SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN
“He who refuses to forgive, burns the bridge over which he himself must pass.” Have you ever studied the New Testament on the subject of forgiveness? The radical kind of forgiveness that God extends to us is the same kind He expects us to extend to others. It is amazing how in Christian circles we can rejoice about God’s forgiveness to us and have a brother by the throat at the same time. One of the most important lessons we can learn in life is how to forgive. In Luke 17:1-6, Jesus commanded forgiveness not 7 times, not 70 times, but 70 times 7! God expects us to forgive our brother 490 times. Perhaps God is so serious about us forgiving others because of the radical forgiveness He has extended to us (Psalm 103:1-3). God forgives and forgets our sins and expects us to do the same (Isaiah 43:25 26). The Greek meaning for the word forgive includes these words: forsake, leave, let go, remit. It denotes a cessation and completion. That means it is in the past and should be forgotten. It is over. When we refuse to forgive, we destroy the bridge we must cross to reach our blessing and destiny. Forgiveness is always connected to receiving God’s best blessings. Joseph forgave his brothers and reached his destiny. Satan always means it for evil, but God will turn it for good (Genesis 50:20). And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Job 42:10 Job prayed for his persecutors and critics. When he exercised love and forgiveness, there was a turn for the better in his condition. Forgiveness is always a turning point. Job was able to turn things around in his life by forgiving, and you can too!
CHOOSE TO FORGIVE
Praying for those who have hurt you or wronged you is choosing to forgive. The first lesson Jesus gave about prayer in the New Testament is about forgiveness. “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you; that you may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven,” Matthew 5:44-45.
One time I was complaining to an older minister about some “friends” who had done me wrong. I felt mistreated and wanted some payback or revenge. I felt justified in my feelings and was offended. As I explained the situation to this older minister, he said, “You may be able to whip a skunk, but you might not want to.” I have never forgotten that statement. Any time I want to get back at someone, I always remember the skunk.
The smell of unforgiveness defiles the atmosphere in every area of our lives. Unforgiveness is worse than the smell; it is a deadly poison that can kill. Forgiveness enables us to escape the “stink” that Satan is trying to put on us. I heard Dad Hagin say, “Any time you feel mistreated, you know the devil is working on you.” Satan is a master of offense. He is the accuser of the brethren. When we judge others, we are allowing Satan to use our mouths. Dad Hagin also said, “Putting out another fellow’s candle doesn’t brighten our own.”
FAITH’S GREATEST ENEMY
After the powerful lessons on unlimited faith and receiving from God in Mark 11:23-24, Jesus warns about unforgiveness (vs. 25). The greatest enemy to faith is unforgiveness. Unforgiveness stops faith from working, hinders your prayer life, limits blessing, stops spiritual growth, opens the door to the devil, and can cause sickness and disease – even premature death. Unforgiveness is a killer. Holding or nursing grudges - large or small - is a killer (Ephesians 4:26-27).
GET RID OF OUGHT
When you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any…. Mark 11:25 Jesus said, “if you have any ought against any.” This word ought simply means any little thing. It is wrong to hold unforgiveness against others or against yourself. If Jesus says you are forgiven, then you need to believe it, receive it, and expect God’s best blessings from now on. It does not take 10 years to forgive. Jesus said you can choose to forgive when you stand praying. It takes less than 10 seconds to forgive. Harboring unforgiveness can spoil 10 years of your life.
WORLD MISSIONS PARTNERS
This month we want to offer you our book and 4CD set, Love: The Secret to Success. We believe these will be great resources for you to help feed your faith on the love of God. Love is the way to VICTORY! We also want to thank you for your faithful partnership with us. Construction on our new Conference Center will be done within the next 2 months. We need about $250,000 to complete the sound system, tv studio lighting and to purchase chairs. We are excited to start scheduling meetings and recording TV programs. We believe we will be able to reach more people than ever before with the message of faith and who the believer is in Christ. Thank you for your faithful prayers and giving on this project. We declare to you, our partners, that “You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus,” Philippians 4:19 (MSG).