Thursday, November 3, 2016
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT)
This week we've been looking at some ways to deal with the hurts that often come when we are concerned about someone we care about who has a life-controlling problem. We've discussed that healing comes through experiencing God's comfort and focusing on our hope in Christ . . . through prayer and open communication with God . . . and through the caring ministry of other Christians. Today and tomorrow we will talk about the healing that can come through the act of forgiveness.
You may feel you can never forgive the person who has disappointed you and hurt you deeply. How can I forgive someone who has done that? The better question may be how can we not forgive him or her when Jesus has forgiven us for so much more. We certainly do not deserve Jesus' forgiveness. And yet he gave his life to pay the penalty for our sin. He gives us forgiveness as a gift.
Matthew expressed this well with the parable of the unforgiving debtor in chapter 18, verses 21-35. Our debt to God is great, and he has forgiven us. We are to forgive the person who wrongs us (a much smaller debt) just as God has forgiven us. All through the Scriptures we find these two ideas connected: we need God's forgiveness, and we need to forgive. We are forgiven and need to be forgiving.
Father, thank you for Jesus. Thank you that because of his sacrifice, I have been forgiven. Help me never withhold forgiveness from someone who has hurt me. In Jesus' name . . .
THESE THOUGHTS WERE DRAWN FROM . . .
Concerned Persons: Because We Need Each Other by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min.
This study is designed for the many people who have a current or past relationship with a person who has a life-controlling problem. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost but thought you may want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website. Thank you!