Psalm 51:1-4 Davidís prayer after he had sinned against God with Bathsheba
ďHave mercy upon me, O God, According to Your loving kindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 3. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4. Against You, You alone, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight - That You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.Ē
Mark 11:25 ďAnd whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.Ē
Matthew 6:12 ďAnd forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.Ē
Matthew 18:35 ďSo My Heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.Ē
There is an inherent danger in not forgiving someone if we are a Christian trying to serve God. We know of the parable Jesus told of the master and the servant who owed him more than he could ever repay. Once forgiven, he goes out and demands a payment of his own from his own servant to which there is no mercy in him. His master, hearing of this servantís unforgiving heart, is furious and throws the unforgiving man who he had forgiven into prison till he could pay up.
When you look at the parable, itís a sobering reminder to ourselves. A forgiving and unforgiving heart is not something to deal with lightly. I look around me today though. Who has such a compassionate heart? We are a people blinded. People have no concept of it because nobody understands the wickedness of their own heart. Weíre a society of basically Ďgoodí people. What a lie! We are evil! wicked! Our hearts are filled with self centeredness and wantedness. Our main focus is never on forgiveness because self has taken itís place making it harder and harder to realize we are a people in need of forgiveness. We donít think we need forgiveness, only justification in our own actions.
Yet what is the real worth of justification when morality and forgiveness is replaced with a puffed up society of want, greed and self? Justification is manís way of lying to ourselves and feeling good about it. It gives us a reason to hate, to exact revenge and to never forgive. Forgiveness is a foreign word because of what it represents. Itís not a kind word because to forgive means you have to look at your own self and realize the evil that is in our own heart. You can only forgive when you yourself understand that you need forgiveness as well. To forgive without regard to our own need is pure arrogance, never forgiveness. How can we then forgive another person?
King David always comes to mind when I think of forgiveness. He is one whoís heart cried out time after time for God to forgive him. He knew what forgiveness was. He desperately seeked after it because a relationship with God MUST have forgiveness at the center of that relationship among other things. Otherwise, there can be no communication between God and man.
We only have to turn on the news to realize what kind of people we are and how desperate we are in need of understanding what forgiveness is about. Man is angry at God, selfishness of the heart screaming ďI donít want to be ruled!Ē
I have to believe itís the same scream that is uttered by people who think same sex marriages is ok. They hate the idea of having a ruling hand over them. I wonder, what was their life like growing up? Are people who hate God the most, people who as a child experienced abuse from a parent? I still canít get it out of my head that this saying is very true. How we view our fathers is how we are going to view our Heavenly Father.
But ultimately, it comes down to self against Godís own law. Godís law says as man we have sinned and must pay for it. We only have to look around, not even to another state, and realize God is right. We have sinned and we still do. We are a wicked people, the opposite of God.
Yet God is a God of love and compassion for His creation. He provided a way out of this wicked life style that is bent on hatred and self. Itís through Jesus, Godís son. We only have to ask for forgiveness and ask for the relationship that is built around His own death and resurrection. Itís built on trusting in Him to save us, the opposite of what the world wants to hear. The world wants to hear ĎI can do this myself. I donít need anyoneís help, especially Godís!Ē
But those who have experienced much pain in life know the truth more than most people. There is only hope in Christ. Of ourselves, we are helpless. It took a gruesome, bloody death to save a gruesome, bloody people. We are men of death, walking through life in death with no hope until we accept that gift, so simple to take, such pain to bring into existence.
Forgiveness and ultimate love is at the center of Salvation. God forgave us even when we donít deserve anything from God but death itself. If a man says he is good, he has lied to himself. All mankind is wicked. Thatís why we need a Savior whoís heart is one of pure love and forgiveness.
As a Christian, we must strive now to be like Christ. Forgiveness and love must be at the center of every Christianís life. Our relationship with God depends on this. For without forgiveness and love, how can a God who has forgiven us so much even look on one who hates his brother?
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