The responses that so many of you are sharing over our study of Jesus in the Old Testament is outstanding. It is the hope of the elders that we should see Jesus in everything in the Bible, and then consider how Jesus should be everything to us daily.
Some consider that living the Christian life is just what we do on Sundays, but God wants more than just Sundays. He wants us twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week (not just Sundays) and three hundred sixty-five and ¼ days a year. He bought us by the precious blood of Jesus, and we must never take that for granted. He deserves first place in our lives. We need to concentrate on Him and His glory daily.
We need to concentrate on forgiveness. We have seen in our study thus far in the Old Testament that God had and has forgiven men over and over and over . . . . when man repents and seeks God. Forgiveness is a wonderful word. It is an action that we desire from God, so that we can be with him in heaven. We do not deserve it, but God offers it to fallen man. He makes our forgiveness contingent on whether or not we forgive.
Levi Sides wrote the following, and it has been shared by many on Facebook. For those of you that are not on Facebook, here is the article. Please consider these things as we seek the forgiveness of God and one another . . .
Forgiveness Is The Best Option
No doubt the Scriptures teach it. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” (Eph. 4:32). But sometimes its hard for me to do what I know the Scriptures teach. But when you examine the options, you know that God’s solution to mistreatment is the best. You may ask “What are my options?” There are only three:
1. Deny It. Try to act as if it did not happen. Try to forget it by suppressing it. Not only is this potentially dangerous psychologically it’s just about impossible.
2. Go For Revenge. Scriptures warn about this. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil (Rom. 12:17). Revenge is self-defeating. Families often suffer from one vengeful act leading to another, and another. Also, most often you will find that revenge is not nearly as sweet as you thought it would be.
3. Forgive. Our Lord knew what was best for us when He told us to forgive. We grew up knowing He said to turn the other cheek, but often make fun of His statement. But healing will not come to us if we do not learn to forgive. You allow the party who hurt you to continue to do damage if you do not forgive. The way to stop the hurt and start the healing process is by forgiving.
When you look at your options, and these are the only ones you have, then forgiveness is not only Scriptural, and practical, but it is your best option.
How can I forgive? It’s not an easy thing to do. Three suggestions:
1. Revise Your Thinking About The Person. Your first picture centers on the hurt he/she administered to you. Look for something good about them. Give them the benefit of the doubt, realize they may be under great strain at home, job, etc.
2. When You Think Differently, You’ll Feel Differently. This will cause the feeling of hate to begin to dissolve. You may find yourself actually feeling sorry for the person, much in the way you try to understand one who is sick.
3. Give Up Your Right To Get Even. You cannot undo what’s been done, As Jesus is the model for my life, I will try to follow Him. On the cross He prayed, “Father forgive them …” May we really learn that forgiveness is the best option. And may we allow the all-knowing God to handle the person that has offended us! Leave it in God’s hands.
By Levi Side. 2/13/2023