“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” – Mark 11:25 (NIV)
People are hard. They live in a harsh world where darkness constantly tries to steal their light. Where destruction constantly tries to take their joy. Where Satan roams around lighting matches to destroy families and tear down homes and watch it all go up in flames.
People are hurt. They’ve dealt with pain and undergone sorrow and cried themselves to sleep. They’ve said things they don’t mean and done things they regret and Satan keeps their guilt right in the forefront of their mind, terrorizing them every chance he gets.
People are hard and they’re hurt and they just want to be loved.
And that is why I sent my Son. To fix a broken world.
The world is not how I intended it to be.
And that is why I sent you. To heal a broken heart.
These hard and hurting people are mine. Each and every one of them. Their great grief and despair troubles my longing heart. I long to know them, to help them, to fill them. They’re desperate for love, they’re desperate to fill a void and feel whole. And I’m here, willing to help, but it takes those who know me already to extend this kind of love. To show them just what it’s like to serve a mighty God. I have covered you in my grace, I have forgiven your every transgression. You keep a list in your head of all you’ve done wrong, analyzing the failures and rehashing the regret, do you know, Child, that I’ve never read that list. Not once. I forgave you the minute you did it, I forgave you even before.
I died so that you might have life. Abundant life. Filled with laughter and love and moments to cherish. I died so that you would know that no matter what you do, my love for you goes far beyond that. I’ve extended this grace to you so that you would allow it to others. And love them like I’ve loved you.
3 for 3:
1. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
2. Are you holding onto something you should let go of? Is your stubbornness hurting a relationship in your life? Is there someone you’re thinking of, right now, as you read this, that you are holding back forgiveness from?
3. Jesus, don’t let my selfish pride guide my life. Don’t let my stubbornness hold me back from forgiving others. Don’t let me keep holding on to something I should have let go of a long time ago. You bore my cross in the greatest display of grace I will ever know. Help me forgive like you have forgiven me. Help me because no matter how many times I think someone else doesn’t deserve it, I sure know I didn’t deserve it. Amen.