As we approach Easter, I thought we should look at forgiveness again. I also need it for myself right now as I was blindsided and hurt again Friday by someone close to me. Again I have cried, and this time I wanted to call my sister, and my wise daughter said "No, Mom, because you two will just gossip." I thanked her and told her she was exactly right. So, I have not spoken to my sister but have spoken to the Lord and one of my dearest friends that would give my Godly advice. She even told me to go and splatter some black paint and tell God I am angry. Oh how she knows me well! And now, I can say I am in a better place this morning because of it. So, together let's look at forgiveness again.
Last week (Aug. 2016), I was hurt deeply by someone very close to me. I cried for a long time, and I called my mom to rant. Thankfully she wasn't home because that's not who God wanted me to call. I was blindsided by what happened, and I turned to vent. When Mom wasn't available, I turned to the Lord and asked "What am I to learn from this? Why did this happen?" My questions still go unanswered but I am watching for the lesson. Am I still hurt? Absolutely! But I felt the Lord wanted me to settle this so I called the person immediately but they did not answer the phone. I ended up e-mailing the person a very lengthy message. I don't remember starting the e-mail or finishing it. The words just came, and I felt such a relief knowing my feelings were stated and heard. This person did not have the facts correct. Why couldn't this person call and talk to me instead of attacking me and ones I love via e-mail? I will never know the answers. The person that received my message, said they would call to discuss it with me after receiving my e-mail but they never did. I am trying to let it go because I said what God wanted me to say, and I have peace. Now if I could just get Satan out of the way as he tries to bring it back up when I sleep. Has this happened to you? How have you handled it? Do you run to others? Do you run to the Lord? What should we do next?
First, I must forgive this person, and you must forgive the person that wronged you. Whether or not this person ever agrees with me is not for me to worry about but forgiving this person is what I am to do because God has forgiven me, and He has forgiven you.
How did Jesus react when He was rejected, lied to, beaten, and crucified? He responded by praying for them, asking for forgiveness for them, and loving them. As Jesus was being crucified, He still prayed for those that sent Him to the Cross. He didn’t get angry with them but pleaded with the Father to forgive them. Luke 23:34
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.
You may ask, how did He love them? He loved them by going to the Cross for their sins. Blood cleanses sin. Without the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament, there would not have been forgiveness of sin. Hebrews 9:22
"In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Jesus was the ultimate and final blood sacrifice. His blood covers all of our sin and thus giving us forgiveness and eternal life with Him if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. If Jesus can love us and give to us such a tremendous, immeasureable gift, how much more should we forgive and extend grace to others? Jesus is our perfect example. We are not only to forgive those that wrong us but we are to pray for them and love them as Jesus did. And instead of letting those wounds fester and eat at you, experience the joy, happiness, and relief as you truly forgive.
Ephesians 1:7 "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace."
Colossians 1:13-14 "For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
I found this on the American Bible Society blog about forgiveness "But forgiveness doesn’t excuse the crime. It doesn’t minimize it. It doesn’t say it was okay. In fact, it does exactly the opposite. It squarely faces the offense. It says, 'You did wrong, and it hurt me badly. But now I’m choosing not to hate you for it.' God does not shrug off our sin. He asks us to own up to it. We should do the same as we forgive others."
I love that. Do you feel that things have to be 'happy' again once you forgive someone? When someone hurts us or has wronged us, we need to work it out with that person first. Pray hard, and realize that you may have sinned yourself. We should have a desire to restore the relationship not a desire to be proven right. But maybe that someone doesn't want to forgive you. How do you handle that? My pastor once told me that sometimes relationships are not meant to be restored but we are to forgive the person so we can move on. That has helped me in a relationship that I knew would never be restored. Is there someone maybe that you yourself are withholding forgiveness from? And what can you do to bless and love someone that has hurt you? Are you praying for them?
Psalm 103:10 "He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities."
Isaiah 1:18 "'Come now, let us settle the matter,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'"
Micah 7:18-19 "Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."
Luke 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."
Mark 11:25 "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
Romans 12:18 "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."
"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
"See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
"1 Peter 5:7
"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
We need to be in the habit of forgiving. If we can forgive 77 times, then we will be in the habit of forgiving!Matthew 18:21-22
"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
The ArtFor my art marks journal today, I used a quote I found. I don't know the author. Anyway, I really liked it, and I thought it went very well with the quote above by the American Bible Society. Forgiveness doesn't excuse the crime but I can turn my back on it and forgive the person that hurt me.I used bright cheery colors today to note how I feel once I forgive someone. And then I added some black paint splatters like my dear friend suggested to tell God I was angry and to get rid of that anger so to speak by throwing a little paint. :)
- What can you do to bless and love someone that has hurt you?
