And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:24-26 NKJV
Have you ever been made aware of your own failing to forgive someone when you thought you had?
Reading this passage in Mark was convicting to me because I thought I had forgiven someone when in fact I hadn’t. Read it again. Pay close attention to verse 26. If you don’t forgive, neither will God forgive your trespasses.
While our sins were forgiven when we gave our life to Jesus Christ, there is an on-going component to forgiveness we can not neglect—forgiving others. We are saved and forgiven by Christ, when we come to Him for salvation. However, we are called from that point on to forgive others just like we’ve been forgiven. If we don’t, then we are not forgiven of any new trespasses we may commit.
Let’s look at what God’s Word says about forgiving others.
Luke 6:37 NKJV “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Luke 11:3-5 “Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
What if choose not to forgive someone? Based on the verses above, it looks like we won’t be forgiven. But there’s further consequence of not forgiving someone. Look at the next verse below.
John 20:22-24 NKJV “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
If we don’t forgive, we retain the sins. Do you really want to hang on to sin? I certainly don’t. What happens when we hang on to sin? Well, for starters our minds may dwell on a past sin and cause bitterness to grow. We may become vulnerable to sin our self. It can also cause us to build walls between our relationships. The list of negative affects regarding hanging to sin could go on for ever. So, we’ll stop there for now.
Do you dwell on the memory of a past hurt? Are you hanging on to that hurt? Do you bring up the past hurt when you’re arguing with the person? These are tell-tale signs you may not have forgiven them.
Search your heart and ask God to help you forgive. I want you to understand you have the power to forgive. Read John 20:22-24 NKJV again. Jesus breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit”. Believer, we have His Holy Spirit in us giving us the power to do His will. We can forgive as He has forgiven us!
Lord Jesus thank you for your Holy Spirit and the power to forgive others as you have forgiven us. Open our eyes to any other we have failed to forgive. Give us the courage to do the right thing and forgive them. Help us to let go past hurts so we do not retain sins any longer. In your precious name, Amen.
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