Yeahhh, so I’m concluding the post on Christian living today. I decided however to post featured posts during the weekends, and then my original posts during the week. I hope you learn some more things in this last post on this series. Make sure to comment and let me know your thoughts.
The art of forgiveness is the Christian nature. It is the believer’s uniqueness. When he doesn’t forgive others, he puts his faith on the spotlight to be questioned.
To overcome offences the believer MUST learn to forgive.
OFFENCES WILL ALWAYS COME TO US….ALWAYS.
LUKE 17 :1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come…!
People are bound to say hurtful things to us, treat us unfairly, abuse us, cheat us, lie against us.
IT WILL SURELY COME TO PASS. IT WILL… DAILY.
Yet, we must never get offended nor live in offense.
Philippians 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
Paul prays that we live without offence until the day of Christ. The day of Christ is the Day of judgement for believers. In that Day we receive reward for our works as believers.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
1 Corinthians 3: 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Offence will surely make us lose our reward.
The only way out?
Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.
Only our Love walk can keep us free from offence.
We must have a love walk.
A lifestyle of love.
The love of God.
Matthew 5: 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
You are to love those who do wicked things to you! It’s not justifiable to hate one who hates you! Or curse back one who curses you!
Peter exhorts us.
1 Peter 2: 21 For even to this were you called [it is inseparable from your vocation]. For Christ also suffered for you, leaving you [His personal] example, so that you should follow in His footsteps.
22 He was guilty of no sin, neither was deceit (guile) ever found on His lips.
23 When He was reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult in return; [when] He was abused and suffered, He made no threats [of vengeance]; but he trusted [Himself and everything] to Him Who judges fairly. (Amplified Bible)
YOU MUST NEVER TAKE REVENGE.YOU MUST NEVER PAY FIRE FOR FIRE.
Revenge at times may come in subtle forms. You will tell other brethren about it so they will have disaffection against the offender.
Romans 12: 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone.
18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord.
20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.
21 Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good. (Amplified Bible)
The burning coals in verse 20 refers to an offering for sin.
In other words, you are asking for forgiveness for the offender by doing good to him. You are overcoming evil with good!
When you forgive and refuse to revenge you have Christ Jesus (not the offender) in view.
Ephesians 4:32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave. (Amplified Bible)
Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].
5:2 And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance. (Amplified Bible)
Practical things to do:
1. Always and never get carried away with the present and forget who you were.
By this I mean don’t start feeling like ‘I am a child of God as though you have always been, I am a man of faith and power as though you were born so. I am a man of God as though it was your family name’.
YOU WERE A SINNER SAVED BY MERCY AND GRACE.
Peters puts it this way.
1 Peter 1: 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is blind, [spiritually] shortsighted, seeing only what is near to him, and has become oblivious [to the fact] that he was cleansed from his old sins. (Amplified Bible)
We all hold on to the thread of God’s mercy. None of us can ever claim self-justification. We are only here by mercy!
We offended God (and even still do). He took the blame. He loved us and still does.
We need to constantly remind ourselves that we are SINNERS outside God’s mercy!
This will put us in check when we feel aggrieved by others.
Paul did this often.
1 Timothy 1: 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace (unmerited favor and blessing) of our Lord [actually] flowed out superabundantly and beyond measure for me, accompanied by faith and love that are [to be realized] in Christ Jesus.
15 The saying is sure and true and worthy of full and universal acceptance, that Christ Jesus (the Messiah) came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost. (Amplified Bible)
Never forget who you were. Never.
When all is said and done, all of us, I mean ALL OF US will be hanging ONLY, I repeat ONLY, on the MERCY OF GOD in eternity.
All our braggadocio before men, our church members would have ended. All our ‘solid” and oftentimes arrogant boasts on ‘New Creation realities’ will have no effect.
ONLY HIS MERCY WILL BE OUR HOPE AND FAITH.
Never forget. NEVER.
If God were to revenge daily, Humanity would need to be created again. Daily. No one would survive a day. No one!
2. Pray for your offenders.
We have been taught to pray against. This is not from the Word. When you are hurt, get HOT with praying for the offender.
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
How is this done?
Luke 23: 34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
Acts 7: 60 And falling on his knees, he cried out loudly, Lord, fix not this sin upon them [lay it not to their charge]! And when he had said this, he fell asleep [in death]. (Amplified Bible)
Both Christ- Jesus and the man in Him turned the focus on the Father in prayer. They refused to get personal about things done unto them.
They saw the sin firstly against God!
Hence they prayed. Heaped coals of fire upon the heads of the offender. Overcame evil with good!
We must include praying daily for those who offend us.
It must be a prayer point. For God to heal them, bless them, forgive them.
They shouldn’t fall and die because they hurt us, We didn’t (don’t) because we continually ‘hurt’ God!
People must be BLESSED when they hurt us. It is an opportunity for God’s blessings when they offend us. Evil done (deeds) creates the way for Good. Darkness for Light. Man’s sin brought out the “best” of God. His love.
WHEN ANYONE OFFENDS YOU, It’s only an avenue to bring out your best- The nature of God!
Wherever and whenever you read this, stop and pause over those who sinned against you, wronged you. Get on your knees and pray. At least 5 minutes.