Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Reality of God's Forgiveness

James Newton shared, a story about Thomas A. Edison: They were working on a crazy contraption called a "light bulb" and it took a whole team of men 24 straight hours to put just one together. The story goes that when Edison was finished with one light bulb, he gave it to a young boy helper, who nervously carried it up the stairs. Step by step he cautiously watched his hands, obviously frightened of dropping such a priceless piece of work. You've probably guessed what happened by now; the poor young fellow dropped the bulb at the top of the stairs. It took the entire team of men twenty-four more hours to make another bulb. Finally, tired and ready for a break, Edison was ready to have his bulb carried up the stairs. He gave it to the same young boy who dropped the first one. That's true
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Luke recorded an excellent illustration of the depth and breadth of God’s forgiveness. He recorded, “Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly” (Luke 7:39-50, NIV).

The focus of the narrative was about a religious leader’s prejudice against a woman he called a “sinner.” With his remark, Jesus shared a parable to demonstrate the right attitude towards others. Moreover, it would expose the value and reality of God’s basis for forgiveness. Afterward, Jesus asked him a question and having understood the simple mathematical logic presented, his reply was affirmed. As Luke alluded,  The debtor who loved the most was the one to whom most had been forgiven” (Luke 7:42). It was through this simple yet powerful story that hammered a sharp lesson for us to remember. It is because of God’s great love for us that we become "kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another."

Our imperfections must keep us anchored on God’s mercy and grace towards us as John Chervokas illustrated this truth this way: “Opaquing fluid is the magical liquid that covers over your errors, your typos, your unfortunate slip-ups. You brush on the liquid and start all over again--hopefully this time with no unfortunate slip-ups. Opaquing fluid is forgiveness, an obliteration of a goof with no telltale traces that the goof happened at all.” From this beautiful gadget, it exemplified the reality of God's forgiveness for humanity to learn. We need to be reminded that Jesus did it on the cross of Calvary when He asked God to forgive those that crucified Him. Would there be a worst situation than what Jesus went through? He died for our sins and forgave others so that we can do the same to those that offended us. Thus, through His forgiveness, our hearts will be flooded to forgive others as well. Roy Smith emphasized, “The art of forgiving is a spiritual grace every Christian should develop and because Jesus forgives, we must also forgive others.”

What are we waiting for? God’s forgiveness can become a powerful weapon in a vindictive-filled world. Furthermore, it is what would heal hearts chained and imprisoned by the anguish of lack of forgiveness. Unfortunately, our stubbornness and pride becomes a hindrance to release any level of forgiveness. However, when we seek God’s help, He is more than willing to flood us with the ability to do so. When we surrender to Him, He will set us free to release others and set us free in the process. Life is too short to carry any baggage filled with unforgiveness. Jesus said it best, “ Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:28-29).

Let’s talk again!