Forgiveness Brings Hope

February 19, 2019

Good Morning Fellow Travelers,

Read: Matthew 18:21-35

 


“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  I John 1:9


People live with a lot of bitterness today.  Many go around for years carrying grudges and hate toward others.  Every time they think of someone or some experience, they are bitter.  Maybe you are filled with bitterness.

Did you ever think about how enslaved you are to the person you hate?  Your feelings are a slave to that grudge, and you cannot get over it.  Life is miserable as we become slaves to our hatred of others, hating our parents, hating the system, hating the law, hating the police, and finally hating God.

Hatred comes from within, from our hearts.  So the problem is in us.  We are unwilling to face up to ourselves.  Why don’t we just admit it?  We have messed up our own lives.  The only way out is confession and forgiveness, and to face yourself, your sin, your wrongdoing.  Take the consequence, serve your time, and begin building a new life in Christ.

The best way to face the future is to deal with the past.  If it is unrepented of and unforgiven, your past will forever stand in your way to a happy, hopeful future, and peace with God and others.

Ephesians 2:12 speaks of those “strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”  How is it that we are willing to live without hope?  It is the single reason why many see no alternative to suicide.  They have no hope.

Romans 8:24 says that we are saved by hope.  Hope in what?  Better pay, getting out of this place?  No, it is the hope we have in Jesus for forgiveness.  When we are forgiven, we forgive.  You cannot change the past, but in Christ the future can be joyous and hopeful.  We can have a living hope in Christ through the forgiveness of God.  Everything you have ever done can be erased, forgotten, and laid down.

Friend, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has promise of a free pardon for the sinner.  It rolls away the burden from the back, and it enables the criminal to take heart in grace.  Here we can exchange the dungeon of dreary fate for the glad sunshine of a new life.

–James Baer

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