Forgive Others or be Punished
After telling a story that concluded with the person previously forgiven, who was unforgiving, having his forgiveness withdrawn and being severely punished, Jesus states, "THIS IS HOW MY HEAVENLY FATHER WILL TREAT EACH OF YOU UNLESS YOU FORGIVE YOUR BROTHER OR SISTER FROM YOUR HEART". Note: for some of us, having previous forgiveness withdrawn is a more serious punishment than any other punishment. Some Christians prefer a manmade religious doctrine based on John's comment that, "if we confess our sins, He will forgive our sins". Confessing our sins is good but it does not take the place of Jesus command to "repent" or "Turn away from your sins" and certainly does not mean we can avoid forgiving others. Jesus encourages us to forgive others in the prayer He commands us to pray daily and then restates the importance of forgiving others by stating "If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you". And in case some did not understand, Jesus restates the consequences of unforgiveness by saying, "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done". Some people say they forgive others and yet their tone of voice when they talk about certain people reveals a harshness and unforgiveness that indicates otherwise. Apparently, some people are willing to risk their being forgiven, for the selfish pleasure of harboring resentment and unforgiveness in their hearts. Knowing how people are, may be why God had Jesus advise that we could be punished for our unforgiveness. Sometimes very good people or righteous people will think they can rely on their past conduct and doctrines of grace to temporarily indulge in the pleasure of unforgiveness or other sins. God is very clear that "if a righteous person stops doing good and starts doing all the evil" things evil people do, "None of the good he did will be remembered" and "He will die" which may mean his eternal life or physical life or both. Jesus may be touching on this subject of backsliding when He says, "Anyone who starts to plow and then keeps looking back is of no use for the Kingdom of God" or "Much is required from the person to whom much is given". Forgiveness is not something we can be certain of, if we plan to sin! 1
As we understand that being unforgiving can result in our not being forgiven by God and/or having our previous forgiveness being reversed and being punished and/or failure to have eternal life with God and Jesus, what if there is a person who has been so offensive to us that we remember the offense or abuse every single day? Can we forgive a person who committed the most horrible, life changing offense imaginable? The answer is "yes" but it may take effort. Normally we just forgive a person and go on. If they offend us again, we can keep forgiving them, while trying to avoid giving them the opportunity to keep offending. If the terrible offense appears to be unforgivable and/or unforgettable, we may take authority in the name of Jesus over the "accuser" who keeps throwing it in our face and command him to shut up and leave. To forgive someone who has hurt us so bad we are not even sure we want to forgive them, we need to pray for them everyday as God told (Jn 12:49) Jesus to say, "love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you". As you pray for them everyday, you may start off telling God, "You said, 'Vengeance is Mine' do it to him God". You will eventually find yourself kinder in your prayers and over time God will heal the pain and hurt. One day it will seem unimportant to pray for them or you may forget to pray for the person you have forgiven. Jesus will set you free from unforgiveness. 2
1. Mt 18:23-35 (NI); 1 Jn 1:9 (IC); Mt 4:17; Mt 6:14-15; Eze 18:24; Lk 9:62; 12:48 (GN)
2. Mt 18:22; Mk 16:17; Rev 12:10 (NI); Mt 5:44 (IC); Dt 32:35 (NKJ)
note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations
A Psalm for reflection "if they disregard My instructions and do not keep My commandments, then I will punish them for their sins" Ps 89:31-32
Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).
MARRIAGE WORKSHOP MOMENT
To refresh what you have learned in our Workshop or entice you to experience our Workshop
"Remember, all marriages can be better, if you use what you learned."
In all marriages you have issues. Most marriages have money issues. Some may have issues of distrust or in-laws or sex, etc. Issues can represent on going subjects of disagreement in a marriage. Events are a surface happening that triggers an issue. For example, if money is tight and a bill comes (an event), it may trigger a disagreement, about the issue of money. Or if one person has issues of distrust and the other person comes home late (an event), this can trigger an argument. When an argument is triggered it is a good to call time out and use the Speaker Listener Technique in your discussion. In some marriages, people tell me this type of discussion is almost a daily occurrence. Instead of waiting for an event to trigger an argument, it is better to discuss issues in you weekly couples meeting. Then when an event happens, the issue may already be resolved.
The Better Half
"When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better"
Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage ("all things are possible with God", Mk 10:27 NI). The subject of an event triggering issues is more difficult when your partners will not work on the issue. You can help defuse volatile situations if during good times you bring up potentially volatile issues and try to resolve them when times are going good.
Hi Followers of Jesus,
Blessed to be a Blessing
We are blessed to be a blessing for the children of Israel. God made an agreement with Abraham and his descendents, the children of Abraham, Isaac and Israel who usually are referred to today as the Jews, that they would have the Promised Land and that God "WILL BLESS THOSE WHO BLESS YOU" and that "ALL THE PEOPLE ON EARTH WILL BE BLESSED THROUGH YOU" (Ge 12:3 IC). For those who care about our Jewish brothers and sisters and want to be a blessing to them, every year the Jews remember a sad day called Tisha B'Av in the Hebrew calendar which was a day that many calamities took place involving the children of Israel, the biggest of which was the destruction of the 1st and 2nd temples. Jews consider that "The First Temple was destroyed because the Jewish people did not keep the most basic tenets of Judaism and continued to worship idols, shed innocent blood and behave immorally". Which is an accurate understanding from the prophets as recorded in the bible as to why God had the first Temple destroyed and exiled the children of Israel from the Promised Land for 70 years.
Most reasons suggested for the destruction of the Second Temple ignore that more than 35 years before the destruction, Jesus prophesied (Mk 13:1-2) that the Temple would be destroyed and that Jerusalem would be destroyed (Lk 19:41-44). Also, at the time of the destruction God begin an exile of the children of Israel from the Promised Land that lasted 1,878 years. For God to be so upset with the children of Israel that the Second Temple was destroyed and to exile them for 1,878 years as compared to 70 years after the destruction of the first Temple, the obvious problem was the rejection of God's son and having Him crucified, which the Jews are unable to admit without acknowledging Jesus.
If we want to be a blessing for our Jewish brothers and sisters, we have two advantages or blessings as followers of Jesus that can help the Jews. God told (Jn 12:49) Jesus to give us "authority" over all power of the enemy (Lk 10:19) and we can take authority in the "name" of Jesus (Mk 16:17) over the enemy for all Jews everywhere for protection from the enemy, in our daily prayers. Also, we are blessed to have the privilege to ask God in Jesus' "name" (Jn 16:26-27) to help all Jews to know what God wants and to do what God wants. God has blessed us many ways through the Jews, including giving the world the first manageable Alphabet and giving the world His son Jesus (Lk 1:26-33). We are blessed to be a blessing. Be a blessing to our Jewish brothers and sisters in your daily prayers.
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