Do you accept the Forgiveness you have been given?
We asked a few congregants to answer the following question :
On Sunday at our live service, we spoke about the concept of being forgiven and accepting forgiveness. We looked at Matthew 18:21-35, If you would like to read a bit more about the concept of forgiveness as portrayed by the bible, check out this article.
Let's jump into the message
The idea of forgiveness resides at the core of the Christian faith. To be human means to be broken, not a day goes by that we do not hurt either ourselves or others through our words and deeds.
Although we often strive to be better, and to do better, it seems that we cannot escape the truth of human fallibility. Yet, regardless of this, or possibly because of it, God still loves.
This love is and was expressed through the redemptive act of the cross. When God confronts us with our brokenness, with our sin, and the impossibility of escaping our human nature, in all of its glory and despair, he does this not to remind us of our fundamental imperfections but rather to show us the immensity of his grace.
God forgives, not because of what we can be, but because of who he is. This forgiveness is not dependent on any thoughts, words, or deeds that originate from within us, but is an unconditional act that God has done and continues to do.
LET'S GET INTO IT
It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question. - Eugene Ionesco
Take some time to answer the following questions by yourself
What does it mean to accept this forgiveness?
Do we truly accept it, or do we often only acknowledge it?
What are those things that keep us from accepting forgiveness and why do we hold onto these things?
Because we are forgiven, is it easier to forgive others?
WORD INTO ACTION
What is the next step
It may be that there remains something that we struggle to accept forgiveness for. It may also be that we wonder why, if we have truly acknowledged and accepted God’s forgiveness, our words, deeds, and lives remain the same. As much as the cross was a singular event of forgiveness, grace is also daily, constantly, and freely given. To be forgiven, to live as someone that is forgiven requires consistent reminding. Every day is a new day and as such we confess daily and receive this forgiveness and grace anew each day. This then enables us to not only carry our own brokenness with a lighter heart but to also be less harsh when encountering the brokenness in another.
Forgiveness can be incredibly difficult. Robert Enright explains where to start with Eight keys to forgiveness
Know what forgiveness is and why it matters
Become “forgivingly fit”
Address your inner pain
Develop a forgiving mind through empathy
Find meaning in your suffering
When forgiveness is hard, call upon other strengths
Develop a forgiving heart
Check out his article here to guide you through these eight keys
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Amazing Grace –
Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found was blind but now I see.
It was grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come.
It is grace hath brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer's ear.
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds and drives away his fear.
Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free?
No, there is a cross for everyone and there is a cross for me.
That's all for this week
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