September 9, 2014

Freedom in Forgiveness

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 9, 2014

At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. Matthew 18:26-27

God’s forgiveness gives us freedom. Freedom from paying our unpayable debt of sin. Freedom from the devil’s control. Freedom from evil’s allure. Freedom from hell. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from lying, cheating and stealing. Freedom from the fog of faulty thinking. Freedom to forgive ourselves and freedom to forgive others. God forgives us to walk out of the jail cell of our pride: free to forgive. Christ forgives me, so I am free to forgive myself and  others.

Jesus describes two men in debt. The first debtor owed 500 lifetimes of salary to the king. He couldn’t possibly pay his debt, but was relieved when the king forgave what he owed. The second debtor, who was the slave of the first debtor, owed his master 100 days wages. Ironically, the first debtor unmercifully put his servant into prison for a small debt, compared to the massive amount he was just forgiven. Confined behind bars the second debtor was unable to pay, even if he wanted too. How could this unforgiving creditor be so callous, having just received such a magnanimous gift?

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Having experienced the surpassing grace of God in our life through Christ’s forgiveness, our gratitude grows us in kindness and compassion. Indeed gratitude greases the skids of kindness and compassion, so forgiveness easily flows from our soul. Like a christened cruise ship slides steadily toward the water on lubricated rails, so our new life in Christ moves our soul forward to forgiveness on the grace covered rails of kindness and compassion. Forgiveness incubates in a heart of gratitude. If we don’t get over God’s mercy and forgiveness, it gets all over us. It frees us up!

Hallelujah, God’s forgiveness is a cycle of freedom. By grace through faith in Jesus our heavenly Father forgives us. We joyfully receive His forgiveness with a grateful heart. From our thankful heart flows kindness, compassion and mercy to forgive ourselves and to forgive others. Some who experience our ongoing forgivingness will seek forgiveness from God. Thus, Christ’s cycle of freedom in forgiveness perpetuates across the nations. We are free indeed to forgive as needed.

Does gratitude mark your attitude or do you take God’s grace for granted? Who needs your abundance of kindness and compassion? Your ongoing mercy and forgiveness toward others may be the only Jesus they see and experience. Release offenders from your mental and emotional prisons;  both of you will be set free to enjoy the fruits of forgiveness: peace, joy, laughter, smiles, affection, intimacy, security and fulfillment. In Christ, we have freedom in forgiveness!

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for releasing me by Your grace to be free to forgive.

Related Readings: Matthew 6:14-15, 18:21-35; Luke 17:4, 11-19; Colossians 3:12-13

Post/Tweet today:  If we don’t get over God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness–it gets all over us. #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: Matthew West brief forgiveness video story/song-

Our new book, The Way of Wisdom: A Journey Towards Spiritual Growth, coming          October!  Pre-order your copy today. Boyd’s one minute book video-

Boyd’s one minute video about the new book-

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