- How have you been able to forgive someone over and over again?
- To whom do you have to say "I'm sorry" the most?
Original Study Links
I combined two studies for today's lesson. One from 2016, and one from 2010. You can see those older studies here and here.Join us on our Facebook page, and remember to see all of our 2018 lessons, visit this post here. I needed to write this for today. I needed these scriptures as it is all so fresh (again). I hope some of you are helped by this today too. Being attacked and forgiving someone is hard. But with the Lord, we can do just that because He has forgiven us! Blessings,
Today we are looking back on a study about compassion from 2010. I hope you are as excited about this study as I am. Enjoy!
Are you so caught up in your own struggles or busyness that you fail to see the needs of those around you? Are you sensitive and compassionate towards others or are you selfish? Or on the other end of the spectrum are you feeling as though no one cares or is insensitive to your needs? Do you need some compassion right now? If you feel like that, I am sure there are many around you that feel that way too.
Compassion is meeting people where they are in life, spending time with them, not judging them, and most importantly loving them as God loves them. You can show compassion to anyone even to people you do not know—to the cashier at the grocery store, the bank teller, your postal carrier, a passerby in your neighborhood, anyone! When God brings someone to you whether a stranger or a friend, show them the compassion that Christ showed to everyone around Him.
Matthew 9:36 "When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."
Matthew 15:32 "Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, 'I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.'"
Luke 7:13 "When the Lord saw her, His heart went out to her and He said, 'Don’t cry.'"
Today He could be using you to accomplish His task. Are you sensitive to His leading and to those around you? Are you reaching out, meeting people where they are, and touching them? As we look to God in all things, our compassion grows for others. Showing that compassion and unconditional love draws people to Christ! How awesome and amazing is that?
As I shared this word back in 2010 with one of my daughter’s, she immediately said "Mom, that reminds me of the song 'Mighty to Save.'" If you have never heard that song before, listen below focusing on the very first verse:
“Mighty to Save”
Everyone needs compassion,
Love that's never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.
Notice again that first verse: 'Everyone needs compassion
.' Yes, everyone!!! Not just the people you like or the people you have time for but everyone. Over and over the Bible talks about the Lord's compassion. He has compassion on us; therefore, we need to have compassion for others. Nehemiah 9:17b ". . . But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love."Psalm 111:4 "He has caused His wonders to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and compassionate."Psalm 116:5 "The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion."Psalm 145:9 "The LORD is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made."Isaiah 30:18 "Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!"Lamentations 3:22-23 "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."
If His compassions do not fail and are new every morning, how can you go out today and show that same compassion to someone else?Colossians 3:12 "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."1 Peter 3:8 "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble." Journaling
- What compassions has the Lord shown you this week?
- What compassions have you shown someone else this week?
- How has someone shown compassion to you this week?
Goodness I struggled with this page. I really wanted to use this scrap piece of fabric on my table but I struggled. Usually I have a blast with these, and they come together quickly. Not this one. I guess I should have worked on something else or forgotten the piece of fabric. Ha! Anyway, I used a line from the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness
" based on Lamentations 3:22-23
for my page since it was just perfect for today's study.Original Study Link
To see this original study from 2010 on compassion, click here
This week, will you look for someone that needs a listening ear? Will you show that unconditional love and compassion towards them? Join us on our Facebook page
, and remember to see all of our 2018 lessons, visit this post here
. Compassionately in Christ,
When our girls were little they used to say "Fitz it, Mommy, fitz it." They were saying "Fix it, Mommy, fix it." Oh how we want to fix our children's hurts and struggles but sometimes we just can't. The best thing we can do is point them to Christ. Share God's word. Text a scripture. Share a hymn. Always point them to the Lord so that they will know the One to go to for all of their sorrows, joys, hurts, and struggles.
Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."
Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
2 Timothy 1:12 "That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day."
I created this quick art marks page to remember this hymn. I have pointed two of my girls to this hymn this week as my dear friend and prayer warrior reminded me of it, and my girls need it.
Thanks for joining me, and I pray you will think about how you can point others to Christ in their own struggles instead of "fitzing it" for them. Blessings,