My friend, may I ask you a question? Has forgiveness killed you at some point in your life? When you think about it my friend, every time we forgive or are forgiven, something dies and something comes back to life. Perhaps if you and I look at forgiveness that way, it will be much easier for us to ask for it or give it?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
I’ve been forgiven many times in my life, and I have, of course, offered forgiveness to others as well. I hope that I have been generous in that regard. However, I’m sure that over the course of a lifetime I have missed opportunities. We all have. The questions remains, however, how has that forgiveness changed us, both in the receiving and the giving? I ran across this story of forgiveness recently and I think it touches on what I am referring to. “When the first missionaries came to Alberta, Canada, they were savagely opposed by a young chief of the Cree Indians named Maskepetoon. But he responded to the gospel and accepted Christ. Shortly afterward, a member of the Blackfoot tribe killed his father. Maskepetoon rode into the village where the murderer lived and demanded that he be brought before him. Confronting the guilty man, he said, ‘You have killed my father, so now you must be my father. You shall ride my best horse and wear my best clothes.’ In utter amazement and remorse his enemy exclaimed, ‘My son, now you have killed me!’ He meant, of course, that the hate in his own heart had been completely erased by the forgiveness and kindness of the Indian chief.”
Has forgiveness killed you at some point in your life? When you think about it my friend, every time we forgive or are forgiven, something dies and something comes back to life. The debt is killed and that makes room in our hearts for more love, whether we are the forgiver or the forgiven. This should be of no surprise as God set the standard, one we can never meet.
Oswald Chambers writes: “Forgiveness doesn’t merely mean that I am saved from hell and have been made ready for heaven (no one would accept forgiveness on that level). Forgiveness means that I am forgiven into a newly created relationship which identifies me with God in Christ. The miracle of redemption is that God turns me, the unholy one, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One. He does this by putting into me a new nature, the nature of Jesus Christ.”
John 16:8 explains how the world has been convicted and is being called to holiness since Christ has died for our sins to demonstrate to Satan and us what forgiveness really means. The Apostle John writes. “When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment . . .” Jesus killed sin with his death on the cross. His forgiveness was more than just a remittance, it was a holy murder. Jesus put sin to death so that you and I would never suffer the righteous condemnation each of us has earned by our inability to meet the standards of a just and holy God. God decided to do the one thing that would not just cover our sin, but actually put our sins to death and remove them completely. There has been a murder committed in our hearts as hate has been destroyed, replaced by the love of God in Jesus Christ. Jesus, our Maskepetoon, road into the camp of the enemy, sought us out, and killed us on the inside. What holy murder.
We pray. Heavenly Father, sin once dwelt in our hearts and we had no freedom from it. Sin ruled us day and night and we were captive to Satan, who had a death warrant on our heads. Forgive us Lord when we fail to recognize the depths to which Christ journeyed in order to seek Satan out and destroy that hate. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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God bless you for Jesus sake.