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 The Power of Forgiveness

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seeker of truth

Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: The Power of Forgiveness   May 5th 2007, 00:09

The Power of Forgiveness

Dear Youth,

Recently after attending a stress seminar conducted by a visiting pastor I was reminded of the blessings that can be ours if we have a forgiving spirit. The resulting joy and peace that is felt can come only from once source- Jesus Christ. The power of forgiveness is evident throughout the Bible and especially in the life of Jacob.

Jacob trudged slowly down the dusty path that led from his home. He turned and waved to his beloved mother one last time before he rounded the bend in the trail. A few tears ran down his cheek as he wondered if he would ever see his family again. As the lonely miles passed his thoughts went back to the events of the day. He remembered seeing his twin brother Esau leave the house and then his mother calling him. Rebekah explained her deceitful scheme to Jacob. He was to prepare a savoury dish for his father, put on Esau's robe and place animal skins on his arms to be hairy like his brother. How Rebekah wanted Jacob to have the birthright and now was his chance! He could quickly prepare his father's favorite meal and take it in to him so he could receive the blessing while Esau was out.

Nervously, Jacob took the food into his father. Isaac was almost blind so Jacob was quite sure that he would not be identified. At first his father was a little suspicious but after feeling his arms and smelling his clothes he was convinced that it was indeed Esau who stood before him and he gave him the birthright blessing. Not long after Jacob had left his father's room Esau came in with his carefully prepared meal, eager to receive his blessing. How angry Esau was when he discovered what his brother had done. In fact he was so angry that he even threatened to kill Jacob. Rebekah thought it best that Jacob leave for a while until Esau's anger subsided.

Now, here he was, fearful for his own life because his brother had said that he was going to kill him. What a terrible thing sin is and what terrible consequences it leaves behind. At that moment Jacob felt very far from God. Did God still love him? Could he ever be forgiven for his sin?

That first lonely night Jacob lay down on the ground and tried his best to sleep. After some time sleep came to relieve his anxiety. While he slept a wonderful thing happened. "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it" (Genesis 29: 12). Then God himself spoke to Jacob and reassured him that He was with him and that He had not forgotten his child. How Jacob's faith was revived! God had not forgotten him. He had forgiven him and now he could start afresh.

This story is an account of what God is willing to do for all of us. It symbolizes God's willingness to forgive us. As soon as we confess and repent of our wrong doings Jesus will let down that ladder that stretches from Heaven to earth to reconnect us with our Heavenly Father. What love He has for us!

Christ is so willing to forgive our sins, but if we do not manifest in our own lives a willingness to forgive others He cannot forgive us. Mark 11:25 says: And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses". Matthew 6:12, 14, and 15 also says: "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. . . For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses". It is clear from these two references that we cannot come to God in prayer and ask for forgiveness if we do not first forgive others.

Once Peter came to Jesus with a question and he said: "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven" (Matthew 18:21, 22). Peter wanted to know would seven times be enough times to forgive his brother? But Jesus said that he should be willing to forgive seventy times seven times. In other words his willingness to forgive should be never-ending!

Sometimes forgiving can be really difficult, how then are we able to obtain the spirit of forgiveness? How can we have the desire to forgive someone that has hurt us deeply and maybe not even apologized for it? Maybe someone said something hurtful to you and that hurt has stayed with you for a long time. How is forgiveness possible under these circumstances? The secret is that familiar word: SURRENDER. We must COMPLETELY surrender our heart to Jesus and pray that He will give us the desire to forgive. It is then that we can truly forgive others from the heart.

Why do we hold on to old grudges and misunderstandings? Why not let them go. Jesus is willing to take all our burdens from us if we will only let Him have them. If there is someone in your life that you know you need to forgive why not go to that person as soon as possible and let them know that you have forgiven them. Each one of us has at one time felt the joy that comes from knowing that a person that you have wronged has forgiven you. Let's spread the joy of forgiveness around.

"And be ye kind one to another tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:32).

--Talisa Jackson

Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house ... be the living expression of God's kindness ... Mother Theresa
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