And be kind to one another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. ~Ephesians 4:32
Yesterday I had the privilege of sharing a message with the residents of the Colony of Mercy at the morning worship service. The theme for this week is on forgiveness.
Some of you might be living in the dungeon of unforgiveness and need to be set free. True forgiveness is only possible as we yield to the control of the Holy Spirit.
I shared this story from the life of Corrie Ten Boom who was captured by the Nazi’s and held a concentration camp:
It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie’s pain-blanched face.
He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” He said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.
Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggles to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.
As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself. – Corrie Ten Boom
My guess today is that there is someone reading todays post that needs to either accept forgiveness or extend it. If you choose to not forgive, I guarantee that your life will be impacted in a negative way. Unforgiveness leads to bitterness which ultimately leads to a hardened heart.
You can choose today to forgive or be held captive in the prison of unforgiveness. Has the Lord brought someone to your mind who you need to forgive? If so, don’t delay. You take that bold, courageous step and make it right. You will then experience freedom from this bondage in your life. I’d love to hear from you.
Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Click Here to Download our 2016 Daily Bible Reading Plan
Daily Quote: I’m forgiven cause You were forsaken I’m accepted, You were condemned I am alive and well, Your spirit is within me ‘Cause You died and rose again. ~Chris Tomlin
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid? ~Psalm 27:1