Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

♥ Seeking Restoration ♥

Jul 03

by Victoria Robinson

Three times within the eightieth Psalm, the psalmist seeks restoration from God. Each time he says, “Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.” Our need for restoration comes from varied reasons. Sometimes it is due to our own sinfulness. Other times it is due to circumstances beyond our control. It can even be due to the need to intercede for someone else.

  • King Nebuchadnezzar found himself desolate because of pride. As soon as he repented and acknowledged that the Most High is sovereign his sanity and kingdom were restored.
  • Joseph needed restoration not because of sin, but because of the providence of God. Throughout his ordeal he glorified God and eventually experienced immense restoration.
  • A man of God interceded for King Jeroboam for his hand to be restored.

Girlfriends, do you need restoration either for yourself or a friend? The Israelites received gracious restoration of an ugly devastation they endured due to sin. The prophet Joel describes how a great army of locusts had devoured Israel and then goes on to proclaim the words of the Lord, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten … You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. ” The psalmist gives us great hope for restoration when he says, “Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.”

Dearest girlfriends, let us seek the Lord for restoration of anything we need in our lives as well as our friends. 

Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved. ~ Psalm 80:3 NIV
 
Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. ~ Psalm 71:19-21 NIV
 
You have rejected us, O God, and burst forth upon us; you have been angry—now restore us! You have shaken the land and torn it open; mend its fractures, for it is quaking. You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger. But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow. Selah  Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered. ~ Psalm 60:1-5 NIV
 
‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm— my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. ~ Joel  2:25-26 NIV
 
“This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king:  You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”  All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. … At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. ~ Daniel 4:24-28,3436 NIV 

… he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. ~ Psalm 23:3 NIV

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ~ Psalm 51:12 NIV

So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and men shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” ~ Genesis 41:41-44, NIV
 
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. ~ Genesis 45:4-8 NIV
 
When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the LORD. Then the king said to the man of God, “Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before. ~ 1 Kings 13:4-6 NIV

Overcoming Youthful Indiscretions

Jun 22

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, from time to time the enemy of our souls will bring accusations to us about our past indiscretions. Shame, discouragement and even depression can result which is exactly the outcome Satan is striving for. While his striving is ultimately in vain, we must not allow these accusations to overtake us. The Word of God so beautifully states wonderful truths to retort back to the enemy and bring comfort to our hearts.

The psalmist was agonizing over his past indiscretions when he said, “Overlook my youthful sins, O Lord! Look at me instead through eyes of mercy and forgiveness, through eyes of everlasting love and kindness.” His request was accurately in line with the will of our Lord. The book of Isaiah makes a comforting promise in this regard. It says, “Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. The shame of your youth … will be remembered no more …” This truth directly contradicts the accusations of the enemy.

The importance of repentance is the key that will free us of our past indiscretions. The apostle Paul said, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” If you have not repented of your sins the pain you are experiencing is a worldly sorrow. To walk in no regrets requires forgiveness. The apostle John encourages us with these words, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Dearest girlfriends, let us overcome our past indiscretions with a repentant heart and the assurance of our heavenly Father’s compassionate forgiveness.

Overlook my youthful sins, O Lord! Look at me instead through eyes of mercy and forgiveness, through eyes of everlasting love and kindness. ~  Psalm 25:6-7 TLB
 
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. ~ Psalm 103:8-14 NIV
 
“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. The shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood will be remembered no more, for your Creator will be your husband. The Lord Almighty is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth. For the Lord has called you back from your grief—as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will take you back. In a moment of anger I turned my face away for a little while. But with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer. ~ Isaiah 54:4-8 NLT
 
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins. ~ Isaiah 43:25 NKJV
 
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. ~ 2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV
 
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9 NIV
 
Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,“It has happened at last—the salvation and power and kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ! For the Accuser has been thrown down to earth—the one who accused our brothers and sisters before our God day and night. And they have defeated him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of their testimony. … ~ Revelation 12:10-11 NLT

This Is YOUR Life!

May 29

by Victoria Robinson

In the song This Is Your Life, by Switchfoot, the question is posed, “This is your life, are you who you want to be?” Sometimes in life we can develop a “victim” mentality. That is based on the thinking—my life is not my fault. Things have happened to me along the way and I have no choice in what I have become. I can’t help but think about what a certain young man all of seventeen would have said about that idea. At seventeen, this young man was terrorized by his brothers, threatened with death, sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape, imprisoned, and left to languish in prison by a friend who neglected to help him. This godly man named Joseph did not understand “playing the victim”. Instead, he knew this was HIS life and he took responsibility for his actions. Because Joseph chose to act godly, the difficulties during this period of his life were intermingled with favor from the Lord.

