January 23rd, 2011
Written by Anita Carman
Dear Faithful One,
Have you ever tried to forgive but instead find yourself fighting with someone over unsettled issues that resurface? How do you arrive at that place of true forgiveness?
As I was studying the book of John, God reminded me that forgiveness is an act of grace. It is extending a hand of peace to someone undeserving. In addition, grace bears a cost. God chose to pay the full cost for our sins by giving us Jesus to die on the cross for us. Jesus’ willingness to die was a full expression of God’s grace. There was no fuller expression of grace than a friend laying down his life for another. As I meditated on the concept of fullness, God impressed on my heart that it is hard to offer grace at its fullest when we are barely making it emotionally, spiritually, or physically.
John the Baptist said of Jesus in John 1:16, “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” While we were still sinners, Jesus demonstrated grace in its fullness through the gift of salvation. Don’t miss the word “fullness”. That fullness of grace came from a heart that “so loved” the world. (John 3:16). In other words, God operated from a full love tank. He was able to fully pay the cost of grace because his love was deep enough to cover the cost of grace.
If you find yourself vacillating between forgiveness and getting mad all over again, could it be because you need to take the time to fill your love tank? Instead of trying to forgive from your own power or with a shallow emotional reservoir, take the time to sit in God’s presence. Meditate on God’s goodness and soak in His perfect love for you. Ask God to restore to you the joy of your salvation and celebrate how God ransomed your soul with the blood of His Son. Imagine yourself sitting on death row and being given a second chance to live life to the fullest. Then from this place of knowing how deeply you are loved, extend grace and forgiveness as a result of your fullness.
Just remember. Any time you have a hard time forgiving, stop trying. Instead, experience all over again God’s fullness of grace in your life.
I pray this devotion encouraged you in a special way. When I pray for you, I hear a victory song. I believe in you because I believe in the power of God’s Word in you as you put His Word into action.