A Life with Whom He is Pleased

Peace on earth and goodwill to men is often quoted especially around Christmas time. However, people do not finish the verse and so it leaves people wondering why there is not peace on earth. The verse says, “Peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Jesus Christ did come and bring peace to us but only those with whom He is pleased will experience that peace. Who is the Lord well pleased with among men? There is only One who lived a life pleasing to Him.

Matthew 3:16,17 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Again, the Father reaffirmed His total satisfaction with Jesus and the life that He lived on earth. The Father was well pleased with Jesus before He did any ministry. He was pleased with the life of faith and obedience that Jesus lived as the Son of man.

Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”

Jesus laid aside His being God and lived in the flesh a perfect and sinless life.

Philippians 2:5-8 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus lived a perfect life and had a perfect record of no sin at all. We have lived a sinful life and we have all fallen short of God’s glory.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

He offers His life and perfect standard of living in exchange for our life and our sinful record. It is not fair. It was God’s will to show us mercy and grace rather than fairness.

Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

If the Lord gave us what is fair then we would not be able to receive the life of Christ. The Lord was well pleased with this message.

I Corinthians 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

If we will believe the message that God loves us and receive the gift of His Son then we will receive also the affirmation that God is well pleased with us. Not because of any righteousness of our own but because we have trusted in Jesus Christ to take our sin and guilt upon Himself on the cross and to give us His righteousness. It was not fair for Him to take our penalty and give us God’s acceptance of us through Him, but He did it anyway because He loves you. He came to bring you peace.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

He gave us the greatest gift of all when He gave us His Son. Will you receive Him today?

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

Will you thank Him and share this amazing gift with someone else? Will you tell someone else what He has done for you?

II Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Peace on earth, goodwill to men with whom He is pleased and that is those of us who are in Christ Jesus and Jesus Christ is in us.

 

A Life that Overcomes Bitterness

Bitterness is one of the most damaging emotions. Bitterness can be an unresolved hurt in our hearts. Someone hurt us and we can still feel it as if it just happened yesterday. Bitterness can be a wound that has never been healed. It will cause you trouble and poison many.

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

When sin abounds then God’s grace abounds also but unless we receive His grace and are healed from the hurt and pain of wounds from others we will become bitter.

Romans 5:20,21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life which is through Jesus Christ our Lord. When you do what is right after someone has done you wrong, and you can only do this through God’s grace, then you will be set free from the bitterness which would result from not experiencing His grace. If you will turn to Him in your pain then He will heal you and restore you.

Exodus 15:26 And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”

The opposite of bitterness is thankfulness. He will remove the bitterness and fill your heart with gratitude and joy. Only the Lord can do this but He can and He wants to.

I Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Bitterness also comes from forsaking the Lord.

Jeremiah 2:19 Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your apostasies will reprove you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter
For you to forsake the Lord your God,
And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts.

Bitterness can come from the misfortune of bereavement.

Ruth 1:20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

The Lord healed Naomi and she became the great great grandmother of King David. The Lord restored her joy. She trusted the Lord and He was faithful to her.

Ruth 4:16,17 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Bitterness can come from unfulfilled desires and longings. Hannah was greatly sorrowful that she could not have any children.

I Samuel 1:10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.

Hannah turned to the Lord and the Lord heard her prayer and gave her a son, who became the last judge and first prophet in Israel. Her prayer that is recorded became Mary’s prayer when she found out that she was going to bear a Son and His name would be Jesus, the Son of God.

I Samuel 2:1,2 Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.

When you experience great loss then you might feel bitter. Job lost everything but his wife and then she also tried to get him to forsake the Lord.

Job 3:20 Why is light given to him who suffers,
And life to the bitter of soul,

Job was faithful to the Lord and the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him even more.

Job 42:10 The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.

Great sorrow and pain comes to all of us at some time in our life. How we respond to it will determine whether our life becomes bitter or sweet. If we turn to Him, He is faithful and will not disappoint you, for that is the promise He has made to us.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

If you don’t turn to Him then your bitterness will eat you up and destroy you from the inside and will make it’s way out through your countenance and your tongue. Not only will it destroy you but it will defile those around you, as mentioned earlier. Don’t substitute what the Lord wants to give to you. His plan for you is sweet. It is the devil who wants to rob you through bitterness.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Turn to the Lord in you sorrow, loss, disappointment and unfulfilled desires and longings. He will give to you even more than what you can imagine and He has a plan for your life that is good for you and sweet.

