Monday, September 28, 2015

Pastor's Ponderings, September 28, 2015

Forgive Others For Real

What do you do when you are disappointed with others?  What happens when the employer tells you that your skills are no longer needed, when your long time love announces they are seeing someone else, or when people that you depended upon let you down?  This can be excruciatingly painful and it may be difficult to forgive and forget.

Two disciples in the Bible let Jesus down in His hour of need.  They promoted their own interests before God and decided their needs were more important than Jesus’ needs during the last hours before the crucifixion.  Peter denied that he had known Jesus (Matthew 26:75) while Judas sold out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 27:3).  Both denied Him but Peter wept bitterly when he realized his betrayal while Judas took the final solution.

Jesus asked His Father to forgive His betrayers because they did not know what they were doing (Luke 23:34).  He advises us to do likewise.  But how can we possibly do this knowing what others have done to us?  We have to remember that God has forgiven us for all of our sins, past, present, and future.  Since God has forgiven us, we should extend the same courtesy to others. To do otherwise puts one’s own forgiveness in jeopardy (Matthew 6:14-15).  This is not easy, but God will give the strength that you need to forgive even when the crime is horrific, the effects are devastating, and the consequences irrevocable.  Let us forgive others as God forgives us.

Matthew 26:75
New International Version (NIV)
75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Matthew 27:3
New International Version (NIV)
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.

Luke 23:34
New International Version (NIV)
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Matthew 6:14-15
New International Version (NIV)
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

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