Valentine’s Day is synonymous with love. What better time
 to celebrate love than this day, and what better way to celebrate
 love than by cleaning out our closet of unforgiveness; forgive
 everyone who has ever hurt or offended us in any way. What
better way to honor God than to forgive others as He
 has forgiven us.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attitude of the strong.” Mahatma Ghandi.

Forgiveness is neither a feeling nor an emotion; it is a
decision, a choice. God chose to forgive us – for Christ’s sake.
 What Christ did for us at Calvary was a demonstration of
 God’s Love and is the basis God uses for our forgiveness,
 not our worthiness. His Love is unconditional and is contingent
 only on our faith in Jesus. It is a gift we received when we
gave our hearts to Jesus. “…the free gift…resulted in justification.”
(Romans 5:16 NKJV). It is also ours to give – freely,
just as we received it.

Forgiveness is a gift that we can share with others. He expects
 us to follow His example to forgive. Feelings vary from day
 to day. Emotions change according to our moods. Brotherly
 love “feelings” based on our emotions are conditional
(if, when, because, until). If it isn’t based on the Love of
God which we received, it will fail. When we choose to
forgive, “agape” love kicks into gear. Agape was a word the
 early church adopted to define the kind of God-like love
 they had for one another. The word was so rare in Greek
 literature it has only been found in four places. Agape love is
so rare, it can only be found in those who have been infused with
the love of God. Love remains, never fails (1 Corinthians 13).
God forgives and doesn’t remember our sins! Agape love is
necessary for us to be able to forgive as God forgives us.
 It comes from God in our “forgiveness package.”

We become agents of His Love when we freely forgive, as He
forgave us. An agent has the power to act in behalf of the one
whom they represent. The Love of God is powerful, and when
 we forgive we are enforcing His power. Think of this way:
Forgiveness, like breathing, is essential. Exhale (give your sins
to Jesus) in repentance. Inhale (receive) forgiveness
empowered by His Love! Exhale: The power of forgiveness
is extended to others. Forgiveness fuels a heart on fire with
the Love of God and the embers warm the soul as we
extend it to others. The giver and receiver are both warmed.

Forgiveness is necessary for the healing of injuries and
injustices. Repentance can’t be a condition the victim
requires of the offender. No matter how hard they may try,
repentance doesn’t restore wholeness. A lie can’t be recovered
after it has been spread. It won’t bring a murder victim back to
 life. Some broken relationships have taken such different paths
 that it would be impossible to restore them. But repentance
 is vital for restoration of the person who is the offender. It is
 the beginning of the journey to restoration. And the victim
must forgive whether the one who injured them desires it or not.
 In fact, they may not even feel like they need it; they may have
 tried to justify their actions to the point that they don’t see any
wrong they have done. But forgiveness is the starting point
 of the wounded one on the path toward their healing. Without
 forgiveness, the inner wound will only get worse, become so
viral that it will affect the total health of the one hurting--mentally, spiritually, physically.

Without repentance, the offender
will become hardened and embittered as they resist the
wooing of the Holy Spirit to cleanse the soul by repenting.

The forgiveness we received from God does not remember
our past! Our enemy, Satan, will try to bring things to our
remembrance that we have already forgiven—others and
ourselves. He will pull it from the “dead file” of our minds
and attempt to resurrect it. Our best response is “I don’t
remember,” and refuse to give it space in our minds.

Without God’s brand of forgiveness:

*David would not have been “a man after God’s own heart.”

*Abraham would not have been called “a friend of God.”

*Simon would not have become Peter (rock).

*We would be lost!

After we have accepted God’s forgiveness, whom do we
need to forgive?

*Squabbling siblings must forgive one another.

*Children must forgive imperfect parents and themselves
for the worry they caused their parents.

*Parents must forgive rebellious, errant children and
themselves for having failed to be perfect.

*Husbands and wives must forgive one another for
 being different and having different needs

*Friends who have wounded each other in misunderstandings

*Others: Nosy neighbors, unfair bosses, inconsiderate
people, etc.--everyone.

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put
on tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness,
 longsuffering; bearing with one another, if anyone has a
complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so
you also must do.” (Colossians 3:12-13 NKJV).

