Luke 23:24 (NASB) But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
That was Jesus praying for us, asking God to forgive us even after He was crucified. How many of you would be able to stay nailed to a cross and ask God to forgive those who put you there?
There has been a rise lately of preachers who preach to keep their reputations. They preach of God’s love, grace, mercy and forgiveness but put little emphasis on the way we should live our lives. It could be because they don’t want to offend anyone or they want more converts by telling people that Jesus will make their life better, but in fact they convert people who don’t live according to God’s will after their conversion, because they were taught only part of the Bible.
Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in his second letter, 2 Timothy 4:3 (NASB) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.
Now that that is out of the way, I wish to say a few words that Jesus once said. It may rebuke some or hurt others, but to those who wish to hear the words of Jesus, be blessed, God sees your desire to live a righteous life, so He will guide you further!
Yes God does love us! Yes God does have mercy on us, and yes God does forgive us… but only if we forgive others.
Matthew 6:14, 15 (NASB) “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”
This verse is referring to us believers. Note; the “Father”; we are all sons of God if we love Him and do His will, that would mean other believers are our brothers and sisters. These words brothers and sisters are for you!
This verse is quite simple and straightforward, needing absolutely no explanation. If there was an easy way to explain a topic, that would have been the way.
Have you got someone that you haven’t forgiven? Have you got someone that you are not comfortable with, is there tension between you? What has he/she done wrong and why is it his/her fault? I challenge you this week to go and make peace with that person/s.
You may say that you don’t need to, maybe God will forgive that person, but I challenge you, follow God’s heart, God loves! Please make peace!
I am about to say something that may sound absurd, so keep reading.
Matthew 5:24 (NASB) Leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
Verse 23 above that says that “if you are presenting your offering…”
It is our duty and desire to worship God, to bring our offering (songs, good deeds, acts of worship) to God. But God will not accept our religious acts if we have not been reconciled with our brother or neighbour, Jesus in these verses tells us to leave the offering at the altar. I can see some resemblance between this and Cain and Abel’s offering; what good is an offering with dirty hands (spiritually speaking)? God will not accept it. We cannot sin all week then sing on Sunday’s, God won’t accept that. And un-forgiveness is a sin. Should we not love others with the love that Christ had for us; even until death… death on a cross?
This topic may be a bit hard on some, but better to be rebuked by God on earth, now, instead of on judgement day when we get sent to hell for not obeying God’s commandments.
I really do hope this message has stirred you up inside. I pray that God will use this message to change people’s lives, to lead them to a more righteous life.
So what will you be doing this week to apply this in your life?