Forgive

Forgive, New Song from Reflect Worship

Forgive, new Reflect Worship Song

Forgiveness. Nothing can heal and even protect our heart from all wounds like forgiveness. In fact, nothing else ever will. And though forgiveness is vital to healthy spirituality (and our salvation) let’s not pretend that it is easy.

Forgiveness is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Where is the justice in just letting someone off the hook? To let them walk free after what they did to me? To forgive their debt? Where is the justice in that?

Well, one needs to look no further than the cross to find the answer. The justice for all wrongs and wounds was meted out and inflicted upon the LORD Jesus Christ as he was brutally tortured and nailed to a suspended wooden beam to suffocate in agony. His heart literally exploded from all the pressure and stress and strain of not only the physical torture he endured, but also of bearing the hellish torment of every sin ever committed. Because he loves us that much Jesus experienced the hell (the justice) that you deserved. He experienced the hell (the justice) that those who have wounded you deserve. He forgave us once for all at the cross and so, he asks us – No, he even requires – that we forgive those who have sinned against us.

Here is our latest song Forgive:


(adapted from a poem by Rosamond Herklots)

This song “Forgive” is about how forgiveness is such a vital element of the Lord’s Prayer:

“…forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” Luke 11:4 NLT

Do we think about the fact that we are asking God to be as forgiving to us as we are to others? Hmmm… that should make us stop and ask ourselves, ‘God, is there anyone I am not forgiving? Will you help me to learn to forgive everyone fully from my heart?’

Jesus was once asked by his disciples:

“Then who can be saved?” And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 NASB

I think about that as it relates to forgiveness as well. I would suggest that apart from a move of God and a profound act of grace from God on our behalf, it would be impossible to forgive. But with God…

I think about my friend Jon Stoffel. As they were out for a family outing, Jon, his wife, and his daughter Olivia were shot in a random act of violence by a distraught man. Jon and his daughter were killed and his wife survived. His last words to his wife in his parting moments were, “Forgive the shooter.”

I think about the families of the nine victims who were shot and killed by Dylann Roof in the South Carolina hate crime shooting who, by the grace of God, extended forgiveness to him. “This is how we deal with hate crimes”, they said. What the devil intended for evil God turned into good as the healing message of forgiveness went out across the world.

I think about Jesus last words to those who crucified him:

“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 NLT

I think about Stephen, the first martyr, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit was able to say in his last moments:

“Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” Acts 7:60 NLT

I don’t pretend to suggest that forgiveness is ever easy. Our wounds may run very deep. But God’s love and grace can run deeper still and by His grace we can experience a “peace that passes all understanding” and extend that peace to others.

Who wouldn’t want that?

forgiveness kitten

I have written many other blogs on Forgiveness. Here are a few of them:

One of my favorite quotes about forgiveness:

‘Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.’ – Anne Lammot

Categories: Forgive, Forgiveness, Redemption, Reflect Worship Music | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

“Old Men Will Dream”, Am I Getting Old?

“I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.” – Joel 2:28

Does this mean I’m getting old? I had a couple of dreams recently I thought were worth preserving for posterity:

Last night I dreamed that I was preaching on forgiveness. I shared that Jesus told us to:

“Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Luke 17:3-4 NLT

I shared that if Jesus asks us to forgive like this then surely he forgives like this… and more. Check out this Scripture:

Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.  – Matthew 18:21-22 NLT

forgiveThis is not exactly referring to 490 times but to God’s eternal complete forgiveness.

This has been my lifeline. I trust the forgiveness of God. And then, I extend this forgiveness of God to others.

Today as I was driving I began thinking of a dear friend of mine who is living in sin, running from God. I prayed, “On behalf of Jesus I forgive _____ of all their sins.”

“Blasphemous! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Sound familiar? The Pharisees said this of Jesus when He performed that incredible miracle of forgiving the paralytic’s sins! (Oh yea, and then he healed him… yawn… j/k!)

Well, the answer to that question is: Yes! Only God can forgive sins AND ALSO anyone else that he gives the authority to forgive sins. Jesus said this to his disciples:

“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:21-23 NLT

So this means if you are a disciple of Jesus who has received the Holy Spirit you have the power to forgive others sins.

You may be someone who needs to start following Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit before you too can possess this awesome power.

DREAM NUMBER TWO

“Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,  and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” – 2 Timothy 2:25-26 NIV & NLT

Scripture says that when we refuse to repent and oppose the truth we are taken captive by the enemy to do his will. This actually happened in my dream because I was guilty of a sin!

In my dream (and reality of course) I had super powers (as every believer does) and Satan was using me to destroy things, blast open doors, wreak havoc, cause general mayhem, chaos, and ruin.

Of course I was disturbed by what was happening. At one point Satan stopped and said, “Let me pause for a moment to laugh maniacally… Bwa hahaha!”

it-is-worse-when-you-dont-repent_mobileAt this point I came to my senses and yelled, “I repent!”

The invisible chains that the devil held me with broke off of me and I fought him off… quite easily actually. He was scared of me!

I saw the truth of James 4:7 in a whole new light:

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

This dream really spoke to me about the power of just being in right standing with God. Not a difficult thing by any means, we just get to (and absolutely must) repent of all our sins! No problemo!

Happy repenting everyone! Go and save the world my superhero friends!

Here is some context from James 4 & Psalm 51 that will help with the repenting:

“You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say,

“God opposes the proud
but favors the humble.”

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” James 4:4-10 NLT

Psalm 51:

“Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
and they will return to you.”

Categories: Dreams, Forgive | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com