Even after God places Joseph in a prominent position and gives him power over his brothers, there is never ever a hint of unforgiveness in his heart. Instead, once again, he chooses to be a blessing to those who have cursed him. After experiencing seventeen years of a difficult life, Joseph was godly enough to say to his brothers, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.”

Girlfriends, this is YOUR life and you need to behave properly regardless of what others have done to you. Just as Joseph was richly rewarded for his godly actions, so we will experience our heavenly Father’s blessings when we act appropriately.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray our actions would consistently reflect our heavenly Father’s principles no matter what difficulties we are living through.

 … So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” … So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the richly ornamented robe he was wearing— and they took him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. ~ Genesis 37:17-20,23-24 NIV
 
Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. … Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard. ~ Genesis 37:27-28,36 NIV
 
… Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. … ~ Genesis 39:6-20 NIV
 
But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. For I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.” … Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand, but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation. The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. ~ Genesis 40:14-15,20-23 NIV
 
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. ~ Genesis 50:19-21 NIV
 
But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. ~ Luke 6:27-28 NIV
 
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. Instead, do what the Scriptures say: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.” Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good. ~ Romans 12:17-21 NLT
 
Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your principles! Then I will not be disgraced when I compare my life with your commands. ~ Psalm 119:5-6 NLT

The Ugliness of Pain

Mar 03

by Victoria Robinson

Have you ever seen a woman who no matter how beautiful her clothes, hairdo, and makeup are is just plain ugly? This ugliness stems from the pain of her inner self. She has been hurt deeply and is scared, bitter, or is just writhing in pain. Such appears to be the case with a woman named Naomi we find in the book of Ruth. She was so bitter that she changed her name and said, “Don’t call me Naomi, … Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty.” It is interesting to note the name Naomi means “my delight” while Mara means “bitter”. This woman went from delightful to bitter. One can only imagine the ugliness of perhaps a haggard and drawn face this poor woman might have had. Just what brought Naomi to this point? She was left alone in an ungodly foreign country where her husband and sons died.

Contrast the story of Naomi with that of a precious friend of mine, Nancy, who recently became a widow. The beauty of Nancy shined through at her husband’s funeral. I watched as she raised her hands in praise to God for His goodness even at a difficult time. Her beauty continued to glorify God as she had planned the entire funeral to bring salvation to the lost who were in attendance. This is a memory of a beautiful woman I shall forever cherish.

Later in the book of Ruth we see Naomi as a beautiful woman who had gotten beyond her pain. Her friends said, “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

Understandably in the midst of our darkest days, we may never look in the mirror and see a beautiful woman outwardly. Yet even during these trials, others can see our inner beauty if our hearts are in right standing with our Lord. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would seek the inner beauty only godliness can give us.

So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” ~ Ruth 1:19-21 NIV
 
The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” ~ Ruth 4:14-15 NIV
 
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. ~ Hebrews 12:15 NIV
 
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. ~ James 3:14-16 NIV
 
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. … ~ 1 Peter 3:3-5 NIV

Take It to Heart Girlfriends!

Feb 02

by Victoria Robinson

In a prayer for his people, King Solomon prayed they would take it to heart when they sinned. Great admonition for us all. Taking it to heart would be to have a change of heart which would be to repent. There cannot be recovery from sin unless we take to heart the wrongs we have committed. King Solomon asked God to forgive them because they were His people. If you have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, then you are His and can expect restoration from your sins once you have taken them to heart.

King Solomon’s father, King David had committed some grievous sins during his reign. One as we know was to have an affair with Bathsheba, who by the way was Solomon’s mother. The second sin occurred when David tried to cover up his affair by murdering Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband. At first, David did not acknowledge his sin, but when he did, the painful restoration process began. Yes girlfriends, I did say painful. That is because all sin has repercussions. The mercy of God is a mystery which cannot be totally explained, but He has made it clear He will show mercy on whom He chooses to show mercy. Therefore, we should never presume upon the mercy of our heavenly Father understanding He will always treat us fairly.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would take to heart the wrongs we have committed and marvel at the wondrous restoration our heavenly Father will bring about in our lives.

