Colossians 3:13 (NKJV)
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
When I think of the mountain of debt that was my sin against God before I came to Him, and the fact that He forgave it all, I stand amazed in the glory of our great and merciful God. I lived a very different life than I do now through His merciful forgiveness. I am very thankful for the forgiveness He has bestowed upon me. It really is absolutely amazing that grace!
We had a fairly significant snowstorm yesterday. The snow falling to the ground is a pretty remarkable sight, so peaceful and pleasant. The thing I noticed most was what it was covering up. It has been a fairly warm winter here, so before this storm, there was a lot of grass showing on the lawn. That grass was completely dead, the trees that once supported vibrant green leaves now stand barren, the outside world just looks a little on the dead side. The snow falling to the ground eventually built up higher and higher until the landscape was transformed into a brilliant white. All the death that was the grass and bare trees, now alive with glistening white snow. When we come to the Lord we are dirty, disgusting, sin-filled, and dying. But the Lord washes all that away, like the fresh snow. We see the death that was our life, God sees His perfection through the blood of Jesus. What an amazing thing!
If God forgave us in our trespass towards Him, we must be willing to forgive others as well. Think about the stuff we hold grudges for, a small unpaid debt, something offensive that was said, or any number of things. We really do hold grudges over the smallest of offenses. But we are being called to forgive others as Jesus has forgiven us.
Jesus is longsuffering towards our sin, He bears with us for long periods of time before we seek forgiveness. Jesus comes to us in the place we are at to offer forgiveness instead of waiting for us to go to Him. His forgiveness is complete, He does not hold anything back and that previous sin is remembered no more. God keeps reaching out to bridge the gap between us and Himself. Is that how we approach forgiveness with our friends, is that how we approach that with our enemies?
If we love as Jesus loves, we should forgive as Jesus forgives. Love that person next to you enough to reach out with a complete forgiveness. Showing the love of Christ to this world also begs us to show it complete forgiveness as well.
It is so easy to be thankful for God’s never-ending forgiveness when it is being showered upon ourselves, ask us to forgive others in a similar manner, that is tough. Our flesh wants to hold on to every grudge, resist that and forgive others as Jesus forgives.
1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.