Saturday, October 11, 2008

Forgive Like God

One of the major biblical themes that I continue going back to in my current ministry is forgiveness. I hope to preach a series of “forgiveness” messages in the near future. One of the things that I am constantly reminded of is that I will never be more godly than in that moment that I offer unconditional forgiveness to one who has hurt and offended me.

Thomas Watson, a Puritan Pastor of the 1600's, once gave this definition of forgiveness as he taught from the Lord’s Prayer about forgiving our debtors, "when we strive against all thoughts of revenge; when we will not do our enemy’s mischief, but wish well to them, grieve at their calamities, pray for them, seek reconciliation with them, and show ourselves ready on all occasions to relieve them".

Greg Oliphant of Peacemaker Ministries attaches scripture to each one of the seven points of forgiveness in Watson’s definition:

Resist thoughts of revenge; Romans 12:19
Don't seek to do them mischief; 1Thessalonians 5:15
Wish well to them; Luke 6:28
Grieve at their calamities; Proverbs 24:17
Pray for them; Matthew 5:44
Seek reconciliation with them; Romans 12:18
Be always willing to come to their relief; Exodus 23:4

Take a few devotional moments to read these verses and let God speak to you from His Word. Ask the Lord if there is anyone to whom you need to extend they type of forgiveness. Is there anything more godly that you can do than that?

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