If they have sinned against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and give them up to the enemy, and they have carried them away captives unto the enemy’s land, far or near; and if they shall take it to heart in the land whither they were carried captive, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captive, saying, We have sinned, and have done iniquity, we have dealt perversely; and if they return unto thee with all their heart and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies who led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city that thou hast chosen, and the house that I have built unto thy name; then hear thou in the heavens, the settled place of thy dwelling, their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their right; and forgive thy people their sin against thee, and all their transgressions whereby they have transgressed against thee, and give them to find compassion with those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them for they are thy people … ~ 1 Kings 8:46-51 DBY
 
“When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive to a land far away or near; and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong and acted wickedly’; and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their captivity where they were taken, and pray toward the land you gave their fathers, toward the city you have chosen and toward the temple I have built for your Name; then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their pleas, and uphold their cause. And forgive your people, who have sinned against you. ~ 2 Chronicles 6:36-39 NIV
 
And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. ~ Exodus 33:19 NIV
 
The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise. ~ Psalm 51:17 NLT

Forgive Me, But …

Jan 23

by Victoria Robinson

Do you long to have the redemptive forgiveness of your heavenly Father? If He is your Father, which can only come from accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have eternal forgiveness. Your reservation in heaven has been written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life and you have been given the greatest forgiveness that exist. Yet there is still the need to seek His forgiveness on a daily basis. Jesus showed us this truth when He prayed, “Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.”

The key to forgiveness is not to insert a “but” into our request. In the book of Jeremiah we see an example of those asking for forgiveness that came with a “but”. Their, “but” was they had no intention of discontinuing their sinful ways. A clear understanding of repentance came from the psalmist who knew his prayer for forgiveness was heard because he understood the importance of not cherishing sin in his heart.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would seek forgiveness with a pure heart that does not cherish sin.

So I, the Lord, refused to let the spring rains fall. But just like a prostitute, you still have no shame for what you have done. You call me your father or your long-lost friend; you beg me to stop being angry, but you won’t stop sinning. ~ Jeremiah 3:3-5 CEV
 
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  … Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. ~ Revelation 21:1-2,27 NIV
Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. … Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ~ Matthew 6:9,11-13 NLT
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! ~ Psalm 66:18-20 NIV
  • Afterthoughts …

If you have not received eternal forgiveness, please click here:  Heaven

My friends, the message is that Jesus can forgive your sins! The Law of Moses could not set you free from all your sins. But everyone who has faith in Jesus is set free. ~ Acts 13:38-39 CEV

Hiding in the Shadows

Nov 23

by Victoria Robinson

Do you find yourself hiding in the shadows when you approach your heavenly Father? When we are enshrouded in our sin, we tend to not come before the throne of God bravely. This is how we find the infamous Adam and Eve after they had committed sin.

Our sin places us in a shameful place. We do not want to look our heavenly Father in the face. I grew up with a grandfather who dearly loved me. However, he did portray a harsh exterior at times. I remember breaking a piece of antique marble at his house. I was gripped with fear, not because I had any concern of physical harm, instead a fear based on not wanting to be rejected by him because of my misstep. I shall never forget how after I confessed what had taken place, he lovingly held me as I sobbed. He showed me the kindness I did not deserve. This is a picture of our heavenly Father’s unconditional love for us. All we need to do is come to Him with a transparency of our sin and allow Him to embrace us lovingly.

The foolishness of hiding our sins from God is brought to light in the book of Jeremiah. Our heavenly Father tells us He is closely watching us, sees all our sins, and that we cannot hope to hide from Him.

We should come bravely to Him knowing He has already told us that He understands our weaknesses. He is waiting at all times for His children to crawl up in His lap and share their missteps. Dearest girlfriends, please stop hiding in the shadow of iniquity, but come bravely before the throne of our merciful God.

Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help. Hebrews 4:15-16 CEV
  
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” ~ Genesis 3:8-10 NIV
 
For I am closely watching you, and I see every sin. You cannot hope to hide from me. ~ Jeremiah 16:17 TLB
 
Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. Let the people turn from their wicked deeds. Let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong! Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. ~ Isaiah 55:6-7 NLT

Giving Forgiveness

Nov 16

by Victoria Robinson

Do you cringe when the topic of forgiveness comes up. Are you squirming right now at the thought of someone you need to give forgiveness to. Usually our first thought is, “But you don’t understand what they did to me!” No, none of us really can feel the depth of pain others feel, but there is someone who understands it all. That is your heavenly Father who has forgiven you of ALL your sins. Not selective forgiveness like we so often choose to give those around us.

The reason forgiveness is always needed is that we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. As long as there is sin, there will be a need for forgiveness. The verse in the book of Romans that tells us we all have sinned goes on to say that we are justified freely by God’s grace. Did you catch that one significant word? Freely is the word used to describe the forgiveness our heavenly Father uses to describe His forgiveness to us. Girlfriends, we need to develop this same lavish mentality when it comes to forgiving others.

