THE FREEING BEAUTY OF FORGIVENESS


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

THE FREEING BEAUTY OF FORGIVENESS
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“This is how my heavenly
Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your
brother from your
heart.” Matthew 18:35

In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a street-witnessing team
became involved in an
extraordinary situation. A young Mexican called Samuel
would walk for two
hours each day to join them and act as an interpreter.
They discovered that
Samuel’s mother and sister had been murdered and that he
witnessed the
killings but, despite trying to intervene, was unable to stop
them. He said he
knew the man who did it.

He had a desire to go and
avenge the killings, but then became a Christian and
his whole attitude
changed. He began a Bible study group now attended by
twenty people. On the
final night of the meetings, he saw the man he believed
had murdered his
mother and sister go forward to receive Jesus Christ as his
Savior. Samuel
made his way through the throng of people and shook his hand
and welcomed him
“into the Kingdom.” Samuel was able to forgive him.

In Jesus’ teaching,
there is little doubt that, as a Christian, I MUST forgive
those who have
wronged me. Then our human, time-bound minds cry out with the
loud fleshly
inquiry—“WHY?”

Again Philip Yancey points out that through the process of
forgiveness we
realize we are not as different from the wrongdoer as we would
like to think.
And we end up linked on the same side.

In essence, God
linked Himself with us humans in the incarnation. Somehow God
had to come to
terms with these creatures He desperately wanted to love. On
earth, living
among us, he learned what it was like to be human—yet without
sin. But He put Himself on our side. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for
us.

Forgiveness is a key component of the victorious, overcomer.
This is the way
of the cross to becoming “more than conquerors.”

As a
young Christian in Cambodia, Cham witnessed a Khmer Rouge soldier—a youth
he
knew from school—bludgeon his mother to death by hitting her repeatedly
over
the head with a wooden board.

Cham suffered from severe depression over
memories of that incident for many
months. But eventually the Lord helped him
gain victory over it.

Ten years later, Cham was walking down the main
street of Phnom Penh and saw
that young man who had killed his mother. The
young man was very fearful of
revenge when he recognized Cham approaching
him. With moist eyes Cham looked
at him and said, “In the name of Jesus, I
forgive you!” Cham was free.

RESPONSE: I accept today that forgiveness is
a must for me as a follower of
Jesus.

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for so
many rich examples of the freeing beauty of
forgiveness.

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