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3rd February 2023


Stay the course, Finish well

Joseph had a heart that was forgiven & free. The Lord had healed his grief & pain to make him whole again.
That meant that when he was divinely promoted to govern & rule he could do so with freedom.
That freedom enabled him to operate with integrity to implement wise, just policies & strategies.
He did not misuse, or abuse, the power & authority given to him because his heart was forgiven & free.
Joseph was running strong at this point & he brought deliverance from the famine for many.
He saved the nation of Egypt & his own family all because he knew the forgiving love of God & the total freedom that that brings.


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


Our hearts are so important as they are the major impactor & influence over our ambitions, attitudes, appetites & actions (Proverbs 4:23).
Joseph’s heart stayed clear & clean despite his prolonged struggles & suffering. He kept it right (humble & pure) before the Lord.
Joseph was physically imprisoned but his heart was totally free.
His brothers however were psychologically imprisoned & their hearts were in bondage to guilt & fear.
We see this when they fear Joseph’s vengeance after the death of their father Jacob (Genesis 50:15).
Joseph’s total forgiveness was the key that unlocked their chains & finally set them fee.
Total forgiveness brings freedom, healing, peace & reconciliation.
We see this with Joseph & his bothers. Forgiveness allowed their love for one another to fruit & flourish again.
Forgiveness reconciled the family & preserved the nation of Israel too.

Forgiveness is not easy. It costs & it costs dearly. It cost Christ & it will cost us.
The benefits far outweigh the costs though. Forgiveness flows from love, self-denial & humility.
As the saying goes – to err is human but to forgive is divine.
It is a gift of divine grace that brings peace & healing to both the giver & receiver.
Forgiveness does not excuse the actions or attitudes that may have wronged us.
It does though stop those actions & attitudes from destroying our hearts!!
Forgiveness does not change the past but it chooses to let go of it.
To let go so that one can move on & open up enlarged future possibilities.
Forgiveness brings freedom, peace & healing to both the giver & receiver.
It is a virtue of the brave & the strong!!! SELAH

God made the choice to forgive us in Christ. His love compelled Him & His grace & mercy accomplished it.
We too have to make the choice to forgive. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you (Colossians 3:13).
We are to imitate out heavenly Father & choose to love & forgive, even though we may be the ones who have been wronged.
Like the Lord let us be those who take the initiative & the first & most important step in the reconciliation process – forgiveness.
May it be something we are prepared to do daily. To keep short accounts & keep our hearts right with the Lord & others.
You are forgiven by God so be forgiving to others. Life with free & forgiven hearts is so much better.
Thank you Joseph for your wonderful example but more importantly thank you Jesus for forgiving us. Hallelujah!!!


For Reflection

  • Is there someone or something that I need to forgive today? Which stones do I need to drop & lay aside?
  • How am I watching over my heart in this area & keeping short accounts?
  • Meditate further upon the great gift of grace that forgiveness is.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you that You took the initiative in Christ to forgive me,
Even when I was totally undeserving of your love, grace & mercy.
Jesus thank you for the precious blood you shed for me,
That you took my place upon that cruel cross.
Holy Spirit help me to be ever ready to forgive others as the Lord has forgiven me,
To keep my heart clean & clear before the Lord & others.
This I ask In Jesus mighty Name.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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