Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). The Lord desires for us to forgive others the same way He forgave us when He hung on the cross. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He paid the price that we owe God for our disobedience and rebellion against His Spirit. The Bible teaches that our flesh wars against God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:17). Mankind by nature is rebellious against God. This is why people sin. Sin is when an individual disobeys God. When Adam and Even disobeyed God in the garden it brought sin into the world and separated mankind from God. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the ultimate price for our sins, and created an avenue for us to be reconciled with God. The Scripture states that; “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus offered Himself as a sinless sacrifice to God, so that we could be cleansed of our sins to serve the living God (Hebrews 9:14). God was and is willing to forgive each person for their sins, but in exchange He requires every individual to forgive others. Matthew 6:14-15 says; “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Though forgiving others may seem difficult, in the book of Matthew we see an example of how important forgiveness is. This story helps us to put the difficulty of forgiving others into the proper perspective.
Then Peter came up and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, `Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, `Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:21-35)
Forgiveness is so important in your walk with God. It frees you to live a life liberated in Christ, and it moves the heart of God to extend mercy towards you for your own wrongdoing and transgressions before Heaven. Forgiveness is a choice and not one that is always easy. However, as you take a step of faith and obedience to release from your heart the hurt that someone has inflicted upon you it enables you to live a life of greater integrity, humility, and love. It is in forgiving others and seeking forgiveness from those you have wronged and from your Heavenly Father, that you will also begin to forgive yourself as well. It is important for every person to forgive themselves, to forgive others, and to seek forgiveness as well.
Today we encourage you to seek the Lord’s forgiveness and to freely forgive others. The Lord desires your obedience concerning forgiving others of their sins against you, the same way He freely forgives you your sins.
You can start by praying this prayer aloud to Him;
Dear Lord Jesus,
I ask that You would forgive me of my sins and wash me clean with Your blood. I forgive those who have wronged me and I release any un-forgiveness from my heart. I repent for not forgiving others the same way you have forgiven me. I also forgive myself for the wrong I have done, and I ask You Lord to help me to live a more obedient and repented life.
In Jesus Mighty Name I Pray,