Thursday, October 1, 2009

Forgiveness For Who?

Here are three videos revealing the power of forgiveness that others have found. We all have a need to give forgiveness and most definitely to receive forgiveness…
I am just as much in need of forgiveness as the next person and maybe even a whole lot more so than you, the reader; maybe that is why the videos are so upsetting to me to watch.
In the first two videos we see lone survivors of families and even a nation that fines the rewards of the power of forgiveness for those who had murdered their families. It is hard to realize that someone who has lost their loved ones and many of their friends through such atrocities perpetrated against them that they could ever begin to forgive the murders. These people understood the power of forgiveness was more for releasing the anger and rage which they carried day after day inside them for the killers.

The word “forgive” is a grace word in the English, as well as the Greek language, meaning “to excuse for a fault or offense;” To stop feeling anger for or resentment against; to absolve from payment of an offense; “To remit a debt, to give up resentment or claim for requital, or to pardon an offense.” Understanding forgiveness is not easily done with words; it is what we all need in our lives, not to just forgive others, but for us to ask for forgiveness, maybe from a parent, child, friend, neighbor, stranger, but most definitely, forgiveness for our sins against the Holy One of Israel, the One True God.
The greatest offense was that of man against the Messiah, the murder of the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." Galatians 3:13 Whether you want to believe this or not Jesus died for all of our sins, against man and against God, and yet after an illegal trial, a brutal beating, a scourging with whips that very few could have survived and then being nailed on a Cross and just moments before death, Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Luke 23:34
First we all must understand that forgiveness comes from God. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23 “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong” 1 John 1:9 If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. Psalm 130:3-5

Christian forgiveness calls for action; our confession with God involves us seeing our sins as He sees it, which brings God’s forgiveness for us. When we sin against others, we sin against God. However if the true Christian in unrepentant of the sin the conviction of the Holy Spirit may bring the feelings of depression, anxiety, unhappiness, hopelessness and despair, so this is why we must be repentant and ask for forgiveness immediately after realizing our sin. When our sins are forgiven and lifted away, our heart and spirit are renewed with hope. “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10. This renewal of our spirit is the blessing that comes with forgiveness. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Psalms 32:1.
An innocent victim who cannot forgive the offender will most always become filled with anger and rage for his offender. This anger and rage if not released through forgiveness can and most likely will bleed over into other relationships effecting job performances, social functions, and the most devastating of all, marriages, which effects parenting as well. The parenting and marriage breakdown will most often lead to divorces which in turn affects the over all function of our society. There is literally no end to the destruction that is caused just from the lack of forgiveness.
Being a father and being the blame for the destruction of my marriage this following video has been the hardest one for me to watch.
Please note the very last words in print on this next video, the last journal entry which 19-year-old freshman, Mary Karen Read made the day before she was killed in the Virginia Tech shooting.

I guess I can say that this verse is the one that opened my eyes the widest to how important this word, “Forgiveness” is for our lives. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:15.

Your forgiveness does not mean that the sin is excused, but it is acknowledged for what it is, a sin, and an unjust act against you. God did not excuse our sins; had He done this Jesus would not have needed to go to the Cross. The wages of sin is death, (Romans 6:23) and without the shedding of His innocent blood there would have been no forgiveness. (Hebrews 9:22). To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable sin that was perpetrated against him.
Forgiveness doesn't require forgetting; only choosing not to recall repeatedly the incident that required the forgiveness in the first place, while God works at healing your memories. The act of forgiveness on your part releases God to retract revenge from an un-repentant offender. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. Romans 12:19 However, it is very often where Christians can't or won't forgive which brings the anger and rage into play; of this I am well experienced.

In a post on June 20th titled A Supernatural Spiritual Event, I tell how I was given a vision that stopped me from murdering a co-worker. There are many who take revenge into their own hands, co-workers, angry neighbors, angry postmen, angry students, angry spouses, and angry parents. One of the smartest things that you could possible do is forgive and move forward, do not continue to live in the past where all the bad memories are.
God has not wiped out His memory banks concerning our sins; rather, He has chosen not to call them to mind against us again. I believe my sins are recorded in God's books, but over each one is written in bold red lettering, "Forgiven."

Sadly there are Many Christians who feel the shame of their sin so deeply that they have a hard time accepting God's forgiveness. In the post on July 21st titled, A Special Message I tell of a forgiveness message I had to deliver to a young lady. Marcy had thought for years that even though the Bible says, that God’s forgiveness comes with repentance, filled with shame and guilt, it was too difficult for her to comprehend that God could forgive her for the abortion she had fifteen years earlier. Far too many Christians, like Marcy was, have the same difficulty understanding this so they too carry the burden of their sins penned up inside which often leads to feelings of shame, inadequacy and unworthiness that will hinder the Christian’s growth. Well I should add here that there is not even one of us that is worthy of His forgiveness. We all are sinners, thus we all deserve death.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Forgiveness is not easy to give nor is it easy to receive, but with God all things are possible through Him who loves us. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Forgiveness is not easily understood, but it has definitely made a difference in my relationship with God and with my friends. My best advice for one who wants or needs to learn about forgiveness is to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and open the Bible and get serious about reading it from cover to cover, over and over. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:10
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9 We Christians strive to allow Jesus to shine through us, that others may see His love for them.