These words were spoken to me by an experienced “old timer” preacher. I felt mistreated and was complaining to this minister about some friends who had done me wrong. I wanted to get even with these people, and I was sure this minister would understand. As I explained my situation, this minister said these powerful words that I have never forgotten, “you may be able to whip a skunk, but you might not want to.” Anytime I want to get back at someone I always remember that skunk.
The first step to walking in God’s love is to forgive. “Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us...” Eph. 5:1-2. God’s love nature is in you and He would not require you to do something you couldn’t do. God is faithful and just to forgive our sins, so like Him we can forgive. Then we are in position to receive forgiveness, mercy and answers to our prayers.
Jesus said in Mark 11:25, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any.” An ought is any little thing. People say,” You ought to or ought not have done this.” Instead, Jesus said to forgive so that your Father in heaven can forgive you. I sometimes think it would be good to spray some people down with ought remover! Jesus said you can forgive while you stand praying. It can be that quick! Don’t say it’s going time to get over your offense. Time doesn’t enable you to get over your hurt, only choosing to forgive does.
THE COST OF UNFORGIVENESS
In Luke 17:1-6, Jesus taught the disciples to forgive, even up to seventy times seven times each day. He also talked about the sycamine tree and how they could use their authority to command the tree to be uprooted and planted in the sea. The sycamine tree actually represents offense. Here are five amazing facts about sycamine trees: 1) the tree grows in dry places 2) the roots grow deep 3) the fruit is very bitter and is eaten by the poor 4) the wood is used for building coffins 5) it is pollinated by the stinger of a wasp.
Unforgiveness puts us in a spiritually dry place where Satan can find an entrance into our lives (Matt. 12:43). Unforgiveness and bitterness grows deep roots that not only takes over your life, but defiles others as well (Hebrews 12:15). As believers, we have the authority to speak to challenging places of offense in our life and they have to be planted in the sea. The wonderful thing is the sea has the capacity to dissolve any bitterness and hurt so that we can’t even remember it.
IT PAYS TO FORGIVE
Dad Hagin told a story about a lady whose daughter had epilepsy. After spending some time with her, he found out that she had bitterness toward her mother-in-law. She actually confessed to him, “I hate my mother-in-law.” Dad Hagin explained to her 1 John 3:15 says that if you hate your brother, you’re a murderer. He asked her to say those words again, and asked her to listen down on the inside this time. So she said them again and described that she felt a little scratch inside. Dad Hagin told her that scratch was the Holy Spirit trying to get her attention. He instructed her to act like she would if she did love her mother-in-law, because she did. This lady forgave her mother-in-law and began to pray for her. The little girl was fine until a few days later when she suffered another seizure. This time the mother simply said, “Satan, I’m walking in love. Take your hands off my child.” The seizure stopped and the girl never again suffered another attack.
I remember going to one of Dad Hagin’s meetings expecting to hear about his visions and latest revelations from God. Instead, he preached a message about forgiveness and walking in the God kind of love. I thought, “That is not my problem.” As he continued preaching, I realized I did indeed have a problem with unforgiveness. At the end of the service, he called for those who needed to repent to stand to their feet. I was sitting in the minister’s section and thought there is no way I am going to do that – that would be embarrassing. But I knew I needed to respond so I stood up, repented and decided, “I’m going to walk in love whether anyone else does or not.” It was a small adjustment, but it made a big difference. In fact, in just 30 days, I was out of debt as a direct result of my decision to forgive and to walk in the love of God. Does it pay to forgive? Yes, it does! Faith works by love.
LOVE: THE SECRET TO SUCCESS
This month we want to offer you some tools that will help feed your faith. We have a 4 CD set called, “Love: The Secret to Success.” We also are excited to offer you a brand-new study booklet that includes scriptures and confessions that will help you renew your mind on the love of God. For your offering of $25 or more we will send you these wonderful resources. The love of God will never fail in any situation. It’s shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost and will cause you to walk in victory.
As you receive this letter, we will be ministering in Zambia and Kenya. We are expecting a great time in the Word and in the presence of God with these churches and Bible Schools. We are also anticipating a wonderful time at our Campmeeting in Alexandria, LA June 23 – 28, 2019. We want to personally invite you to be a part of these special meetings as we get saturated in the Word of God and His presence.
Thank you once again for your faithful partnership with us in World Missions. As you sow your seed, we believe the seed is guaranteed! It has a return address. Your harvest never gets confused (Ruth 2:12; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8; Hebrews 10:35)!
Mark and Trina