Due to the current “Stay Home Stay Safe” order, most of you have been bundled up with your sweet “John Boy Walton” family, for quite some time now. You may be spending more time together now than you have in years. This unexpected happening may be a joyous bliss … or … it may feel like Pharaoh’s in the house and you’ve got one more night with the frogs (Exodus 8).
Well, let’s hope we can hear the distant violin as you and your family blissfully dance your way out of this shut down. But just in case you’re one of the “other” ones, you may need today’s message.
So, let’s start with a few eye-opening, knee knocking scriptures.
Matthew 6:14-15 … If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.
Mark 11:23-26 … For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Matthew 18:34-35 … The king was angry and handed him over to the tormentors until he had paid his entire debt. That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.
Yikes! And you think the frogs are bad!
These scriptures show the importance of your decision to forgive and get rid of resentment. And if you look again at the verses in Mark 11:23-26, you’ll see that forgiving goes hand in hand with speaking to your mountain (which is symbolic of whatever you may be facing) and getting what you ask for when you pray. Now that’s serious!
But it’s even more serious to be in a place where our Heavenly Father says He will not forgive us if we fail to forgive others.
All that’s bad enough if we fail to forgive, but looking again at Matthew 18:34-35, we’re being told that we will be turned over to the tormentors if we fail to forgive. Wow! I don’t know about you, but that sure doesn’t sound good to me.
I don’t think this verse is necessarily speaking about God handing us over to avenging angels, or fiery demons if we don’t develop some kind of sanctified amnesia, forgiving and forgetting all that’s ever been done to us.
But I do think we can conclude at the least, that unforgiveness is seriously unpleasing to God. And, I believe that in these verses, Jesus was talking about the torment of mind that grips someone when they gunnysack their hate and anger and feed on it.
You probably know of “some other person” who has failed to forgive. They act tormented by it … unhappy, complainy, cranky, angry, and the list goes on. They’re actually in a sense, allowing the one they refuse to forgive to do even worse harm to them.
It’s always a wise decision and really the only right decision, to forgive others who have wronged you, because unforgiveness is sin and the consequences of that sin are just not worth it.
If you feel you have no unforgiveness, that’s great, but be sure to ask the Lord to show you if you do. Sometimes unforgiveness has a way of tucking itself away, remaining unnoticed, yet gradually draining a person of spiritual strength and advancement. And let me point out this. We can even be in unforgiveness towards our self.
If you do realize or hear from the Lord that there is unforgiveness, here’s what I would recommend doing. Of course always be led by the Lord, but the following is a reference for getting the unforgiveness gone and the sin forgiven.
Tell God out loud, that you forgive the person(s).
Say something like, “Father God, in Jesus Name, I forgive _______ for anything he/she has done to me.”
Say this out loud any time you feel resentment or bad feelings towards the person. You don’t have to say it in front of them.
At the same time, if God tells you to go to them, then go to them.
Ask God to forgive you for being in unforgiveness and resentment.
Say something like, “Father God, in Jesus name, please forgive me for being in unforgiveness and resentment towards _______. I receive forgiveness and cleansing and I apply the blood of Jesus to this sin to bring it and its harvest to nothingness, in Jesus name.” (see 1 John 1:9)
Pray for the person. Ask God’s blessing upon their lives, and for God to show them their heart if they are indeed doing something against you or others. You can even pray in the spirit for them.
Finally, dig out scriptures on love, because the Bible says we must renew our minds. We do that with the Word of God. Romans 12:2 NKJV … And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Scriptures on love will keep you out of unforgiveness and resentment, and will also change your whole life for the better. Why?
Because the Bible says God is love. So when you’re speaking, listening to, and reading scriptures on love, you’re filling your life with God.
Of course you are filling your life with God when you do the same with any of His Word, because it says in John 1:1 NKJV … In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
But specifically focusing on the love scriptures will build your faith in that area, create an awareness of God’s will in that area, and even bring supernatural revelation from God concerning His love for us as well as our love for others.
The following are some love scriptures to get you started. Don’t delay in getting any unforgiveness out. It’s simply not worth the results that sin can bring.
Matthew 5:44-45 NKJV … But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
Matthew 22:37-39 NKJV … Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.‘ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
1 John 2:5-8 TLB ... Dear brothers, I am not writing out a new rule for you to obey, for it is an old one you have always had, right from the start. You have heard it all before. Yet it is always new, and works for you just as it did for Christ; and as we obey this commandment, to love one another, the darkness in our lives disappears and the new light of life in Christ shines in.
1 John 4:8 NKJV … He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:16 NKJV … And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.