Scriptural Reading: Acts 7:57-60
‘‘And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.’’ Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)
Many years ago, a pastor who was a friend to my dad was in financial need and he came to borrow some money from my dad. Being a pastor, my dad had to borrow him that money. Each time my dad called him on the phone just to say hello, this pastor would just pick offense at my dad with the hope that my dad wants to disturb him for that money. Do you know that up till date the pastor refused to pay my dad his money? My dad left the money for the pastor and forgave him.
From our scriptural reading where we read from in the book of Acts 7:57-60, Stephen was stoned to death after they led him out of the city, as they were stoning him, he was calling on God to receive, accept and welcome his spirit. His death was painful, but he saw it as the best way to making Heaven. In the midst of the pains, he did not curse the people, rather, he prayed to God to have mercy on them, after which he gave up the ghost. What a glorious exit? Stephen was a Christian martyr who died in pains while he was still pleading for forgiveness on behalf of his tormentors.
God is a loving and a forgiving father, who does not hold our offenses against us. He forgives all manner of sins and He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. God knows that humankind would experience conflict from one another and He wants us to forgive one another regularly so that we all can live in peace and in harmony, thereby making the world a safer place. If God can forgive us always, He expects us to do the same to others whenever we are being offended. Let us forgive one another and God will bless us richly.
Do we know that when we feel like holding grudges against our offenders, there is an anchor scripture we can run to and apply on a daily basis and there will be no room for us to keep those offenses? ‘‘But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.’’ Psalms 130:4 (KJV). God is our father and we have to follow His footsteps when it comes to forgiveness as seen in the above scripture.
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I pray for your divine nature of forgiveness upon my life, help me not to hold grudges against anyone anymore and help me to forgive my offenders willingly. Amen.
Forgiveness genuinely rendered softens the heart and rolls grief away.