In my opinion, the above scripture is the greatest example of forgiveness that we have. Here, Jesus is dying on the cross, not only for you and me but also for the very people that are crucifying him. From the time he was betrayed in the Garden by Judas, through his “trial” by the Pharisees, punishment and crucifixion at the hands of Pilate and his Guards, he was insulted, spat on, cursed at and beaten in every way imaginable. Still, while hanging from the cross and fighting for every breath he took, he asked God to forgive these people. If we look further, these were not the desperate words of a dying man. Jesus spoke of this before in Luke 6:27-30, where he tells to us to do good to those who hate you and bless those who curse us.
Oh yeah, you may think it’s easy for Jesus to say this and do that but we are just mere humans. If you think about it how many times have you benefited from holding a grudge? What satisfaction, moreover peace, do you get from cursing at someone who cut you off in traffic? If we’re honest with ourselves there are very few things that happen to us that we haven’t done to others, that is also why Jesus said in John 8:7 – If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone . . .”, let that one sink in for a minute . . . it convicts me every time!
Back to that person who cut you off in Traffic . . . . What if they had a sick child in the car and were just trying to get to the doctor. It would be pretty easy to forgive them then, wouldn’t it? Regardless, Jesus poured out his blood to forgive our sins, is it too much to ask us to swallow a little pride to forgive others? As my good friend Dan says . . . . “not so much”!
As we approach Resurrection Sunday (Easter) think about those around you and what they may be going through. We tend to assume the worst in people and all Jesus wants us to do is look for the best.
Luke 23:34 – Jesus said, “Father, FORGIVE them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
This scripture was written by Paul, who was by all accounts a pretty bad guy. Before his salvation, he sought out and persecuted those who followed Christ. We know how Paul’s life changed from the man we meet in Acts to the man we read in Philemon. He went on to preach the Gospel and bring countless people to know Christ.
On my way to work each day I listen to a couple of different programs. One of which is Dr. James Dobson’s. Focus on the Family. Last week, I was drawn into a three part interview with none other than David Berkowitz, the infamous Son-of-Sam serial killer. Before this, other than the name, I really didn’t know anything about the man or the terrible killings (6) which he committed in the mid ‘70’s. So over these three days I heard this man talk very candidly about his life and all that happened. From his childhood, by choice, he led a lonely life and was “troubled”. As he got older, he got into
drugs, cults & pornography (the sinners grand slam) Moreover, he had always had a violent temperament. Well some time after his capture and incarceration he found Christ and has been a follower, no Disciple, of Christ these past 10 years. Spreading the word, via his website, ariseandshine.org, much like what Paul did after his salvation (editors note, Paul didn’t have a website). However, it’s amazing how their lives parallel, from evil doer, to Christ follower that truly believes he is forgiven.
I certainly do not advocate the crimes committed by David Berkowitz, by the way, neither does he, who could? But can we forgive him for what he did? There is one who forgives us of all our Sins, Jesus Christ. If Jesus can take these two men, forgive them for their terrible deeds and use them to his Glory, just think how he could use you? . . .
. . . . if you will just let him . . . . . The Grace of God is unending . . . .
1Tim 1:16 – But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
My wife and I took a trip down to the Texas Hill Country this past weekend. In my modest travels, I think this area is some of God’s best “work”. The rolling hills, regal oak trees and winding creeks seem to be around every corner. The wildlife that occupies this country is equally beautiful and amazing. It’s so easy for us to get caught up in our lives that we rarely take time to appreciate God’s Creations. When you do though, it’s evident that all that we see and hear is not by happenstance. Take for example the Owl Butterfly or a simple Leaf insect, for their protection, God created these
defenseless creatures with an inherent ability to blend in with their surroundings or in the case of the Owl Butterfly, even scare their predators away. If we were to think like evolutionists do, it would be a logical conclusion that the Leaf Insect used to be a “leaf” and over time it just grew legs and a thorax, etc, etc. We know these to be the perfect creations of God our Father.
God gives all his creations special abilities. This means YOU! We all have something we do well. It could be an artistic skill or the ability to run a corporation. The point is that God wants you to use the abilities he gave you. So think about what you do well and/or enjoy doing and go do it, knowing that it is a gift from God and while you’re at it, give him the Glory and Praise that such a gift warrants. Revelation 4:11 – “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
We’ve all been in a situation when we think we know where we are going and then something bad happens. After the
fact, we scratch our heads in wonder. For me, a good example is I’m always the last to go to bed at night. That means
I’m charged with “shutting down” the house. I walk through my house countless times a day and certainly know my
way around. However, shut off all the lights and it becomes a different world. On that walk to the bedroom in the dark,
I have stubbed my toe more times than I’d like to admit. Without the light to guide me I have to be much more careful,
as a stray shoe that I could easily see in the light, may lie in wait to derail my walk to the bedroom.
The same is true in our daily lives and the decisions that we make. What things can derail our decision making process?
Greed, Jealousy, Lust, Self Servitude . . . we have all tripped over these proverbial shoes. How can we avoid them?
EASY! just turn on the “light” and choose the path that the Holy Spirit directs you to take. If you pray daily and ask for
guidance in your life you’ll be much more likely to take the correct path.
Are you feeling your way through life or have you put your trust in the light that we all can share in Jesus? Proverbs 4:26 – Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm