Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Forgiveness In Action


(Photo Source Bible Art)

This morning I was reading the book of Philemon & a few key points stood out to me that I wanted to share with you.

As you may know, this book of the Bible is a letter Paul wrote to Christian businessman named Philemon in regards to his runaway slave Onesimus. Paul had shared the Gospel of JESUS with Onesimus and he was lead to faith. Although he had a rebirth on the inside, his outward situation didn't change...he was still a runaway slave.

Slavery was common practice in Paul's day, and the punishment for a runaway slave was grave. However, Paul writes to Philemon asking him to forgive Onesimus instead of being angry and seeking restitution against his slave. How could Paul ask Philemon to do this? The answer is simple...Paul reminds Philemon of the forgiveness he himself had received from GOD through JESUS.

It's one thing to forgive a person but it's another thing to receive that person back into heart. You can release someone from a debt owed you, but how much harder is it to elevate that same person to a position of being truly equal to you.

Regardless of the issue that someone has betrayed your trust, offended you in some manner or even if they have completely turned their back on you, we can still look to GOD for HIS grace that allows us to show forth what we have received from JESUS...gracious forgiveness, willing acceptance and abundant love.

Where it is undeserved, offering your offender full forgiveness can be a challenge. Yet, this is exactly what GOD has offered us through CHRIST: lavish, undeserved, forgiveness that is fully & freely given.

As you read the book of Philemon, maybe you recognize yourself in Onesimus or even in Apphia (v.2) Have you runaway from GOD through sin or disobedience? Has the LORD told you to do something or to forgive someone but yet you have run the other way and ignored HIS prompting? Have you allowed offense to move you from where GOD has placed you? Have you yourself taken on the offense of another and let the enemy control your feelings, actions and/or thought life? Now is the time to turn back to GOD and with a pure heart earnestly seek HIS forgiveness.

I can hear HIS wondrous answer to you already, "MY grace is sufficient for you, for MY power is made perfect in weakness." II Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) What are you waiting for? Turn to the LORD and receive HIS full forgiveness today. Don't let another day go by without getting this taken care of. HE'S waiting for you right now.

5 comments:

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

So beautifully written and so true, sometimes it is hard to forget, but you must try for your sake if nothing else.
Molly

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...

Molly,

You are absolutely right. It's not easy but with CHRIST all things are possible.

Simply Heart And Home said...

Thank you for the encouraging words.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the gentle devotion this morning. It is a great reminder to do what is right and good. I just recently heard how hard it is for women to forget. We decided that we may just need to pray that God would take away the "sting" of the memory, so it isn't so painful when we do think about it. I like that thought.

Have a great day.

Carrie of Farming On Faith said...

AMEN!

Forgiving does not mean what the offender did was right~it just means we release it to our Father to take of of~He can take care of things much better than we can!