Father Forgive Them
by Kathy Clark
For several months months the Lord has been speaking to me about forgiveness. It has been brought to my heart just how important it really is. It is not an option on our part, but our very life depends on it. This is the first and most important verse that He brought to my mind:
Jesus was not only forgiving those that handed him over for crucifixion, or the Roman soldiers that crucified him, but all mankind as well, and basically he is telling us to do the same thing.
Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
Jesus himself is saying here that we have the power to forgive or retain the sins that our fellow man have sinned against us, just like he did, and he did that as a man, not God. This is a pretty heavy responsibility, and it is not an option either. These are the next verses that the Lord quickened to me:
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: ( do you see that if there )
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
I would think these verses would be sufficient to see how important it is to forgive everyone that has sinned against us even if they never repent for that sin. Our being forgiven ourselves hinges on us forgiving others. Here is what the martyr Stephen said when he was dying:
And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Here is what Paul had to say:
At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
I just felt to share these verses here because they are so crucial to our own forgiveness. We say we forgive, but do we really. What does God's forgiveness look like?
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
We need to have that kind of love and forgiveness because our lives depend on it. How grateful we are that we are forgiven, how blessed we are that God remembers our sins no more. We are to give in the measure we are given. Freely we have received, freely we must give. Love hardly notices when others do it wrong.
By way of a little testimony I want to share something that has helped me to forgive, although I surely am not perfect at it yet. I saw that my children could say or do anything, still can, and it might hurt my feelings, but immediately afterwards I forgave them, and truly forgot it, but I had trouble doing this for everyone else. We need to keep short accounts. We need to forgive and forget just like we do for our children. Everybody needs that because they know not what the do. Forgive folks so that you can be forgiven.