TITLE: What Christmas is about - Forgiveness
By Philip Barrington
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To those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ who need encouragement to forgive.
Yes, we have hurts in our lives. Personally, I endeavour to live with the help and guidance from the Lord. This isn't easy in today's society.
When we look at John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…” God's love has been given regardless of what we have done. God hates the wrongful doings in our lives, but he loves us. We may look at our friends or relatives who have wronged us and say something like this: “I hate you.” We often take our despised verbal or physical acts out on the person we love. If we didn’t love an individual then the wrong they do wouldn’t affect us. It is important to our well-being to love a person. We may not like the acts they do but it's important to love them because God first loved us.
“For God so loved the world that he gave…” In John 3:16. John is speaking of an unconditional love. His love is pure. It is important to give of ourselves, hearts and wrongful deeds over to our loving God. It is possible with some because we are hindered by the law or circumstances that stop us from giving of ourselves. We need to be still and let God take hold of our heart and conscience. Our heart and minds need to be an instrument of love and purity. There has been many times when something evil was done to me. At one time, my wife and I had a friend staying in our home. We understood this person to be a Christian. In dismay we received a summons to court. The accusations against us was thrown out by the judge. Going through this experience, I had the devilish thoughts of doing something vengeful to them. God says to us al to love these people who do wrong deeds. He also tells me not to be complacent and walk circumspectly so that evil will not engulf my life.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son…” Wow! Jesus didn’t do anything wrong, yet He gave of his heart; His precious son. He did this for you and me The Bible says that true love is giving up our lives for a friend. We need to portray our lives as a living sacrifice by showing to others true love; no matter what they have done. It is important to remember that it's the sin of wrongful deeds which brings about hatred.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in Him should not perish….” If we believe in him and His love we are not going to die. It maybe argued that this isn't what the verse is talking about. It maybe argued that if we don’t believe in him then we go to a godless eternity. In 1 John it says: "if we hate our brother then His word or God’s word is not in us." If we believe in God's love toward others by pursuing them with his tender mercies, is it going to kill us? I don’t think so.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Wow! Not only will we live this life out the way God wants us to, but we have a life with him forever. Isn’t this great!
Isn’t it worth it to love your family, friends and others for Christmas? I think so. Even though we may have been hurt in some way, with God’s help you can be over it by asking God through Jesus' name to empower you to love.
This writing isn't a license endeavoring to see how I react to hurts. There have been some Christian acquaintances who have tested my faith to see how I might react against evil deeds. I am a sinner before God too. Because I have enough to deal with I need you to pray for me as do I for you.
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