The opportunity to forgive comes to everyone. Forgiveness is vital in developing and strengthening our relationship with God.
November and December consist of family gatherings for most people, and with these gatherings come memories, laughter, emotions, and sometimes opportunities to forgive. The enemy would like nothing better than to steal your joy and peace during this time, but by walking in forgiveness, you can experience the best end to your year you’ve ever had.
God’s act of love in sending Jesus to the cross to die for our sins is the ultimate story of forgiveness. He made it possible for us to come to Him at any time, ask His forgiveness, and be restored to fellowship.
The New Testament is all about forgiveness, and Ephesians 4 contains a description of the New Testament believer. It talks about putting off your old ways and putting on your new ways. This description is wrapped up in verse 32, And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Though your flesh will fight you on it, recognize that as a born-again believer, forgiveness is who you are! You weren’t created to carry around old wounds and hard feelings toward people. Regardless of what someone has done to you, you were created to live free of debilitating thoughts and emotions.
- Unforgiveness gives place to the devil in your life. In Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, he had to deal with all manner of crazy behavior going on in the church. In that time the Gentile world was steeped in paganism and idolatry. So, when they were born again, they had to learn a completely new way of life. There was a particular situation that Paul dealt with in his first letter regarding a man who was co-habiting with his stepmother (I Corinthians 5:1-5). Verse 5 reads, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Oftentimes when a person is in this fallen and broken state, he will come back to God, which is exactly what happened to this man. In 2 Corinthians 2:7-8 & 11, Paul again addresses the church regarding the matter, but from a different angle: So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him…Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Now the tables have turned. This man who was once living in darkness and causing problems in the church, has repented, and the believers are instructed to forgive and welcome him back into the fold. Notice that the believers are the ones at risk if they harbor UNFORGIVENESS. Unforgiveness is one of the primary devices Satan uses to get a foothold in the life of the believer.
- Unforgiveness keeps you out of your inheritance. In Luke 15:11-32 we find the story of the prodigal son. This father had two sons, and the younger took his inheritance and wasted it on riotous living. Becoming destitute, he came to himself and returned to his father’s house. You know the story of how the father ran to meet his boy home with open arms.
The elder son, however, the one who was moral and had done no wrong, refused to take part in the party celebrating the return of his brother.
Luke 15:28-29, And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.
This son’s inheritance was inside the house that he helped to build, but his anger and resentment caused him to step away from his inheritance. Nobody was trying to take his inheritance away from him, but through anger and hurt feelings, he was giving up his right to live the blessed life.
Anger is something everyone has to deal with. There are many in the body of Christ who seem to walk around with a chip on their shoulder, just waiting for someone to say the wrong thing. Unfortunately, this happens in family gatherings too. If you’re like this, take that chip off your shoulder. Recognize that a bad temper, resulting in offense and unforgiveness can shut you out of something that you have helped to build.
Colossians 1:12, Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
There is an inheritance that belongs to the saints in light, but that inheritance does not follow us when we walk outside of the light. The inheritance is in manifestation only when we areinthe light (inside the house).
I encourage you to check up on yourself as this year comes to a close. Refuse to be a carrier of unforgiveness. Purpose to let the Holy Spirit show you how to be a carrier of joy, mercy and peace, and end the year on a high note.
This month, I am including this teaching on the subject called Forgiveness. I trust it will be a blessing to you.