Have you ever been playing a CD, or your ipod and the same song gets stuck in the repeat cycle. This aggravates me till I figure out WHY it is doing that.
Well, I feel like I am “stuck” learning some truths about forgiveness. I am not frustrated though. I am LOVING IT!
This whole week has God has had me parked in my Bible in a topic throughout scripture that for some reason stumps me. So I figured I would tell you guys about it and see what responses I get. So please comment. Writing to you without your feedback makes me sometimes (being disobedient) question whether what I am saying from Jesus is making sense to you bloggers out there. 🙂
Let me show you the order of events that I have had this theme of re-occur.
FORGIVENESS…. (Don’t divert away from this page – stay with me!)
The other day I was looking at scripture in Acts 8 about the Sorcerer’s sin. His name was Simon and he was a magician. He lived in Samaria and astounded many because of all the things he could do. The apostle Phillip came to town telling others about Jesus and his saving power. Many came to know Christ through his teaching throughout Samaria, including Simon. He was even baptized.
So much was going on in that area that the disciples decided to send Peter and John to help out in spreading the word.
Let’s look at the rest of this story through scripture.
As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit.
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!”
But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God. Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.”
I could get off on a tangent about where my heart has been changed by the laying on of hands and receiving the Holy Spirit part of this scripture but for today check out the last part of this verse.
I just love Peter’s boldness! UMPH! Makes me want to stand up and say “Preach it brother!”
Peter says “You can have no part of this for your heart is not right with God.” Not right? – he just got saved, you say.
Yes, but his heart was tied up in sin! Actually, Peter’s word pierced my heart even more, “Repent and perhaps the Lord with forgive your evil thoughts.”
These are the things I hear Jesus saying in this scripture to me.
When there is unforgiveness in our hearts –
1 – We are not right with Jesus
2 – We need forgiveness from God from our EVIL THOUGHTS.
3 – there is a ROOT OF BITTERNESS that needs to be dug out.
Evil thoughts?? Do we do that when we harbor unforgiveness in our hearts? Another version of the Bible of mine says that we are “Poisoned by bitterness.”
This is serious stuff you guys!
Remember the scripture we discussed in an earlier post this week where in Colossians 3:13-15 says
“13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
This morning, I read some commentary that had me get up from my happy place with Jesus to begin this post at the computer. It brought it all together. Here is what it said:
“Forgiveness is made possible through Christ, who forgave us (Luke 23:34, Colossians 1:14). It is an act in which one person RELEASES another from an offense – refusing to enact the penalty due him or her, refusing to sustain considerations of the cause of the offense and refusing to allow that offense to affect the relationship. ”
Is there anyone you need to release?
Has it affected the relationships of many in your life?
We could stop right there and ponder on that one for a week but for time sake – I will continue.
It goes on to say, “Such forgiveness releases one from a sense of unresolved guilt, restores a clear conscience and restores the relationship. To forgive is not to condone the sin as acceptable, to say it made no difference, or to license repetition of it. Rather, forgiveness is a choice – a decision made to no longer hold an offense against another person or group.”
So today I ask you is there a root of unforgiveness or bitterness towards someone who you are needing to deal with at the ROOT? There is a choice we need to make.
Jesus says it’s time.
Thank Amy-I’m sure God had you write this for me (& others of course)…and I didn’t even mention any of THIS to you in our conversation yesterday! 🙂 I’ve been dealing with this very thing for a few months and Holy Spirit just this past week has shown me that the offense has turned into bitterness (just shared this with my bible study girls on Wednesday). Ms. Aleta said, “keeping the offense means you feel as though you are owed something.”…ouch! but the blook of Jesus paid all our debts. Anyway, thanks for reminding me to push through that offense and bitterness to not block the grace & mercy I need each day. *Proverbs 19:11- A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Guess I should have proofed the above better!!! ** Thanks Amy AND the BLOOD of Jesus…**
Always love reading your blog. This one is working on me too. Shared the “Blessings” lyrics last night at a league committee mtg. Tracey had shared that song with me last weekend and it is quickly becoming a favorite. Keep blogging- look forward to it EVERYday
Just what I needed to read tonight…I’ve been struggling with some mean things I overheard ppl saying, it hurts so much but I need to choose to forgive! I’ve been carrying it along with me all day, feeling bitter about it and now I feel the load just lift off as I bring it to Jesus. Thanks so much for sharing what you’re ‘stuck’ on 😀
Thanks Amy! I have a friend who is walking through the process of forgiveness and everytime we talk I have to look at the log in my eye before I help her work on her speck. This is such a struggle in my life because I tend to think (proudly, which is an entirely different topic) “Oh I don’t have trouble with that” but then there are certain people and situations that just make my blood boil over when I think of them. Whether my position (in my mind) is justified, Christ in me screams out “Choose to Forgive! Forgive, Forgive and Forgive again!” I love that you pointed out that it is our evil THOUGHTS that contribute to that root of bitterness. It is usually when I am alone and quiet that my thoughts start running, then I realize I am dwelling and replaying the situations in my mind, then the little tiny roots of bitterness toward the situation start taking root, soon I am justifying my righteous anger, then the roots of bitterness become more entrenched and stronger. Looks like I need to get out my heart gardening tools *smiles.* Love you girl!