Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Bible Minute

128 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

___________________________________
Bible Minute

Distributed Freely by Back To The Bible
Did you enjoy this devotional?
Send it on for a friend to enjoy.
Free Email Subscription
___________________________________


Daily Bible Study

Date: Sep 5, 2013
Topic: Forgiveness/Unforgiveness

Asking for Forgiveness

Asking for forgiveness is difficult. But if you've wronged someone, then it's necessary. In fact, in Matthew 5:23-24, Jesus tells us that seeking forgiveness ought to be a priority. "If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift" (ESV).

So, what's the correct way to go about seeking forgiveness? Here are seven steps to guide you.

Receive

1) Start with God and confess your sin to Him. 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (ESV). Start by seeking forgiveness from God.

2) Get a right perspective. Forgiveness is about canceling a debt. If your friend or neighbor chooses not to forgive, that's their business. But it starts with you.

3) Take responsibility. Forgiveness is never one-sided. Never expect the other person to share in the blame. This is about dealing with your own guilt.

4) Keep short accounts. I can say from personal experience that the longer you let a matter stand, the harder it is to confront it. Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians, "Do not let the sun go down on your anger" (4:26, ESV). In other words, keep short accounts. Deal with all of the little things every day, so the little things don't become big things.

5) Maintain small circles. The scope of your sin should determine the scope of your confession. If it's a private sin between you and God, keep the confession between you and God. If you've wronged your spouse, confess your sin to God and to your spouse. No one else needs to be involved.

6) Make confession personal. Phone calls and emails are no substitute for an honest, heartfelt, face-to-face apology.

7) Finally, make amends. If you've taken something from someone, return it. If it can't be returned, provide the equivalent.

Reflect

Has anything popped into your mind as you've read this?

Have you remembered any situation that you need to set right?

Are you waiting for the other person involved to make the first move, or are you willing to make that move?

Respond

Are there any unresolved issues in your life? Make a plan this week to set things right. It might seem like a small and insignificant matter, but if it's big enough to weigh on your mind, it's big enough to set right. Remember, first confess to God and trust Him for the strength and the grace you need as you seek reconciliation.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

___________________________________
Bible Minute

Distributed Freely by Back To The Bible
Did you enjoy this devotional?
Send it on for a friend to enjoy.
Free Email Subscription
___________________________________


Daily Bible Study

Date: Sep 6, 2013
Topic: Forgiveness/Unforgiveness

Benefits of Forgiveness

So, you know you're supposed to forgive others, but do you ever wonder what's in it for you? How will you benefit, if and when, you forgive? Let's look at seven benefits of forgiveness.

Receive

First, forgiveness puts you in a right relationship with God. First John 4:20 tells us, "If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen" (ESV). You can't have it both ways; loving God means loving others which includes granting and seeking forgiveness.

Second, forgiving others removes any roadblocks to your prayers. "And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses" (Mark 11:25, ESV).

Third, it ensures that God forgives you. In Matthew 6, Jesus taught forgiveness as part of prayer, " and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors....For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (6:12, 14-15, ESV). When God has forgiven you of so much, why shouldn't He expect you to forgive others as generously?

A fourth benefit is found indirectly in 1 Timothy 1:5, "The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (ESV). Real love comes from a good conscience; it means you've taken care of business with God. There is no barrier between you and Him. Nothing makes you feel guilty or ashamed to approach Him. Having real love means you forgive when you should and ask Him for forgiveness when it's necessary to do that.

Several of these benefits affect your relationship with others.

First, you experience reconciliation. You're at peace with others. "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother" (Matthew 18:15, ESV).

Secondly, it removes the bitterness which develops when you hold onto hurt or anger and refuse to forgive. "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:31-32, ESV).

Lastly, forgiveness leads to personal spiritual revival; it energizes your spiritual walk. And it can do the same in your church too. This is why the New Testament instructions to the churches and believers emphasize forgiving others.

Reflect

    Which of these benefits have you experienced?
    Where do you struggle with forgiveness?
    How has a lack of forgiveness impacted your relationship with God lately? With other people?
    Has bitterness set in? What are you doing about it?
    Which of the benefits discussed above do you find motivates you the most to do something about unforgiveness in your life?

Respond

It's nice to know you'll get something good out of becoming a person who forgives and seeks forgiveness. But it'll take more than knowledge. What steps can you take today to become that person?

Maybe you need to pick up the phone and call a friend to seek reconciliation. Or maybe you need to have a conversation with God first. Maybe it'll mean releasing the hurt and anger you carry; ask Him to handle it instead of holding onto it yourself and letting it become bitterness. Think it through; jot down the steps you need to take...then start with the first one and keep going. Ask for the Holy Spirit's help and the grace to enjoy the benefits of forgiveness.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Bible Minute in the format we've been used to has been discontinued and incorporated into a radio program by Back to the Bible. The email subscriptions to Bible Minute have also been discontinued. If you wish to read the transcript or listen to the radio program, use the below link:

http://www.bibleminute.org/

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0