The gift of forgiveness

As a Christian, it’s almost a given that you are supposed to forgive. We shouldn’t be told that we need to forgive, but believe it or not, sometimes Christians need that extra nudge or rebuke for not forgiving. I used to believe that unforgiveness was something that could be taken care of overnight, with a single prayer, or even declaring that you’ve forgiven that person…the issue would be gone. Turns out that is not the case, God knows our heart and He will reveal to you if you have truly forgiven or not. How do I know this? Simple, God will cause you to dream about the people you have not forgiven. It has happened to me countless times and my spirit immediately recognizes what God is saying to me. Gosh, I love God, He is so patient with us. There is nothing God overlooks, even your partial forgiveness does not go unnoticed.

A prime example of forgiveness is Jesus himself. After all, he did die on the cross for us and forgave us for our past, present and future sins. He said, “Forgive them for they don’t know what they do.” I don’t believe Jesus was only referring to those mocking Him at that moment, but to all of humanity. Truly we don’t know what we are doing when we live without Christ, we don’t realize that we sin against God when we don’t receive Jesus in our hearts. Simply the rejection of Christ is a sin. So why is forgiveness a gift? Forgiveness is something that we don’t deserve and it is given freely, without a cost. It is a gift because not only are we grateful that God has given us forgiveness but because of that we too forgive others. It’s a special kind of gift that only you can give to yourself and to the person that hurt you. It’s not a fabricated gift, it’s a tailored gift. And God is pleased with you when you have a heart that is quick to forgive.

Here are three reasons why you should impart the gift of forgiveness:

#1 Bitterness in your heart is removed: Bitterness halts our progress in our spiritual life. We must have a spirit of gratitude, despite our situation. When we let go, the root of bitterness is literally rooted out of our spirit and we can move on.

#2 God wants you to have a pure heart: The word of God says that those who have a pure heart shall see God. Don’t you want to hear from God? God doesn’t listen to sinners and He also resists the proud. Yes, that means you need to let go of pride.

#3 You’re able to sow in others when you forgive: Yes, instead of preoccupying our focus on the situation or keeping records of wrongs, we must let go and focus your energy in sowing generously in others. Love does not keep records of wrongs. You cannot invest in others nor minister to others with resentment in your heart.  Invest in people, build relationships, and minister to others and move past the offenses. 2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”

Last but not least, there is something quite special that God sees from you when you forgive and let go. And this is what He says… Proverbs 19:11 – “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” Can you believe that? God says it is to your glory for overlooking a transgression! Can you imagine what incredible blessings will come when you let go of those emotions that are hurting you? Remember that Jesus said, “Woe to the world because of offenses. For offenses will inevitably come, but woe to that person by whom the offense comes” (Matthew 18:7). Yes, you will be tempted to sin because someone has offended you, the sin comes when you open the door to an offense. Shut the door to an offense and believe that God will honor you for having a heart that forgives, a heart like HIS. God bless you!

 

It’s time to soar, you’re called for more!

     Since the moment I gave my life to Christ, I remember hearing that the prosperity gospel was something to stay away from. While I completely understand why they warned you from it, as Christians, we’re not called either to the poor mentality gospel either. The prosperity gospel concerns itself with self-gratification and your spiritual condition is placed on the back burner. However, due to this extreme, Christians tend to run towards the other end of the spectrum and lack the motivation to be financially free or wealthy. When Jesus came to this Earth, He specifically said He came to give us life more abundantly. I think he was referring to both, physical and spiritual abundance. A lot of times I see the church is not prospering because we’re too complacent in the jobs we have and we slave away.  So many churches and ministries don’t prosper to their full potential because Christians either don’t tithe or give offerings like we ought to or would like to. Imagine if every church member actually tithe? Where would the gospel be now? How many people could we bless?

There is an incredible eye-opening verse in the Bible that truly stuck out to me when I read it, this is in the parable of the shrewd manager. This verse shifted my poor mentality of being stagnant and complacent. I encourage you to read it in its entirety. Essentially Jesus tells the story of a dishonest manager who was not taking care of the dealings of his master. Because this man had never done any hard labor and didn’t want to be homeless, he thought up a great idea. He decided to charge the people who owed his master and cut their bills down, essentially paying his master back something, rather than nothing. Jesus goes on to explain that the master commended the man for his cleverness and how he used his resources.

Luke 16:8 – “For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”

After reading this, I realized that people of this world who don’t have Christ are probably more astute than people from the Kingdom of God. (Come on, seriously people!) Later if you look at the verse, Jesus said that if we use worldly wealth here on Earth and bless others, once it is gone, at least it will have eternal repercussions. For instance, if you sow in a radio station and hundreds get saved, it is very likely that you will meet them in heaven and they will thank you. So the moral of the story is that Jesus wants us to be successful and excel in finances to bless others here and eternally. God doesn’t want us to love money and make it a god, but He does want us to be good stewards of it.

If you’re a wealthy Christian, God has blessed you with riches to bless others. Like the word says, to whom much is given, much is required. And for my fellow believers who are striving for more, Jesus can definitely bless you with more. God wants you to be a good steward of your finances now, even if it is not a lot. Show Him that you can be trusted with little.

Continuing on in the parable, Jesus later says, “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Brothers and sisters, we need to learn how to handle worldly wealth and stop fearing money. We have the keys to the Kingdom and what we bind here on Earth, we will bind in heaven. It’s time to leave Eygpt and head to the promised land!

God says….”But you are a CHOSEN people, a ROYAL priesthood, a HOLY nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9) Amen and amen. Let us rise together, unite together, and bring the gospel of Christ to others. Let’s use the resources God has given us now to bless others and not waste time wishing we could.