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27th Jan 2022


The God who Forgives

The Lord’s forgiveness is a powerful freeing thing.
It reconciles us to God & it reconciles us with one another.
Today we will explore two power-packed examples.
Joseph from the Old Testament & the women caught in adultery from the New Testament.
Both reveal to us the awesome power of forgiveness we find through the God who forgives.


When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.”
So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph:
“I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”
Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. Genesis 50:15-21 NKJV


Joseph suffered many wrongs & hardships in his life.
Sold into slavery by his brothers through hatred & jealousy.
Thankfully it wasn’t murder but that was in their hearts!
Falsely accused & later imprisoned by Potiphar & his wife.
Betrayed & long forgotten by Pharaoh’s butler.
Joseph was greatly & grievously sinned against.
Abandoned & forsaken by man but never by the Lord.
Thirteen long years in prison, upheld, sustained & blessed by the Lord, Joseph found grace to forgive.
When the opportunity to release forgiveness came Joseph was more than ready.
What had long been settled in his heart was released through his words & actions. So powerful.
The forgiveness that flowed brought much good, saved many lives & enabled his brothers & family to once again find peace & freedom.
The power of total forgiveness which we can find through God’s grace alone.
It starts in our hearts & then flows through our words, actions & attitudes.


So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them,
“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last.
And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:7-12


There are so many layers, levels & out-workings of sin in this lady’s freeing encounter with Jesus.
Jesus cuts through the cunning, conniving & cruel trap of the zealous religious leaders with powerful words of wisdom.
Deeply convicted, the stones drop & the steps quickly follow as the hypocritical accusers, one by one, silently slink away.
Jesus & the (guilty) victim at the heart of the cruel & callous trap are left alone.
No condemnation flows from His blessed lips but only forgiving love & compassion.
No stone from Him but instead the forgiving love of the Son. So beautiful.
The woman finds freedom & healing through His forgiving love.
She must now take responsibility to walk in newness of life.
Freed by Christ’s love she must now live free from her old life of sin.
As for her so for us.

Forgiveness is so powerful, so freeing & such a rich source of healing & strength.
Modern research evidences & testifies to the health benefits of forgiving others.
Forgiveness breaks the chains that bind us & snaps the shackles that restrain us.
It is a precious, priceless divine gift. To err is human to forgive ALL things is divine.

The grace to forgive is found in, & from, the God who forgives (Colossians 3:13).
When we choose to forgive others we gift & bless them with something precious & priceless.
Forgiveness is a divine gift that frees & heals both the giver & receiver.
Let us be those who readily release forgiveness as it is more blessed to give than receive (Acts 20:35).
Forgive as God forgave you – that is how we walk in the love, Light & Life of the Lord.
It is one of the ways we are perfected in the Father’s love (Matthew 5:48).


For Reflection

  • How soft, compassionate & forgiving is my heart?
  • Do I need to release forgiveness to anyone today?
  • Mediate upon the beauty & power of Christ’s forgiving love.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you You are El No-say – God who forgives.
Thank you that we are forgiven by the precious blood of Christ.
Thank you for the example of Christ.
Through the power & presence of the indwelling Spirit,
Help us to daily live & walk in Your forgiving love.
In the mighty name of Jesus,
Amen.

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