God keeps no record of forgiven sins. It is awesome to learn that
after He forgives us, He trusts us! He gave us His great “treasure”
in these earthen vessels. “But we have this treasure in earthen
vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of
 us...” (2 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV). Forgiving those who have
wronged us is really a miracle, meaning it is God-enabled.
 Human nature can’t do it “from the heart” without God’s help.

Unforgiveness binds; forgiveness loosens – both on earth and in
heaven. Jesus taught that should we make every effort to forgive
one another and concluded it by saying “…whatever you bind on
 earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth
will loosed in heaven…” (Matthew 18:15-18 NKJV).

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 NKJV).
 God doesn’t hold our past against us, neither should we! We need
to see ourselves and others as FORGIVEN. It’s great to be FREE!

How much forgiveness do we need to give (and receive)? If we
 take Jesus’ words literally, it would come to 490 times each
day per person. Seven denotes completeness in many scriptural
references; so, actually, He was saying, “Just throw the score
 book away; I did.” Our forgiveness was complete, and He
 wants us to “complete” our forgiveness by making it permanent.
 When memory brings it up, forgive again, and if necessary,
again without regard to counting.

Process of forgiveness from God:

The Holy Ghost convicts; we react.

We reject the conviction that leads to repentance and
forgiveness, hardening our hearts,


We accept Christ’s offer as He comes to us with His
 forgiveness, cleanses us and recreates our nature so we
can forgive others in the same way.

Conviction brings brokenness. (Psalm 34:18). We can continue
 living just being broken (convicted)--unset—malformed
and miserable in our sins,


We can come to Christ and be healed—let Him "set" the
brokenness and have a right standing with God. Brokenness brings
 us to repentance, Repentance brings forgiveness, Forgiveness
 brings new life when we are “born again.”

Jesus took the first step and gave us an example when He
 forgave us and gave us new life in Him – sinless,
acceptable to God. (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Since we have been forgiven, He expects us to forgive one another. (Matthew 18:23-35).

God keeps no record of forgiven sins. He “trusts” us because
 of the “great treasure” He has given us in our earthly vessels,
 and protects us from the evil one by giving us the Holy Ghost,
Who is greater, to always be with us. That’s trust! He has given
us His nature, so that makes us trustworthy in His sight.

Forgiveness heals all who participate in it, both the giver and
the receiver. Paul warned that unforgiveness could give Satan
an advantage (2 Corinthians 2:10-11). Since it is so important
to God and essential to us, we need to just keep doing it. That
doesn’t mean we will do it perfectly; but we can make it
permanent by repeating the process as often as we need
to even if it is everyday, 490 times a day.

Practice makes perfect! The more we do it, the easier it
becomes and love will fill in the gaps.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violets shed on the
 heel that has crushed it.”

Forgiveness: Self-examination:

How important is it to forgive others?

It affects our total person--mentally, physically, spiritually--and
 all our relationships. It is not only important, it is essential that
we forgive “from the heart” (Matthew 18:35).

What if someone doesn’t deserve our forgiveness?

Maybe they don’t, but we can administer it with grace and mercy.

Consider this: What if God only forgave those who deserved
 it? Would we be eligible for His?

If we don’t forgive others, can we nullify ours?

Jesus taught His disciples to pray “Forgive us our trespasses
 as we forgive others who trespass against us.”

He also told
 of the man who was forgiven millions of dollars in debt but refused to forgive one who owed him around $20; and because he would
not forgive the paltry amount.  His one act of unforgiveness was equal to his huge unpayable debt, and now he was in debt again at a sum he couldn't possible pay.

Why take a chance, just forgive.

What if God didn’t forgive us?

There is no other name (besides Jesus) under heaven that can
save us. If we don’t have His forgiveness, there are eternal

There is no other alternative, and no exceptions.

Have a heart—Forgive!

Delores Adams
February 2005
Copyrighted. All rights reserved.

Alice's Legacy

Remembering Alice

The Library

Bible Studies

Pens Of Friends

Prayer Handkerchief

The "Handkerchief" has been anointed and prayed over by
several believers who care about you and want to help you
realize your full potential in Christ Jesus Our Lord.

~The Ten Commandments~