Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Power of Forgiveness

Scripture: Matthew 18 v 32 - 35; Mark 11 v 25 - 26; Deuteronomy 28 v  15 to end.


It is often the hardest thing you ever have to do - forgive someone who has deeply hurt or abused you. How do you forgive a rapist or a murderer? How do you overcome the pain and torment?

I am always reminded of Richard Wurmbrand, the Russian pastor imprisoned in a Siberian jail during the Iron Curtain days of Communism. He was tortured daily to reject Jesus and embrace atheist Communism. Every day Richard thanked and forgave his torturers and prayed for their salvation.

The prison got very angry with him because all the torturers got saved and new ones had to be brought in. Richard Wurmbrand was reaching the unreachable people for Jesus! He gave God the glory that he could suffer for the sake of Jesus and God's kingdom. Now this was a truly consecrated man who never allowed Satan to overwhelm him. This is the power of forgiveness.

Jesus knew this when He hung on the Cross. He prayed Father forgive them they do not know what they are doing. The crowd who cried Hosanna to the King when Jesus entered Jerusalem three days earlier became the crowd who yelled crucify Him. Fifty days later they were the crowd who heard Peter's first sermon after he was baptised in the Holy Spirit and cried What must we do to be saved?

On the other side of the coin, if you withhold forgiveness from someone there are consequences to be faced. In Matthew 18 Jesus says if you do not forgive from the heart our Father in Heaven will deliver us to the tormentors. Debts will rise, sickness will arrive, problems and stress will increase until you forgive whoever has wronged you. If you do not forgive then neither will your sins be forgiven. You can not be born again until you have forgiven from the heart every person or situation you blamed God for.

Under the law in Deuteronomy 28 the consequences for disobedience are dire, and those who still insist on living by Jewish laws are subject to these curses. Things like illnesses of long duration that cannot be healed; financial failure; adultery; divorce etc. These are the reasons why this world is in such a mess. Learn them and avoid them to reach the abundant life of Jesus.

Jesus came to Earth to break every curse to set us all free. He knew we had been held hostage by Satan and been subject to the "Stockholm Syndrome" of agreeing with, and siding with, your captors. In that Six Day Realm we all fell into sin and were born on Earth already sinners. We were born to die unless God found Someone who could save us. When God asked if any one would volunteer to go - Jesus, God's only Son, said I AM!! I AM the RANSOM!! (For a deeper study of these topics read the 10 parts of The Vision, starting with 'Whom God Foreknew' on this blog site.)

He is the only answer to every problem. He can outwit every wile of the devil and show you how to keep him out. The secret is in forgiveness and its power is to set you free.

Prayer: Heavenly Father I freely forgive everyone who ever hurt me or those close to me or strangers whose tragedies touched my heart. As Jesus asked You to forgive us all I choose to be like Him and release those who have done evil things for Your judgment. In Jesus' name. Amen.