Like the cross, reconciliation is both vertical and horizontal. God pardons us, but we must extend forgiveness to others. We often look at forgiveness through an egotistical lens (“THEY hurt ME”) but tend to minimize our role (“I hurt THEM”). Adam and Eve blamed the serpent, each other and God. Resentment is toxic to any relationship. When we realize we are truly loved, accepted and forgiven by God, we no longer need to throw rocks at others. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Our identity is rooted in Christ. He loves us. We are truly and deeply loved.
In his book, “Unoffendable,” Brant Hansen says he often deems other motorists as idiots. Yet when Brant does what he condemns others for, THEY are still the idiots, not him. I smiled when I read his words, “Everybody’s an idiot but me. I’m awesome. Go me.” We, the forgiven, don’t have to be angry or offended. We do not have to condemn others. Part of the Lord’s Prayer is, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Matthew 18:15-35 insists since we are forgiven such a staggering and hopeless debt by God we must not nickel and dime others who owe us. Bitterness destroys. Jesus modeled forgiveness (Luke 23:34). So did Stephen (Acts 7:60). Prayer is supposed to have wheels. It leads us to action. Being reconciled to God and to others is what Jesus intends for His disciples.
Speaker: John Vick
March 7, 2021
Pastor of Evangelism and Prayer
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