Plymouth Congregational Church

God for All

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Forgiveness is not that big of a deal . . .
by Pastor Bill

I know we don’t come out and say it, but in our minds, I believe many people allow unresolved conflict and bitter feelings to remain in them, without realizing how much it robs us of the life God wants us to enjoy. 

Forgiveness is the gateway to so much of God’s blessing in our lives, just as unforgiveness is a gateway into so much negative in our lives.

An unforgiving heart is poison to your spirit, soul and body. Hebrews 12:15 says that a root of bitterness springs up and defiles many.  It doesn’t just defile many other people, but it defiles MANY OTHER AREAS OF OUR LIFE.  

The thought that forgiveness is optional or that we can get around to it when we get a chance has to be eliminated from our mindsets.

Let’s do so today! 

1.    Faith works through forgiveness– One of the most important verses about faith is in Mark 11:24 that says, “All things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted.”  But notice what it says next…  

2.   Mark 11:25 says, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him…” So you see, forgiveness is the gateway to answered prayer.  

3.   Deal with it today.  Ephesians 4:29 says, “don’t let the sun go down on your anger.”   There’s a reason that we need to forgive and be forgiven BEFORE the sun goes down. Our hearts are not designed to carry grudges longer than a day.  This is why so many people are weighed down with stress, anger and depression. A relationship is unresolved.  A heart is hardened.  A bitter feeling is being carried into our tomorrow.    

4.   Accept the fact that you were forgiven BECAUSE of the blood of Jesus.  Therefore, forgive others for the same reason—not because they deserved it. Forgiveness is a gift.    

5.   Forgiveness is the gateway to our inheritance. (Acts 26:17)  As we realize we are forgiven, we experience His blessing and inheritance in our lives.  As we forgive others, we empower them to experience it too.  

6.      YOU HAVE THE POWER TO FORGIVE. God gave us the Holy Spirit, so that we could forgive as He did. In John 20:22-23 it says, “He breathed on them and said, receive the Holy Spirit. Whoever sins you forgive are forgiven, and whoever sins you retain are retained.” This is as much a part of the great commission as preaching the gospel—it’s the very act of forgiving people.  When you forgive /cancel someone’s sins, then you shine the light of God’s grace upon their darkened heart, enabling them to see that God really IS good; that He loves them; that He wants to share His life with them.

THINK IT & SAY IT:

My faith works because I refuse to hold anything against anyone.  When I pray, I choose to forgive because forgiveness is the gateway to answered prayer.  

I refuse to let the poison of unforgiveness defile me and others around me.  I will not let a day go by where I hold bitter feelings in my heart toward anyone.  

God loves me, and wants me to pour out my heart toward Him.  I can confess it all to Him, and be cleansed from unforgiveness and resentment.  

I accept the blood of Jesus as the only way to be forgiven, and I extend forgiveness to others through that same blood. I have the power to forgive and cancel someone’s sin, through the Holy Spirit in me. I release, this day, every person who I have ever held anything against.  I am free and so are they!  In Jesus’ Name. 

In His mercy and grace. 

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3 thoughts on “

  1. Read the book “Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy” by Donald B. Kraybill. It’s the incredible story of the Amish in PA who lived through the tragedy of their one-room schoolhouse being raided and torn apart by a gunman. Several children were killed and the shooter committed suicide. The story is amazing and is the best lesson in forgiveness. A truly inspiring read!

  2. I not good with putting my feelings into words, but I will try. I just read about forgiviness. All week I worked on getting old stains out of a table cloth Stella gave me. I started working on it right away. The stains were very hard to get out but by Wednesday they were almost gone.

    Thursday when woke up I checked it and all the stains were gone except for one. As I prayed and continued to wash the stain away I asked God to show me the stain in my life that is stuborn and won’t come out. Every morning before I went to work I continued to spray spot remover on that spot. The first thing I did when I came home is to check if the spot was gone. Friday morning the spot is fading but still noticable. I spray more spot remover and brushed the spot with a soft tooth brush. I went to work that morning praying that God would take that spot away. You may think this is silly praying for a stain, but God can do anything. Friday after working all day, I go into my spare bedroom where I laid the table cloth over the bed and the stain remains. I’m getting angry so I start to pray and rebuke satan and plead the blood of Jesus over my home and told him he has no power over me I’m covered in the blood of Jesus….After a short while after that I got sick, I won’t go into details. I went to bed about 9 pm. Woke up at 9:15 pm crying and screaming. I had a nightmare about satan trying to kill me. I called my Sister Amy and she prayed with me over the phone and I was able to calm down enough to pray with her. I said why can’t I have a normal life. Why couldn’t my daughter Maria have taken good care of her children. Why did DSFS have to take them. Why to protect them from there mother. The beatings and the fowl mouth and the drugs. Amy said to me pray that the Lord would reveal the things in my heart that keep me from crying all the time. I said I would pray then the bad feelings went away. I got up and anointed my windows, doors and prayed God to send His angels to protect me.

    As I read the story about forgiviness bitter feelings jumped out at me and I sobbed and cryed and asked God to forgive the bitter feelings I have toward Maria. God revealed to me that the stain or spot in my life that was keeping me from a full life in Christ was bitter feelings. Thank you Jesus for healing the stain on my heart.

    Just this morning I was praying “do I really belong joining Plymouth Church” the answer is yes…when I saw the look on Stella’s face and Ann and Ada when the tablecloth was clean I knew this is where God wants me to be. This is where I will begin to heal.

    I love you Jesus…thank you for everything!

  3. Letting go sometimes of the “but they did this or that to me” is difficult, but Pastor Bill recommended a book for me to read called “Exquisite Agony” by Gene Edwards, that deals with that. What I got out of the book was that while on the cross, Jesus didn’t recite a list of the wrong-doings people did to him – he forgave them.

    I agree that “an unforgiving heart is poison to your spirit, soul and body.” I also liked the explanation in point #3 about not letting “sun go down on your anger,” – that our hearts aren’t designed to carry grudges longer than a day. And everything else you said makes sense to me, BUT this is still something I struggle with.

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