Good Friday

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When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.  John‬ ‭19‬:‭30‬ NIV

After the trial.

After the judgment.

After the sentencing.

After the shame.

After the pain.

After the spiritual separation.

After the spiritual pain.

Before His final breath.

“It is finished.”

My sin paid for.

My debt paid.

My forgiveness, offered.

My redemption, complete.

My relationship with God, possible.

Before you ever began, He finished it.

 

 

Grudges

Grudges clutter your soul with bitterness and weigh your heart down.

Living hurt because people lied to you in the past does not help you live in peace now.

Nursing the anger of dealing with people whose pride cut your life to shreds doesn’t help you heal but it does keep you emotionally wounded.

When you forgive someone, you are not denying what they did.  In fact, you are assigning responsibility for their actions to them. You are acknowledging the truth of what happened and how it impacted you.

Forgiveness is vital to the soul, it is balm and healing, relief and redeeming.

Letting go of a grudge is vital because you are valuable.  

What do you need to let go of today?

Who do you need to forgive and give to God?

 

 

Forgiveness is…

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Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for itwhatever it is.

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Forgiveness is taking the power away from them and giving it back to God.

You don’t have to trust them to forgive them.

Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with your heart.

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them.

They don’t even have to know that you have them released them to God.

What you have to do is make the choice to forgive them today and remake that choice every day after.

Eventually the feeling of releasing them to God will line up with the decision.

One day you will be able to remember what happened without reliving the pain what happened.

“When we forgive an offense, we set a prisoner free, only to discover that we were that prisoner”.

– Freedom Groups, Week 7

Where to Look

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“My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.”
Psalm 25:15 NIV
There is a point in your life when you realize that God is the only one who can release you from a snare.
A small but strong string of hurt, fear or unforgiveness that has wrapped around your heart and is tripping you up or holding you back.
It might have been set by someone else by action or word or it may have been something you inadvertently set for yourself: an inner vow to never trust again or never ask for help because you got rejected last time you did.
It’s frustrating.
It can almost become crippling.
Here is the thing: 
The one who hurt you, can’t heal you.    
You think that the words “I’m sorry” will heal you but they will not.
You don’t need an apology to be whole, you need Jesus to make you whole.
He is the only one who can heal your heart. He made it, will remake it and will continue to bring up the little snares that need to be healed because they hold you back from who you are created to be.
Who are you looking to for wholeness?
If they are anywhere else but Jesus, you will be disappointed and frustrated.
Look to the Lord to release you from the snare that is holding you back today.
What is that snare?
What is Jesus asking you to do about it?

Even If

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The best way to break the power of the past is to forgive.

Forgiveness is not a feeling it is a choice. A choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for it- whatever it is. 

Forgiveness is taking the power away from them and giving it back to God. 

You don’t have to trust them to forgive them. Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with them. 

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them. They don’t even have to know that you have released them to God.

What you do have to do is make the choice.

And every day after, continue to make the choice until the feeling lines up with the decision.

“The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17 MSG

Forgiveness is not about trust, it is about freedom.

What is keeping you from forgiving them?

What are you afraid of?

What does Jesus say about it?

The Adventure of a Lifetime.

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“Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.”
Matthew 6:12 MSG
Right with God, right with others.
Taking stock, taking responsibility.
Receiving grace, giving grace.
Living forgiven, living forgiving.
Everyday.
Jesus said to pray like this so that you could live like this.
Forgiveness sets you free to live the adventure that life brings you.
What do you need to ask forgiveness for today?
What do you need to forgive someone for today?

Beyond Forgiveness

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Living in hurt because people I loved lied to me in the past doesn’t help me live in peace now. It clutters my soul with bitterness.

Nursing the regret of dealing with people whose pride cut my life to shreds doesn’t help me heal but keeps me living wounded.

Living wounded is not God’s heart for my life or for the state of my soul.

Forgiveness is vital to the soul.

It is balm and healing. Relief and redeeming.

It is vital because you are valuable.

God wants this for you so much that he paid the price on the cross to guarantee you could receive it and give it.

But God has even more for you and your life.

Jesus spoke of it to the crowd that followed Him up a mountain:

“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it.

And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff.  Live generously.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:38-42‬ ‭MSG‬‬

What does life beyond forgiveness look like to Jesus?

It is living a life of generosity.

Someone takes advantage of you- give them what you have and move on with your life. Let it go. Forgive them. Ask God to bless them. Someday you may even be able to bless them yourself.

In this way, you will be living in the abundance of God’s love instead of the famine of past hurts.

God doesn’t deny that bad things happen or that people might take advantage of you but He also doesn’t abandon you to it. He empowers you to forgive, reminds you to let go and pours out His Spirit on you so that someday you can even become a blessing to them.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but in Christ, you can.

Crazy right?!?

No, you can’t do it on your own.

It is possible only by God’s grace, mercy, and power.

True freedom is living generously in your heart, spirit, and soul. It is going beyond the bare minimum to abundance in Christ.

Just start with a prayer:

“Jesus, set me so free from bitterness that I can live in your abundance in every area of my life. You made the way, help me to live it.  In your Name, Amen.”

My friend, may you be empowered by Jesus to live a life filled with freedom, wholeness, and generosity in every area of your life.