Mercy! Forgiving When It’s Hard

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We need to forgive. It sets us free. It’s basic. It’s crucial. It’s one of those MUSTS of the faith. If we want forgiveness we must forgive others. It can be hard. Something important to know:  Forgiveness is not reconciliation. You don’t have to reengage in relationship with every person you forgive. You just need to quit trying to make them pay for what they did. The decision on what sort of future relationship you have with someone you have forgiven, or whether or not to have one at all; that is a different subject.  Ask God for wisdom on that. Remember, forgiveness is about getting free of the past. It’s not about where to take the relationship in the future.  Here are some tips to help with forgiveness:

 

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Be Unstoppable! Overcome Inaction Now

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Have you ever read “The Parable of the Bags of Gold,” as it is called in the NIV version of the Bible? That parable suddenly came to mind the other day. With a revelatory jolt, I suddenly realized that you and I have something of substance to learn from the servant who buried his talent rather than using it. The potential danger of ending up like him is more feasible than I’d ever considered.

 

Now, I tend to prefer to identify trouble ahead of time whenever possible, as to avoid it; rather than to race blindly into it. A bit of foresight and purposeful choice making can do a lot to steer us around pit falls, away from dead ends and toward a prosperous result in our lives. Right now, let’s learn an important lesson from the servant who did NOT prosper in the end. Let’s examine our ways and position ourselves for joy rather than for regret on that all important day of reckoning, shall we?

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Street Encounters

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 Healing a Toe

It’s a beautiful sunny day, not too hot; time to get outside for an exercise walk. I headed into a local park, walking on a meandering path of asphalt past a Hispanic couple seated on park bench. Being somewhat observant, I noticed the woman’s leg was extended, up on her man’s lap.  As I passed by I inquired how they were doing. The typical answer of “fine” came back, and it didn’t look like this is really the case. I pursued it a bit more by commenting on the woman’s leg. That’s when the couple opened up to some extent. It seems the man had accidentally stepped on the woman’s toe and she was in pain. The toenail looked clouded. I offered prayer.

 

Opening up some more, they both agreed. I explained that I would be praying in the name of Jesus; that I have an anointing from God to release his healing to people; and that it’s God who does the healing, not me. They still agreed.  The man said they are Christians and that he believed me. He meant it. I placed my hand gently over her toe and left it there as I spoke with them some more. After a few minutes I asked the woman how her toe was feeling. She said the pain was gone. The man’s face lit up with surprise and pleasure all at the same time. Continuing to leave my hand there a while longer, I went on to tell them about where revival is going on locally so they can visit if they’d like. I got the impression they aren’t in a fellowship anywhere so I hope they visit the place I told them about, or go somewhere else for support. After this encounter I walked onward and into several more street encounters; encounters of precious ones with different needs and God gave me different things to say each time.

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Influence the KING of Kings

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Does what you want matter to God or does God just do whatever he’s planned no matter what?  If you believe your prayers are of no consequence to God then you probably won’t pray much. On the other hand, the more convinced you become that you have influence with the LORD of all things, the more you’ll exercise that influence. And the more you exercise your influence the bigger a difference your life will make.

 

In the world’s system we often feel like we’re miles away from the power brokers; so far away that we can’t do much to change things. Not many of us can sit down for dinner with the President of the United States or the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, our favorite Hollywood star or professional athlete. Getting the ear of these kinds of powerful people seems a long way off to most of us. We can conclude that what we want will never get heard by those who can change history. That may be true in the world’s system but it would be an erroneous conclusion to make in the Kingdom of God. Any of us, who care to do so, can develop a relationship with the God of Creation and exercise influence with him to change things for the better.

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