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You Don't Have to Forgive Them?

Good Afternoon Harvesters,

Sunday we began a new series of looking at things that Jesus sometimes people think Jesus said but never did.  Our first one out of the gate is that you don't have to forgive people.  NOT TRUE. 

In face, just the opposite is true. We looked at Matthew 6:9-15 as our main passage.  It is the commonly referred to as the Lord's Prayer.  Jesus reminds all of us in verse 12, "And forgive us our debts (sins), as we also forgive our debtors (those who sin against us)." He further sets the bar higher for us as His followers in verses 14-15, "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

Jesus reminds all of us that forgiveness and making amends with others is a very important part of the life as HIs disciple.  It matters because it affects our relationship with Him and our relationship with others. If we hold grudges or unforgiveness it can cause a break not just in the relationships on earth but also in heaven.

It is amazing to me how often I have found out that so many people have been holding on to past unforgiveness and it has caused severe pain the life of the one hanging on.  As I said Sunday, "Unforgiveness leads to a prison of offense, but forgiveness is the key that sets you free from the prison.

Giving forgiveness is more for us than it is for those who have hurt us.  Especially if they do not know they did. By us offering to forgive what they did or said frees us from the poison that can cause bitterness to over take our heart.

The quote from one author has been rattling around in my mind all week. "Holding a grudge doesn't make you strong. It makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn't make you week. It sets you free."

I hope you have taken time this week to examine your heart and to ask, 'What grudges are you having difficulty letting go?' And ask God to help you forgive as you have been forgiven by Him.

In this season of Thanksgiving, we have a resource that has been made available to us through Family Life, that we'd like to pass along to our Harvest Family.  It is an eBook that includes:

  • Three weeks of twice-a-week hands-on activities.
  • Thoughtful articles and prayers to internalize.
  • A gratitude scavenger hunt.
  • Conversation starters.
  • A fall family bucket list.
  • Prompts to create a Thanksgiving advent paper chain together.
  • Thanksgiving BINGO.
  • Scripture art to post or frame around the house—and more.

Download the eBook HERE and take advantage of this resource and be intentional about spending time with your family this Thanksgiving season. I will also have some hard copies available to pick-up if you like.

Have a great rest of the week and see you Sunday!

Blessings,
Pastor Tim 
Lead Pastor 
Harvest Community Church of the Nazarene