March 26, 2005

Grace to Forgive

The Lord has really been convicting me of a bitter root in my spirit. At this time of celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ's resurrection, now more than ever, do I need to release this root and claim the forgiveness that is mine through Christ's redemptive work on the cross.

Grace to Forgive
published in Our Daily Bread

It is difficult to understand how the Lord Jesus could pray for His brutal executioners to be forgiven (Luke 23:34). We often try to excuse our unforgiving hearts by arguing that He was God, whereas we are sinful creatures. But Jesus calls us to follow His divine example.

Putting into practice the Bible's directives isn't easy. For example, it's hard to pray sincerely for God to forgive our enemies and those who humiliate and belittle us. Yet God's Word is crystal-clear: "Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).

As we lift our eyes to the Lord in prayer, we can be Spirit-enabled to put into practice His most difficult directives. Think of someone toward whom you have harbored a bitter spirit. Ransack your memory if necessary. As you consider that your feelings for that person, pray: "Lord, flood my heart with compassion, and purge away my unforgiving spirit. Help me to 'live peaceably with all men'" (Romans 12:18).

If multitudes of Christians did that, what a transforming difference it would make in our marriages, our homes, and our churches. We could have a big influence on our hate-filled world. —Vernon Grounds

When others we will not forgive,
God's blessings are denied;
We must forsake our stubbornness
And banish sinful pride. —Sper

Ground that is filled with roots of bitterness needs to be plowed by the grace of God.


Romans 12:14-21

Love your enemies, . . . and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. —Matthew 5:44

No comments: