Because God so loved us that He gave, we so love that we give. God’s love is what we are to give, above all. It is a gift; therefore, it’s given without any expectation of receiving anything in return. God keeps on loving us and we keep on loving, by grace, through faith.
Forgiveness, joy and peace come as we give love. It’s not our human love that we give; it’s the unconditional love of God that has been placed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Love is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit, and the one without which none of the others could exist. We recognize we are walking with the Lord by the way we love one another.
It’s not what is given in the natural that has value; it’s the love that is given through a gift. This gift can be a hug, a smile, a scripture or a cookie. The value placed on a gift is the same for all things given: the love that it carries. A hug from a heart of love is worth much more than an expensive gift from obligation. Truly the Lord Himself is a gift that never stops giving, from glory to glory!
1 John 4:11-12 “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.”
When Jesus told the disciples to forgive others seventy times seven in the same day, they said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” They didn’t pray for more peace, love, or power; but for more faith.
They knew the continuous failures of human ways could hinder their trust in God’s ability to bring definite change. They recognized that only as the Lord increased their faith in His ways could they keep forgiving. We also pray this way to forgive others, and ourselves, which is often the most challenging. It’s our confidence in the Lord that helps us walk in Him day by day. He is the author and finisher of our faith. When we need to forgive, we need to believe that God is going to finish the work He has begun in us. Never give up and continue to grow in faith without ceasing.
We often pray for more faith when we seek healing and miracles, but we need more faith in God to walk in His character. It’s because we have been forgiven much, that we love much. True faith works by love. We cannot continue to forgive without believing transformation will eventually be achieved, from glory to glory!
Luke 17:5 “And the apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ ”
Rejections in our past may contribute to our fear of rejection today. This can hinder us from moving forward with holy boldness in many areas of our lives. This fear will also hinder us from doing what the Lord has called us to do.
Knowing and believing the unconditional love and acceptance we have in Christ enables us to walk with freedom and holy boldness. When fear of rejection is attached to our decision making, our expectation of success is diminished. We then move by fear and not by faith. A decision may have to be made with the understanding that we may be rejected. However, when we seek to please God above all else, all fear is removed. Even the mistakes we make are used by God to teach us His ways.
Forgiving what was not done, is as important as forgiving what was done: by others, ourselves or even God. Forgiveness frees us from our past, enables us to remain free in the present and removes any fear of tomorrow. We are forgiven and accepted in the Lord. It’s an individual process as we progress, from glory to glory!
Ephesians 1:6 “… to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”
To walk in forgiveness, we must allow room for error or weakness from ourselves as well as from others. When behaviors are not what we had anticipated and weaknesses are revealed, it’s important to let go immediately. Whenever we pick up an offense, the quicker we shake the dust off our feet, the quicker we shut the door on the enemy.
We release something quickly by giving it to the Lord. We do so by bringing and leaving it at the foot of the cross, trusting Him to handle the situation with His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. We may need to do so repeatedly, but the power that comes from forgiveness will help us release things more quickly in the future.
Understand that if we don’t forgive, the enemy then has room to take advantage of us. Forgiveness is essential to our walking free from offenses. The enemy wants us to move in division, bitterness, anger, etc., so we will not walk in victory. We cannot give our adversary an open door by picking up an offense. The only room we should have is the room for grace that we extend to one another. We can do so because of the love of God the Holy Spirit has shed in our hearts. When we don’t forgive others’ trespasses against us, we actually hinder ourselves from walking free in Christ. His strength is perfected in our weakness, from glory to glory!
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 “Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
Are we better than someone else? More knowledgeable? More anointed? More right? More holy? The moment we think we are “more” than others, we find out that pride goes before a fall. As we are transformed into the image of the Lord, we become less and He becomes more!
The self-righteous attitude says: I’m perfect and you’re not; I’m a true Christian and you’re not; I’m not wrong but you are. It places self on the throne and makes others less in order for them to be more. To confront others who have that attitude, we have to pray for them and let the Lord minister to them as He ministers to us. It’s a challenge not to fight back in the flesh when we are being judged wrongly. Recognizing we do not war against flesh and blood helps us shake the dust off our feet. We walk in forgiveness with others and ourselves.
We evaluate ourselves honestly and prayerfully. It’s Christ in us who is awesome and is to be recognized in others as well. We are, above all, to walk in love with one another strengthening and encouraging each other, even when it’s not reciprocated. As members of the Body of Christ we all need and complement each other; not one gift is more important than another. To deprecate ourselves or others is to come against the grace of God. Whatever comes to put us down is not of God. He lifts us up in Him, fills us with His love and transforms us, from glory to glory!
Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”