Archive for the ‘Extending Forgiveness’ Category

August 2nd, 2009

Extending Forgiveness

“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matt 6:12 (NIV)

Forgiveness is always the best decision. 

The Bible teaches us multiple facets of forgiveness. We have the privilege of receiving God’s forgiveness provided by the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. This vertical forgiveness initiated by God allows us to be in a right relationship with God. We also have to come to the place of forgiving ourselves. Once we have received God’s forgiveness for our sins, we need to forgive ourselves so that we can walk in the freedom Christ provides. Another facet of forgiveness is that of extending forgiveness to others.  

In teaching His disciples how to pray, Jesus included the discipline of extending forgiveness to others. Before asking God to forgive us of our sins, we are to have already forgiven those who have sinned against us. In order to have a proper vertical relationship with God, we must ensure a proper horizontal relationship with others.

When it comes to extending forgiveness to others, you never have to pray and ask God if you should forgive someone. God expects us to extend instant forgiveness to others. To harbor bitterness or resentment breaks the heart of God. To fail to forgive others is to disobey God.

Spend some time in prayer asking God to search your heart. As God reveals elements of unforgiveness in your life, deal with them before God in prayer. The more specific you are in prayer the more dynamic your experience in prayer will be. Forgiveness is always the best decision. 

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 2nd, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Decisions, Extending Forgiveness, Forgiveness.
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March 22nd, 2008

Forgiveness (5)

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Eph 4:32 (NIV)

Extending forgiveness is intentional and perpetual.

The words “just as” are powerful. In our key verse above, they mean to imitate and to emulate God’s forgiveness. We are to forgive each other just as in Christ God forgave us. Let’s consider going on a personal journey together in order to extend forgiveness to those who have wounded us.

Ask God to bring to your mind someone you need to forgive. This may induce feelings of hurt, betrayal, or neglect. Now that you have someone in mind, take that person with you to the cross in prayer. In fact, you may even need to take them by the hand as you kneel with them at the foot of the cross. Remember that Jesus knows him or her better than you do. Jesus loves him or her more than you do. Also, Jesus paid the full price for his or her complete forgiveness.

In prayer, say to the Lord, “Jesus, as You have graciously forgiven me, I now choose to forgive (insert his or her name).” Release that person from the prison of your unforgiveness. Genuinely extend forgiveness as in Christ God forgave you. Now entrust that person and your future to God.

  • “‘And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.’” Mark 11:25 (NIV)

Forgiveness is always the best decision.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, March 22nd, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Cross, Extending Forgiveness, Forgiveness.
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March 21st, 2008

Forgiveness (4)

“‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’” Heb 8:12 (NIV)

Forgiveness includes memory.

God, in His omniscience, has the capacity to remember our sins no more. God is infinite and we are finite. We do not have the capacity to forgive and forget. Of course, it seems at times that we forget what we need to remember and remember what we need to forget. Even after we have extended forgiveness to someone who has wounded us, it can be difficult to forget the experience and the pain involved.

You can be driving down the road or watching television or surfing the internet and an image will trigger the memory of being wounded by someone you have already forgiven. Forgiveness includes memory. Forgiveness is not the ability to remember no more, but rather being able to say, “Though I remember I choose to forgive.”

Forgiveness is a choice. Harboring bitterness and resentment is a choice as well. I remember when I chose to visit my dad in jail to personally extend forgiveness to him for the hurt he had inflicted throughout my life due to his alcohol abuse. For years I had chosen to allow unforgiveness to poison my life and to infuse my life with toxic bitterness. The day I chose to forgive my dad was the day I realized that even though my dad was the one in prison, I had been imprisoned by my unforgiveness.

Yes, I remember the hurt and the pain of my dad’s alcohol abuse, but in the swirling current of memory, I choose to forgive. God uses my memory to remind me of His abundant grace in my life. God is not asking me to do anything He has not already done for me.

Though you remember, choose to forgive. That’s the beauty of walking in the light God gives you.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, March 21st, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Extending Forgiveness, Forgiveness, Memory.
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March 18th, 2008

Forgiveness (1)

“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matt 6:12 (NIV)

Forgiveness is always the best decision. 

The Bible teaches us multiple facets of forgiveness. We have the privilege of receiving God’s forgiveness provided by the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. This vertical forgiveness initiated by God allows us to be in a right relationship with God. We also have to come to the place of forgiving ourselves. Once we have received God’s forgiveness for our sins, we need to forgive ourselves so that we can walk in the freedom Christ provides. Another facet of forgiveness is that of extending forgiveness to others.  

In teaching His disciples how to pray, Jesus included the discipline of extending forgiveness to others. Before asking God to forgive us of our sins, we are to have already forgiven those who have sinned against us. In order to have a proper vertical relationship with God, we must ensure a proper horizontal relationship with others.

When it comes to extending forgiveness to others, you never have to pray and ask God if you should forgive someone. God expects us to extend instant forgiveness to others. To harbor bitterness or resentment breaks the heart of God. To fail to forgive others is to disobey God.

Spend some time in prayer asking God to search your heart. As God reveals elements of unforgiveness in your life, deal with them before God in prayer. The more specific you are in prayer the more dynamic your experience in prayer will be. Forgiveness is always the best decision. 

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, March 18th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Decisions, Extending Forgiveness, Forgiveness.
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