Let us pray
Father, we seek Your forgiveness for every wrong thought or word or deed. Help us to be obedient and live to please You. We know that it pleases You when we love and forgive our brothers and even our enemies. So we choose to give up all ill-will against our neighbours; and we bless all those who have cursed us. We keep no account of anyone’s sins. We forgive them all. We bless Your holy name and thank You for forgiving us.
The Pillar of Need – Forgiveness. Excerpt 16
“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Make it your goal, custom and habit to settle all accounts of your neighbour’s sins before you go to bed. There is a reason why we have been instructed to do this before the day is over. Once asleep, the bitterness and anger tend to grow. We have given the enemy ground to occupy in our hearts and he tries to build up strongholds resistant to God’s love and mercy. We live in guilt and condemnation as God’s hand of judgment is raised against us. On waking up, we feel separated from the Father’s love. Our vulnerability to the devil’s attacks increases till we have lost all peace of mind. We spend our days in a state of torment; our lives becoming a thoroughfare for his agents.
When you enter into the Lord’s presence you need to deal seriously with the accounts of your neighbours’ sins. At the bottom of every list of offenses committed against you on the previous day or even the year before (if you still have those accounts), you need to write: “Forgiven. Cancelled in full.” Pray earnestly for holy forgetfulness of your neighbours’ sins. Then come before God in full confidence, knowing that your sins will also be forgiven. Let us not finish the Lord’s Prayer with the ‘torturers’ still targeting our lives. We must firmly close the door on their faces by forgiving all our ‘debtors’.
The Pillar of Need – Forgiveness. Excerpt 15
“Let no bitter root grow and defile many.” Bitterness defiles lives, families and sometimes whole communities and nations. Anyone living with a bitter person has a trial on their hands. If we are not particularly careful in our dealings with such people, the bitterness and anger slowly creeps into our thoughts and attitude. Before long we will begin to judge others with the same scales our bitter companion uses. This is why we are warned in the book of Proverbs: “Do not befriend an angry person or you will learn his ways”. Sometimes unforgiveness is carried down through generations, greatly hindering the progress and prosperity of those involved.
Bitterness is one of the devil’s main weapons to attack the church, the reason for much division and strife in the household of God. If only Christians were taught to forgive and make forgiveness a prime goal in our lives, how quickly we would all experience healing and growth. We would then have an empowered rather than embattled church.
The Pillar of Need – Forgiveness. Excerpt 14
When the seed of bitterness or unforgiveness is first sown in our hearts, it is easy to cast it out. Reject the thought at once: “For Jesus’ sake I will not hold this wrong against my brother or sister. I choose to forgive him/her as the Lord has forgiven me.” If we do not act quickly, the seedling will put forth tiny roots. At this point getting rid of it will cause some discomfort. If however we water and nurture the little plant by constantly accepting negative thoughts or complaining, a big axe may be necessary to cut down and uproot the tree. If you think you are at this stage in your relationship with someone who has wronged you, I would encourage you to persist and not give up. With the Lord’s help it can be done. He will bring deliverance, healing and wholeness to your life and relationships. It is essential for you to be free of all bitterness, in order to allow the blessings of God to flow once again in your life.
The Pillar of Need – Forgiveness. Excerpt 13
Jesus said, “In the same way judgment without mercy will be shown to all those who have not been merciful.”
So Christians who refuse to forgive others quickly lose the joy of salvation. They remain bound because their own debts are unpaid. They fall into the hands of the ‘torturers’. Their unforgiving attitude gives access to the devil’s agents who torment them day and night. This is why so many Christians suffer needlessly, carrying a burden that they might so quickly be released from. There is no sense of freedom in their lives, only bitterness and despair. Jesus wants you to be free: “When you come to the altar and there realize that your brother has something against you, leave your gift; first go and be reconciled to your brother. Then come and offer your gift.”
The Pillar of Need – Forgiveness. Excerpt 12
Great was the forgiveness of the Master towards His servant. The man, greatly relieved, thanked his master and went on his way. But rather than go home to share the good news with his family, he went off looking for a fellow servant who owed him a small sum of money. His attitude to his debtor was completely different to the master’s: “Pay me right now the money you owe.” His neighbour pleaded for time, but the man now free of his own debt, responded with threats and abuse. He demanded full and immediate repayment.
The news of this cruel treatment reached the master’s ears. His master was furious… this servant had indeed taken him for a fool. He had shown contempt for the master’s generosity by not following his example. The result: he revoked the earlier release and put the man in jail at the mercy of ‘torturers’ till he could repay the entire amount.
The Pillar of Need – Forgiveness. Excerpt 11
…AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST US.
In some languages this prayer is translated as: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Jesus made it clear that while salvation is a free gift given to all who repent and believe Him, the forgiveness of a believer’s sins is conditional. It depends not on the sincerity of our intentions or the depth of sorrow over our sins, but it is subject to our willingness to forgive our neighbour his sins.
Jesus gave us the parable of the unforgiving servant to illustrate His point. A servant was so heavily indebted to his master that he had no hope of repaying his dues. His home, possessions and his family might be sold; still the debt would not be fully paid. In desperation he pleads with his master for more time. The master witnessing the utter misery of the servant chose to do more. He reckoned that time would only prolong the man’s agony and postpone judgment. In sharp contrast to modern bankers who offer more credit to sink their debtor and then come to claim all his possessions, this master decided to cancel every debt and give his servant a new start.