Daily Devotion

A Heart That Forgives

"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."  Matthew 18:35 NIV

Its this song by Kevin Levar…A Heart that Forgives.  It says my every feeling.  Everything I have felt over the years against everyone who wronged me all my life.  I look in the email listing and even my contacts list at some of the people in my family and former friends that I have refused to talk to because of the things they have done.  And the last few days God has caused me to see how important my forgiving them is. 

In the parable of the Unmerciful Servant, Jesus speaks of how the king canceled the debts of one of his servants that begged and pleaded with him for mercy.  The same servant then turns around and chokes another who owes him only a 100 denarii, and then has the man thrown in jail until his debt was paid.  The king was told of this by his other servants and had the same servant thrown in jail until his debt could be paid (Matthew 18:21-35).  I have been praying and asking God to show me what is hindering me from receiving some of the things I ask Him for.  And the most prevalent thought has been forgiveness.  I look at the names in my contacts that I will not allow my finger to touch, will not allow myself to chat with…and why because I have not forgiven.  Instead I hold on with a death grip to the feelings of pain inflicted by their actions and words and I just haven't let it go.  "Let it go Marquita" and "Give it to me" are things God speaks to my heart about the hurts.  To hear some of the names still causes me to wince with hurt.  I sit here tearing up again thinking back at the painful memories.  But its like the servant…not wanting to forgive a small error (or big), not letting go of the pain and consequently causing yourself to live it over again.  So how do I have this heart that the songwriter speaks of?

I take it one day at a time.  Because in essence, I am not promised tomorrow.  Neither are any of us.  Life does not owe us another day to make things right.  On the contrary, many people leave here with unresolved issues and never free the offender or themselves from the weight of the burden.  So I ask God each day to purify my heart and make it able to forgive.  Make it so that I can in my human strength through His supernatural strength forgive and forget the things that were done to me so that instead of tending to a festering wound, my body can heal the things that it was created to.  God is the only one that can heal broken hearts caused by the wrongs of others.  So like the king, like God who cancels our sins because of Christ's righteousness, I can cancel the debts caused by the offenses of yesterday, and start today anew.  Letting it go and releasing it to God, who releases me from my sins, releases me from carrying that forever.  It frees up positive, healing energy.  It allows me to fill that wounded place with God's love, which is greater than any force in the universe.  Just think about it: God who hates sin and turns away from it, did the inconceivable to allow us passage in His presence; He presented a better sacrifice–Jesus, who was clean and pure–as the atonement for everything we will ever do.  The only thing we have to do is forgive as He forgives and let it go. 

One thing I used to ask my mom repeatedly before my daddy passed was had he forgiven everyone.  I know he did because of the peace I now have when I think of him.  As for those people, I forgive each and everyone of them.  My family members, former friends and acquaintances, and everyone because I do not want to miss out on what God has for me by being in my own way.  I do not want to not be forgiven because I am too afraid to trust God to keep His word.  The greatest gift you can give yourself is the freedom to forgive because that is how you can truly love others.  Besides, it is of no use for me to ask God to answer my prayer it I do not apply what He reveals to my life.

"But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions."  Mark 11:26 NASB

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