 

A Life with No Regrets

There are two things that are eternal and they are the Word of God and the souls of people. You will never regret investing your life in eternal values. Everything else will soon perish.

Luke 12:15-21 Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

We all will die and leave whatever we have to others. We might spend our life accumulating more and more and more. It is endless because the eyes of man are never satisfied. You will never have enough to satisfy you. Once you get what you want then you will only want more. Contentment comes from being satisfied with what the Lord has given you.

Psalm 49:10-13 For he sees that even wise men die; The stupid and the senseless alike perish And leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses are forever And their dwelling places to all generations; They have called their lands after their own names. But man in his pomp will not endure;  He is like the beasts that perish. This is the way of those who are foolish, And of those after them who approve their words.

Be careful that you don’t hoard what the Lord has given you but give back to the Giver of all good gifts. The Lord wants us to be a channel of blessings. If He has blessed you it is so you might be a blessing.

Ecclesiastes 5:13 There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt.

Do you want a heart for the Lord? Then give to Him. He will bless you with the greatest treasure and that is a heart for Him. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The Lord clearly instructs us not to store up treasures on earth but to store up treasures in heaven. How do we do this? Well, it is what you give that will determine your treasure in heaven. He wants us to experience the joy of doing good. He wants us to be rich in good works.

I Timothy 6:17-19 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

What you do and what you give will determine the treasure of your good foundation for the future. He will take what you have done for eternity to determine your treasure in heaven. Your work will be tested.

I Corinthians 3:12-15 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

If you were to die today and the Lord were to take what you have done  and tested it for eternal values and then taken the result to “build your mansion” in heaven then what would it look like? Would your life works be of wood, hay and straw that would be burned up beforehand or would it be gold, silver and precious stones? It is not too late to live for the Lord and invest in eternity for He has given you today. He has promised you that you will not regret storing up treasure in heaven, but even the Lord says that you would be a fool to store up treasure for yourself and not to be rich towards God. The Lord says that He will take care of His children. Are you trusting Him or are you trusting yourself?

Matthew 6:31-34 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

He will never leave you or forsake you. He has promised that if you will seek first His kingdom and His righteousness then He will take care of all of your needs. This is what it means to live by faith. Faith is believing the Lord and living by His promises.

 

A Life that is Rich in Faith

We often value the wrong things in this life. If we value riches in this present age we will end up being poor in the age to come. The Lord wants us to be rich in faith. If we value experiences but not the greatest experience of all and that is experiencing God’s love and faithfulness then we will have missed it again. The Lord values faith and showing you His love and faithfulness. Do you live by faith and experience His love and faithfulness on a daily basis? He wants you to declare His lovingkindness in the morning and His faithfulness every night of your life.

Psalm 92:1,2 It is good to give thanks to the Lord
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
And Your faithfulness by night,

Are you living by faith? If God is the only explanation for your life then you are living by faith. If you can explain your life by your own strength, intellect or ability then the Lord is not who is getting the glory.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Are you living on His promises? Are you trusting Him to meet your needs and provide for you or, do you have your back up plan just in case? Whatever you are trusting in is your god. In the Bible, God’s people have always worshiped Him but it is idolatry if it is God plus a backup plan. When you live by faith then you will always feel needy. It is a humbling feeling but you are right where you need to be.

James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

The Lord never makes mistake. If you are lacking in an area of your life it is because the Lord wants you to be poor in that area so that you will look to Him. It may be in finances or it may be in relationships or child bearing(if you are married) or whatever it is that makes you feel lacking. The Lord is testing you to see if you will trust Him and wait for Him.

Psalm 37:7,8 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

It is only by His grace that we can rest in Him when we feel needy and humble. Resting is trusting. Waiting is resting. Do not take things into your own hands or fret because “others” have or are even getting by their own means what you “need” or want.

Psalm 37:28,29 For the Lord loves justice
And does not forsake His godly ones;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
The righteous will inherit the land
And dwell in it forever.

The Old Testament word for the promises of God is the “land”, which was the promised land. The Lord will give to you what you need if you will trust Him. In a little while you will see it but first you must walk by faith and not by sight. You will inherit the promises of God and you will dwell with Him forever.

Psalm 37:34 Wait for the Lord and keep His way,
And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

Most importantly of all you will have pleased Him for “without faith it is impossible to please Him…”.

 

 

 

A Life that Remembers His Name

One of the most powerful promises that the Lord gives to His people is that in every place where His name is remembered He will come to the people and bless them.

Exodus 20:24 …in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.

One of the most frightening consequences is when the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is removed from a place or people. When you see His name removed then you will see the removable of His blessing from a place and people. The Lord wants us to remember His name in all that we do and wherever we go.

Daniel 2:20 Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.

The Lord wants us to bless His name. He says that those who use His name in cursing will be punished.

Exodus 20:7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Remember His name every time you can and wherever you go, night and day. In other words, you can not talk about His great name too much or call on His name too often. Sing praises to Him as you go through the day. Put His Word in your heart so that He will captivate your heart and thoughts. Give thanks to His name, not only when you eat but in everything give thanks to Him.

Isaiah 12:4 And in that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted.”

His name is worthy of all glory and He wants us to praise His name and ascribe the glory that is due His name.

I Chronicles 16:29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him;
Worship the Lord in holy array.

We can either worship Him and call on His name now or we will honor Him who is worthy when He comes in judgment but it will not be the same. He wants our mouths and hearts now to praise Him.

Psalm 145:21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

The Lord alone is exalted and He mercy is towards those who give glory to His name and who fear Him.

Luke 1:49,50 “For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is upon generation after generation
Toward those who fear Him.

When we go after other gods or if we do not listen to spiritual leaders who will teach and preach His word then we will forget His name. Make sure that the Bible teachers and preachers that you sit under preach and teach the Word of God and proclaim His name lest you forget the name of the Lord. They need to be sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to Him.

Jeremiah 23:25-30 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’ How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal? The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the Lord.“Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock? Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who steal My words from each other.

There is none like the Lord our God. He is to be honored and feared by all.

Jeremiah 10:6,7 There is none like You, O Lord;
You are great, and great is Your name in might.
Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
Indeed it is Your due!
For among all the wise men of the nations
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.

A Life that is Single but…

Nearly every young lady wants to get married. That is the way that the Lord designed for His creation to function. The Bible says that woman was made for man. This actually is an incredible privilege and very fulfilling when it is done God’s way.

I Corinthians 11:8,9 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.

This is not the way of the world but it is God’s way. God’s way is wisdom but man’s way is foolishness. God’s way will seem like foolishness to the world but we see the fruit of man’s way with many failed marriages. A wife is also man’s reward.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

When it is done God’s way then the husband will be intoxicated with the love of his wife. He will cherish her and love her because she is his, not as property, but as his fellow heir in Christ, as his beloved.

Proverbs 5:18,19 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.

A wife belongs to her husband and longs for him even as we are to long for Jesus since we are His bride. We are Christ’s beloved bride who is loved by Him. A marriage is the most beautiful picture of Jesus Christ and the church, which is His bride.

I Peter 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

However, before a young lady gets married she needs to understand the right way to relate to a young man. There are four things she should not do. She should not initiate, manipulate, speculate nor expect. The man is to pursue the lady and she needs to wait on the Lord. She certainly needs to make herself as attractive as possible, not only physically but spiritually. The Lord brought Eve to Adam and the Lord can still bring you to the one that He has planned for you. He does not need your help in initiating and manipulating. If you do these actions then you will never know if your husband was a gift from the Lord. You will wonder if you did not bring it about and you might doubt during the hard times in marriage. You need to have the assurance that your husband was God’s idea and not yours. If you manipulate then you are just plainly not trusting the Lord but taking matters into your own hands. You will regret this also, just as Sarah regretted manipulating Abraham to have a child by Hagar. An immoral woman initiates. Not that everyone who initiates is immoral but it is not God’s way.

Proverbs 7:10-15 And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;
She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.
So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:
“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.
“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.

A young lady should not speculate about young men whether he is the one or not and her decision to spend time with him should not be based on her speculations whether he is someone who she would be “interested in”. She should spend time with him if he loves Jesus and has a heart for the Lord. A young lady is known by the types of young men that she spends time with and so it is a message to other young men what kind of men you are attracted to and who you spend time with fellowshiping.

II Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

The relationship should be one of brother and sister. The Bible never talks about “dating” relationships. If he wants to pursue her and she knows that she does not want any more than to be friends then she needs to be sure that she is not leading him on to believe that there is more there than there is. A man takes his cue from her response. The best way to know if a guy has a heart for the Lord is to see how he is in a group of strong Christian young men. A man can see through a man just as often a woman can see through a woman. Also, it is good for the young man to meet your father once he starts talking about being interested in you or is very obvious in calling you, etc. (You should not call him. Again, that is initiating.)

II Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Also, she should not allow any young man to touch her, even holding hands. Touch is special to a young lady and it changes the relationship. Only do with a young man what you would do with your brother because that is who this young man is…your brother in Christ.

I Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.

The word “good” in the verse means in the original, the highest form of love. It is the highest expression of love that a young man would have for a lady, that is, to wait to touch her until he has committed his life to her in marriage. A man appreciates what he waits for and you can almost guarantee that he will treat her always like a lady, even after they have been married for fifty years. This kind of relationship is the type that will endure for fifty years. So, if you want a true and enduring love in your marriage then wait for the affection.

Proverbs 30:18,19 There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Four which I do not understand:
The way of an eagle in the sky,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid.

A relationship done God’s way is wonderful and beyond our understanding. It is a picture of God’s love when done right for He pursued us. A relationship done right is a shining light to the whole world because all of us long to be loved and especially in an unconditional manner. The husband is the lover and the pursuer. He is the leader and the wife is the responder. He is the strong one and she is the weaker vessel because he is to protect her and provide for her. He is to cherish her and even be willing to die for her. Is this kind of relationship possible? Yes, and it is too wonderful to understand and the Lord wants to give it to every young lady but it is a gift from Him and you must learn His ways, otherwise you will cause damage to one of His precious sons and you will bring destruction to yourself.

 

 

 

A Life that Forgives

There are certain commands that carry much greater weight than others and the command to forgive seems to be one of the most important. A lack of forgiveness brings about one of the worse consequences that is mentioned in the Bible. The Lord said that if you do not forgive others then your sins will not be forgiven you.

Matthew 5:14,15 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Forgiveness also brings a great blessing from the Lord because He says that if you forgive others then your sins will be forgiven you. We are all sinners who have sinned greatly against the Lord and we desperately need forgiveness from God, the Father. In the same way, we need to desperately forgive others of their sins. You receive what you give away and what you withhold will be withheld from you.

Mark 11:25,26 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

The meaning of evil is to cause grief. It is hard to forgive when someone has caused us grief and especially great grief. However, when we see what a great debt that we have toward the Lord and the great grief that we have caused Him then we lean more toward forgiving. However, forgiving is impossible apart from the Lord. He has given you forgiveness and this is the forgiveness that you offer to others. Jesus has forgiven you and Jesus has forgiven them. We can only forgive by the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 20:22,23 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

We forgive by faith, in the power of the Holy Spirit in obedience to Him, not by feeling. Our flesh will never want to forgive and does not have the power to do so.

Romans 8:6-8 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

When you forgive then the Lord releases you from the bitterness and resentment of unforgiveness. You actually are the one who is set free. The person does not have to even be aware of their wrong towards you and they do not have to be sorry for what they did. If they are sorry and repentant then that is wonderful but it is not a prerequisite to you forgiving them. Healing for you comes after forgiveness. There is no pain so great that the Lord can not heal but first you must forgive. He does not hold your sin against you because He has forgiven you. Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. How many times are we to forgive? That is a great question and Jesus answered it for us.

Matthew 18:21,22 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.

Forgiveness is so important that the Lord told a parable about forgiveness to allow His hearers to understand more clearly what He was saying about forgiveness.

Matthew 18:23-35 For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. A day of accounting is coming and it will be too late to settle your accounts with your fellow man. For this reason it is of utmost importance to “keep your accounts up to date”. God declared the man wicked in this story because of his unwillingness to forgive someone else and therefore all of this wicked person’s sins were still on his account and were not wiped out and forgiven. Forgiveness is a matter of the will. It is letting it go and giving it to the Lord. You can’t, He never said you could, He can, He always said He would. Give the matter to the Lord and He will forgive that person through you by the power of His Holy Spirit. As long as you have unforgiveness in your heart then you are in a prison. However, you can settle the account with that person who owes you through your forgiveness by forgiving him. It is after this that you will be released from your prison.

Luke 7:47,48 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”  Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”

Did Jesus offer forgiveness to you? Yes, He did. Go and do likewise that you too may hear the words, “Your sins have been forgiven”.  Forgiveness begins with the prayer, “Lord, I forgive _________. Please forgive me of my unforgiveness and by faith I have forgiven _________. Then you will love much because you too will see how great a debt that you were forgiven by our Lord. Your slate will be wiped clean. You may have to forgive over and over again because the devil might continue to bring it up again but the devil hates to see you forgive and call on the Lord so he will quit bringing it up to you. It is hard to believe when you are in the pain but healing will come and the Lord will truly make something beautiful our of your life.