Then there is the unthinkable idea presented to us by the apostle Paul. He pleaded with the church in Corinth to forgive a brother and affirm their love for him. So now we see a picture of not only having to forgive, but to comfort the one who has hurt us. Is it not enough that we should have to forgive, but must we be subjected to bring comfort to the very one who has grieved us for the purpose of consoling their grief? Once again we need to look at the behavior of our heavenly Father to be reminded of how we should ourselves behave. Has your heavenly Father comforted you after you have sinned? Of course He has! In Isaiah He says that he has seen the sins of the contrite and yet will still bring healing and comfort.

Our heavenly Father brings comfort to the contrite, but what about those who are not contrite. Perhaps they have not even asked for forgiveness. Should we extend forgiveness to them? Absolutely! By not forgiving we only place ourselves in a prison of misery. Whether or not they have repented, we are the wise one if we choose forgiveness. Think about this. If we do not forgive, is that not sin on our part? Does that not put us in the same category of the one we resent?

Dearest girlfriends, let us free ourselves from the spiritual prison of unforgiveness by choosing to unconditionally love those who have wronged us.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. ~ Matthew 6:14-15 NIV
 
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. ~ Matthew 18:21-22 NIV 
 
… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. ~ Romans 3:23-24 NIV
 
If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 NIV
 
I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him … ~ Isaiah 57:18 NIV
 
You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ”‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. ~ Romans 14:10-12 NIV
 
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. ~ Colossians 3:13 NIV

Finding Forgiveness

Nov 15

by Victoria Robinson

Are you in need of forgiveness? The only way to find forgiveness is to ask for it. In the book of Genesis, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. From there his life kept spiraling tragically downward. Joseph’s brothers had done something so egregious to Joseph that forgiveness is unimaginable. Yet through the gracious power of God, forgiveness is always possible. They went and humbled themselves before their brother and found undeserved forgiveness from a brother who loved the Lord his God with all his heart.

If you need to find forgiveness, simply ask. Whoever you need forgiveness from, whether a person or your heavenly Father, just humble yourself and ask. When asking for forgiveness it is important to be repentant by confessing what wrongs you have committed.

Your heavenly father is always willing to forgive you. The truth is that people may not always choose to forgive. Understand, this is not your responsibility. Once you have humbled yourself, repented and asked for forgiveness you will walk in freedom even if others do not want to forgive you. Girlfriends, I know that even though you have done your part to make things right, it can still be painful to know they will not forgive you. This is where you need to find comfort in the Word of God and know that you have been forgiven by Him.

The most important forgiveness you will ever need is the forgiveness of your sins that gives you the opportunity to go to heaven. If you would like to know how to receive this eternal forgiveness, click the following link. Heaven

Dearest girlfriends, I pray our hearts would be cleansed of our offenses by repenting and asking forgiveness.

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. ~ Genesis 50:15-21 NIV
 
So if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there beside the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. ~ Matthew 5:23-24 NLT
 
This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men. ~ Acts 24:16 NKJV
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 130:3-4 NIV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9 NIV
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. ~ Colossians 1:14-15 NIV

Debtor’s Prison

Oct 01

by Victoria Robinson

Do you have a debt you cannot repay? The Word of God says that when we borrow money we become a servant to the lender. It also shows us that the only debt we should incur is the debt of love. If we have God’s love for others then it becomes easier to obey God in the matter of forgiveness. Having a heart of unforgiveness will lock us up in a place called debtor’s prison. The only way to be set free is to forgive those who have wronged you. It is important to understand that God does not possess the key to the debtor’s prison cell. You, my dear girlfriend, are the only one who has the key to freedom. You can pray for freedom all you want, but until you forgive, there you will sit locked up in a dreary cell. In the story of the unmerciful servant, the first servant was forgiven of a huge debt of millions of dollars. Unbelievably, instead of walking in freedom, this man chose to go out and find a fellow servant who owed him a much smaller amount than he had himself been forgiven of. Actually the amount owed was only hundreds of dollars! He started choking the man and insisted on getting repaid. When his fellow servant could not repay, he had him thrown in debtor’s prison. When the master found out, he became enraged and had the servant he had forgiven thrown in debtor’s prison. This is exactly what happens in our lives when we do not forgive. Girlfriends, God has paid the ultimate price to forgive our sins. It is then foolish of us to imprison ourselves with an unforgiving heart. Remember, you are the only one with the key to your freedom from debtor’s prison. Dearest girlfriends, I pray that we would free ourselves from debtor’s prison through forgiveness and walk with the Father in freedom.  

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. ~ Proverbs 22:7  

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. ~ Romans 13:8-10 
 
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” ~ Matthew 18:23-35
 
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. ~ Colossians 3:13-14