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forgiveness

Enjoying the freedom of being forgiven

There is a freedom we can only enjoy when we know we are forgiven. It gives us peace to live life as we can, based on the conscience we have, and not as others think that we should.

Being forgiven humbles our hearts.

But we still need to be watchful of different people who will come around trying to question this freedom.

Remember, “church” is not a group or a place. It is a spiritual dimension filled with love, not judgement.

Let the One who called you guide your heart with his peace. And enjoy the forgiven life of freedom he gave you.

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forgiveness

The joy of forgiveness

How we talk about people who hurt us says a lot about whether or not we have a relationship with the One who made us.

I met a Christian man recently who has been divorced for four years and talks in a resentful and bitter way about his ex-wife. According with him, she had no right before God to divorce him.

It was hard to listen to him. His voice, no matter what I talked about, was full of judgment and condemnation.

What he is missing in his life is not his ex-wife, but the joy of forgiveness. This is a gift that we receive from God when we allow him to make his home in us.

He attends church every Sunday and tried to discredit my faith when I said I wasn’t religious.

Yet no regular attendance to a place or membership to a group will give any of us the divine ability to forgive everyone. It comes from God when we are humble and willing to receive it.

It is only when we forgive everyone, and genuinely love and wish them well, that we experience divine joy.

Once we have tasted it, we always come back for more.

When this joy overflows in our spirit, our voices become an encouragement for others who can’t forgive and, as a result, can’t find peace in their lives.

If you are struggling with bitterness and resentment, pray for the willingness to be filled with love and forgiveness.

And you will joyfully taste peace that exceeds all understanding.

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forgiveness

Mercy always triumphs over judgment

When we see others acting in ways that don’t align with our conscience in Christ, we are called to be merciful.

We were forgiven by a merciful God who carried our sins on the cross and set us free to live a spiritual life filled with his love.

The world might judge and condemn, but we live under the power of grace. We speak up for mercy, forgiveness and love for everyone being crushed by the destructive systems of this world.

We must not keep silent when others are being crushed. Indignation has its place as long as we don’t lose our minds and become hostile, giving way to expressions of evil.

When it is necessary to confront others to assert our values, we must do so with calm and loving words.

We should pray with a hopeful spirit and ask that the One who made us converts the perpetrators of hatred and the ones being affected by it into expressions of his love.

His mercy always triumphs over judgment.

And when we allow him to make his home in us, and seek him first, his mercy triumphs over our judgment.

Without him, we would be agents of destruction. With him, we are agents of his peace and cooperators for his loving word.

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forgiveness

We heal when we forgive everyone

Forgiveness sets us free, but selective forgiveness has the opposite effect. We only heal when we forgive everyone.

No exceptions.

Serial killers, dictators, rapists? People who have cheated, abused and committed crimes against us? Yes, we are called to forgive them too. Our calling is to forgive the whole world.

If we forgive only the people who we think deserve to be forgiven, we are doing nothing more than judging them based on merit and singling them out.

When we take this path, we inevitably feed resentment. That’s how we end up chained to the people we can’t forgive. 

We have to forgive everyone. Instantly.

Forgiveness is an attitude towards life. Even people who have no relationship with God know that. What they don’t know is that it is only by God’s grace that we can forgive with a loving heart.

When we seek him first, we experience the power of forgiveness as a blessing. And it releases us from our chains straight into his loving arms, where we enjoy his peace and joy.

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forgiveness

We know we are forgiven when we repent

Genuine repentance, sincere and fruitful, produces change of mind, attitude and posture. But we are only capable of repentance when God forgives us. 

God’s forgiveness is what produces repentance. 

The blessing of repentance comes from God. He crushes us, provoking our heart. He knows us, he wants us, and he forgave us through Jesus across time and space. 

Yet we are creatures of spacetime and, every time we sin, we need his eternal forgiveness to provoke our repentance. 

Without divine forgiveness, there is no repentance.

Repentance is always preceded by divine forgiveness. We have to be crushed by God’s sovereign forgiveness that turns us inside out to surrender. As we surrender, we are transformed. 

Our spirit recognizes a sovereignty that comes before any human conclusion. So even those who don’t genuinely believe in God experience repentance. Repentance is God’s power at play.

When we repent, we know that God has forgiven us.

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forgiveness love

This world can judge us, but Love changes who we are

While we insist on judging ourselves, or listening when others judge us, we miss the fact that repentance is the power of God’s forgiveness already operating in us.

As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point.

Paul

We repent and rely exclusively on the One who makes us better. Relying on ourselves or the public opinion will crush us.

When God himself came here as the fully man, fully God Jesus, it was to draw us to him as a means to become like him.

We’re forgiven. We build our house upon this Rock.

By following his way and truth, we enjoy a peaceful life that doesn’t have an expiration date. The life he gives us in the spirit.

The judgment of this world has no power over our spirit. It is God who justifies and turns for good what was once used for evil.

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forgiveness recovery

Listen to your thoughts and heal with a grateful spirit

We can heal when we allow love to pacify our hearts. Only then can we learn to listen to our thoughts, examine them with a loving and forgiving heart and heal with a grateful spirit.

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forgiveness love

Only Love can conquer hatred

A rhetoric of peace and justice might carry political power, but it is powerless in its inability to transform people.

The systems of this world are in place largely to crush others in order to make them pay for what they have done to us. When we focus on exposing, shaming and condemning others, we are only sowing resentment, bitterness, anger and hatred. And we will certainly reap what we sow.

A message or movement of peace cannot be founded on principles of condemnation. When it does, it will achieve condemnation, but never peace.

When we genuinely want peace, we surrender to love – God’s love, forgive out of our loving heart and are freed from hatred.

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forgiveness love

Real justice comes from Love

I am sure we would all love to live in a just world. Justice itself is such a powerful word that we love throwing around because it reminds us that, in every situation, there is a right thing to do.

The tricky part about justice is that we know very well that none of us are in a good position to define what is just, and what is unjust. 

Since we know that real justice comes from love – because God is love – we should invest in forgiveness and leave the judgment to God. 

Jesus teaches us to forgive everyone, regardless of meritGod forgave you and me without merit, so out of love for God, and through His divine love, the only true love, we can also forgive one another regardless of merit. 70×7.

When we trust God’s justice, we receive rest through his grace. Trust that He is all good and that when, how and where are in His hands.

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forgiveness love

Forgiveness is an act of conscience, not feeling

If we relied on feelings to forgive people who hurt us, we would rarely forgive anyone. God calls us to forgive everyone, everyday, including ourselves. And that is possible because genuine forgiveness is an act of conscience that we exercise with God as our helper. 

There isn’t a worse type of slavery in this world than an unforgiving heart. It wraps us and drowns us in darkness, bitterness, hopelessness and an overwhelming feeling of evil. And yet we all suffer from that. 

Only God can heal our unforgiving hearts. And it is through his Grace that he can set us free by infusing us with the loving conscience to forgive. All we have to do, as always, is to be willing. And God will make everything else possible.