Me Forgive? You First

Bitterness abounds.  People have fallen in love with being bitter.  Some people seem to be most satisfied, when they are angry at someone.  It almost seems like being angry or bitter is more appealing than joy, peace, and love.  The sad part is this phenomenon occurs in the church as often as it does in the world.  Believers  are not experiencing fullness of their salvation.  They are not living the abundant life that Jesus offers through a relationship with Him.  Let's take a look at what Jesus says in "The Lord's Prayer".

Matthew 6:9-15

"In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as [it is] in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
"But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray.  What followed their question is by all accounts a "Perfect Prayer". An acronym you can use to help remember the keys to a model prayer is F.A.C.T.S. 

  • Faith
  • Adoration
  • Confession
  • Thanksgiving
  • Supplication

Faith;  But without faith [it is] impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. - Hbr 11:6 NKJV 

You have to believe that your prayer is heard.  Your faith is only as strong as the object you put your faith in.

Adoration;  Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. - 1Ch 29:11 KJV

Confession;  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. - 1Jo 1:9 KJV

Thanksgiving;  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. - Col 3:15 KJV

Supplication;  Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. - Phl 4:6 KJV

Jesus instructed to pray "in this manner". 

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive others
If I forgive, the Father will forgive
If you do not forgive, The Father will not forgive
This is a very important truth, we can only experience the fullness of our salvation, IF we have a forgiving heart.  If we want to have the "fullness of joy", we must learn to forgive and forget.  If we have a bitter heart, we run the risk of spreading our bitterness, and not the gospel of Christ.  We are to put on the "new man" and model Christ. 

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new [man] who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave [nor] free, but Christ [is] all and in all. - Col 3:5-11 NKJV

Practically speaking, when we choose to be bitter and unforgiving, we ourselves are the ones who suffer the most.  We rob ourselves of true joy and peace.  We dwell on the things in the past and it eats away like a cancer to our demise.  I have seen, and continue to see this plague people I know and family members too.  I listen to people claim that family is "the most important thing in life", yet they harbour bitterness, anger, and hatred even to the very ones they claim to hold so dearly in value.  

In married life, it is very common for a couple to fight over things that have been forgiven, yet not forgotten.  A woman or man will often say "I am willing to forgive, but I'll never forget".  That is a recipe for disaster.  If we can't. or won't forget, then we can never heal.  The wound keeps open and continues to bleed and infect the surrounding tissue.  Before long the whole house is bitter.  Unfortunatly that is exactly where Satan wants you.  Feuding amongst yourselves.

Because if we are feuding, we are not appealing.  That is, our lifestyle, as Christians, is not something they want to be a part of.  Our witness is useless, even harmful to the Gospel of Christ.

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