November 25, 2014

Gratitude Facilitates Forgiveness

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 25, 2014

I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? Matthew 18:32-33

Sometimes I forget to thank the Lord for the depth and breadth of His forgiveness in my life. Once I was an enemy of God, now I am His servant and friend. Once I was a child of the devil, now I am a child of the King. Once I was deceived by the father of lies, now I am set free by the truth—Jesus Christ. The deeper my well of forgiveness the larger my capacity to draw waters of forgiveness to refresh others. Gratitude to God for my forgiveness facilitates my forgiving others.

Jesus illustrates the connection between gratitude and forgiveness by telling the story of one man who never grasped the vast degree of God’s forgiveness. Maybe he felt entitled not to share something as special as the Lord’s mercy and grace. He misjudged God’s judgment when this unforgiven man became judge over his servant who was in need of lesser grace. Instead of showing mercy that was modeled by his master, he withheld what was so freely given to him. The unmerciful man took God’s mercy for granted. Gratitude could have facilitated his forgiveness.

“Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 106:1, NJKV).

What blessings come to mind when you contemplate Christ’s goodness? How deep and wide is the magnitude of God’s grace and mercy in your life? Thank God for His patience, ask Him to grow your soul with His generous mercy. Pride resists reaching out to a relationship that hurt its heart, but humility finds a way not to stand in the way of the Spirit’s work. Anyone can ignore someone who ignores them, but thankfulness initiates an interest in what interests the estranged. Meet them where they are comfortable and listen to their issues. Gratitude facilitates forgiveness.

Our mortal mind is limited in its understanding of eternal love and our faith easily forgets how foreign our heavenly Father’s forgiveness was to us. Thankfulness, like a rudder on a boat, keeps us moving toward a growing heart of forgiveness. When gratitude to our Savior Jesus grips our heart, we can’t help but extend mercy and grace to a graceless face. Remember how far your heavenly Father has brought you and you will go further in your forgiveness. Be a facilitator not a disruptor of forgiveness. Express your genuine gratitude to God by your generous forgiveness.

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:15).

Related Readings: Psalm 32:1; 2 Corinthians 9:12-15; Philippians 1:3, 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:13

Post/Tweet today: Anyone can ignore someone who ignores them, but love initiates an interest in what interests the estranged. #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: 7 minute video, Corrie Ten Boom- How to Forgive:

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  1. Monica Thomas says:

    Wisdom has been brought to light in my life. Your daily words of wisdom is getting me through the test and trials of my life this present day. You dont know that each day that I speak to God, or a feel a certain way about my issue, your daily wisdom speaks exactly to my heart at moments when on God and I know what i am thinking and how I am feeling. Todays message is no different. I had to reach out to you. I purchased your book and it arrived yesterday. I plan to purchase all of them. I have begun to share your website with friends and loved ones because your messages cannot be ignored. I simply cant keep it to myself. All i can say to you is thank you. Thank you for being the vessel that uses Gods word to minister to me in my time of need. I cannot wait to share with you the testimony of how God has worked in my life and situation. Keep doing what you do! Dont stop. I am only one person who can say with great certainty that, now, I LOOK for your words of wisdom in my email every single day. THANK YOU!

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Monica~
      Thank you so very much for your kind words regarding the Wisdom Hunter’s devotionals. We give all the Glory to God! Isn’t is just amazing that God knows the words we need to see at the exact time we need to see them? HE loves us that much! He is so faithful and touches our heart with His Word, other people, circumstances, and devotionals when we need it the most. WOW!
      Monica, your precious words of encouragement were a gift to all of us and I know Boyd, especially, will be blessed by them. Thank you, too, for ordering the new book. We hope you will be blessed by it.
      Your sweet enthusiasm shines through your words and I can only imagine what a shining light you are to others around you! Your Love of the Lord is evident in your comments and I just know HE must be using you in a mighty way to touch the lives of others. Keep on doing the wonderful work of the kingdom, sharing His Word, and PLEASE keep in touch. We look forward to hearing from you again.
      In this season of giving thanks, Monica, we are so thankful for you. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
      Believing and trusting~

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