Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Gift of Forgiveness

We are in a short 2 week series at church leading up to Christmas on the topic of Forgiveness. This past week, Matt Carter, defined forgiveness and how the bible outlines it/calls us to do. I found myself anxiously and excitedly scribbling down notes, knowing I wanted to share with you guys on my blog. Through Jesus, the ultimate gift from God, we are forgiven. Wholly, repeatedly, and forever.

Matt shared the 3 ways of biblical forgiveness and as always, lightbulbs went off in my head. Yeah this is ideal, but am I fulfilling the Word of God? Absolutely not. I hope you can take these 3 pointers as seriously and as encouraging as I did. He gave us verses that directly show forgiveness defined and wow did that just convict me. I feel like I am a forgiving person, often times a little too forgiving especially when it comes to friends, but my eyes have been open to where I am missing the big picture and holding onto things I should release in Him. 

So here we go...

1. You do not take revenge on a person who has wronged you

  • 1 Samuel 24- most of you probably know the story of King Saul and David (I love this story because my husband was named after Jonathan and King David). But as many times as Saul wrongs David, David chooses not to kill him when he has the perfect opportunity.
  • 1 Peter 3:8-9- when someone commits evil against you, bless them, like the Lord has blessed you
  • I am not one to commit physical revenge but oh how my mind concocts plans of revenge and most of the time it is when something good happens in my life and certain people can't be happy for me so I tell myself "okay next time something good happens for them, you are going to act uninterested." Wish I could actually pull that off but I'm actually a pretty good friend and genuinely happy and optimistic for others, although that doesn't take away the fact that I want to take revenge...
2. Forgive completely

  • Psalm 103:10-12- God doesn't deal with us according to our sins...as far as the east is from the west, He removes our transgressions
  • Isaiah 43:24-25- although we haven't done what He's asked, He wipes out our transgressions and does not remember them
  • Colossians 3:12-13- forgive as the Lord has forgiven you
  • I think we all fall victim to this one... if we fully forgive someone for a wrong done against us, how come we bring it up in conversations, etc? I definitely do and have been trying to take a look at areas of my life where I haven't completely forgiven people of certain things. It seems freeing to totally let go and I hope I can get to that point someday.
3. Forgive repeatedly
  • Luke 17:34- if someone sins against you 7 times and repents to you 7 times, forgive him 7 times
  • Not sure if I will ever fully be able to understand, obey, and take into action this one. How beautiful is it that we are forgiven repeatedly for the daily things we chose over the glory of God. How unworthy is that? How awesome is that?


The Lord left a perfect place to forgive us through His son's own torture and death. Remember the manger....God wrapped the gift of forgiveness  on that cold winter night and at the cross, He unwrapped it. 

....to listen to the sermon, Forgiveness Defined by Matt Carter, please visit this website.


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9 comments:

jenn said...

I've needed to hear this for a while. Oh, how I want to forgive but I feel like I don't know how.

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

thanks so much for this. you are such a blessing!!

Amanda aka Manda said...

Thank you for this post, Ruthie! I was just thinking about this the other day and was really struggling with it. Your words are such a blessing!

Tank Goodness Photography said...

completely off topic but...you don't go to Gateway anymore!? Bummer!

Claire-Christine said...

Preach, Ruthie! I am loving this post. I often fall short of forgiveness, with a half forgiving spirit. I have genuinely tried implementing the forgive 7 times over (since reading Redeeming Love actually) principle, and I believe it completely works!

This is a timely message as we approach the holiday season. Forgiveness and compassion is WHY God brought Jesus to us, we must remember!!

Amanda said...

This post is very relevant for us today...

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