either make things more confusing or find us in a place of negligence. These new ideas persist because like many other aspects of righteousness, the truly biblical concept of forgiveness doesn't come naturally or easy.

Last week we talked about asking for forgiveness and how that takes humility. This next concept is directly joined to the first. We humbly ask for forgiveness knowing full well of our propensity to not only miss God's standard, but also in recognition of our bend to seek our own way. This is WHY we forgive but HOW we forgive is a different matter:

Here's The Word;

Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Luke 17:13 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,

Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

The newly defined idea of forgiveness would say - 'forgive and forget'. Chalk it up as a loss in the Name of Christ. Whatever he stole is temporal anyway right? Free yourself from holding a grudge - loose him and let him go. If you try to confront this thief with the idea of stealing, you obviously have no understanding of forgiveness.
I would say that this counterfeit version is also too easy - It may seem hard to try and forgive when the pain is fresh and the hurting is real but still it's dismissive. You remove yourself, go lick your wounds and try to not wish death on them. THIS Biblical forgiveness says to be involved with this person, care enough to get past your hurt and try to help them become better.

See how the counterfeit is revealed when placed side-by-side to The Authentic?
Yes, we need to be prepared, willing and in great anticipation for "wiping the slate clean".
No, we're not supposed to seek retribution. Yes, we need to hold onto many things in this life with a light grip. However, don't miss an opportunity to give God glory by upholding His standard and offering someone a chance to learn from a situation in the hopes that God can use it as a ripple-effect. There is the real possibility that with this option, you do run the risk that the offender may have no interest in having anything to do with helping others which can be problematic as far as 'what to do next' in the name of forgiveness, but that's also to be left in God's hands. This isn't a message of confrontation, but one of properly appropriated forgiveness and restoration.

Don't circumvent the system. People need to see where they really are and that's done by emphasizing, affirming and encouraging where they're right just as much as correcting them and sharpening them in areas where they need work.
This is how God is with us; We confess, repent and then see what He does

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Forgiveness is not passive dismissal. After forgiving us, He moves on to making us better. Remember, the full message of mercy and forgiveness as the Bible teaches carries a sort of quid pro quo with it. How you do such and such determines how such and such is done back to you. SO remember, it's a beautiful thing to show mercy and kindness but it's also a very loving thing to put for the effort to help someone grow even through uncomfortable circumstances and you would want that kind of love shown to you. Let the true message of The Gospel permeate deeply into your spirit and understand how to lovingly forgive those who trespass against us.

In Him,
Cros

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