Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Forgiveness-An Act of Worship
"If Jesus forgave those who nailed Him to the Cross, and if God forgives you and me, how can you withhold your forgiveness from someone else? How can you withhold your forgiveness from yourself? If God says, "I forgive you," who are you to say, "Thank You, God, but I can't forgive myself"? Are your standards higher than His? Are you more righteous than He is? If God says, "I forgive you," then the only appropriate response is to say, "God, thank You. I don't deserve it, but I accept it. And to express my gratitude, I, in turn, forgive that person who has sinned against me."
We forgive others, not because they deserve it, but because He deserves it! The only reason we have to forgive is that He commands us to, and our obedience gives us opportunity to say to Him, "Thank You for forgiving me. I love You." Our forgiveness of others then becomes an act of worship that we would not enter into except for Who He is and for the overwhelming debt of love we owe Him. " Anne Graham Lotz
The thoughts above may be written by Anne Graham Lotz, but they are so succinctly the expression of my own heart, that I wanted to post them for my readers. I have found that forgiveness when done in the right Spirit is a powerful thing. Being forgiven is a powerful thing. When we forgive and are forgiven we are freed from the weight of guilt and bitterness. I am so thankful for God's forgiveness, the forgiveness of others, and my ability to forgive and let go of grudges, hurt or resentment. We can never be what God wants us to be with bitterness, unforgiveness, or guilt harbored in our hearts.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for women like Anne Graham Lotz who express words in such a way that I never could. Thank You for her ministry and for her Spirit-filled life. Thank You for forgiveness, both given and received, and for the stream of cool, clear spiritual water that runs through our hearts when we forgive and accept forgiveness. You are worthy of all our praise now and forevermore because of Your great love for us. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.