Righteousness! Chapter Twenty One
The great Apostle Paul made a lot of very profound statements in his writings and this is one of them. Heb. 10:22, (Amp.)
"Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water."
My question to you today is, "Do you honestly believe and trust God with unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by your faith in the Word of God?" I want you to stop and take a good look at yourself before you answer this most important question! If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you will at first glance say, "Well, of course I do!" You may even be insulted by my asking you such a question. Let me put all of us to the real test to see if this is really true!
I could use so many things that Jesus said to test us on this question but I chose this verse of scripture in Mark 11:23-26,
"Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he says. Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."
You can test yourself on this Scripture by just looking at your own actions. How does your mind react to this verse of scripture? You may say that you believe it but in reality you will react just the opposite way by saying something like, "Well, if it be God's will....." But that is not what Jesus said in this verse of scripture. There is a time when we can say to the Lord, "If it be thy will!", but not if we know what His will is on what we are asking of Him!!!
Test yourself today and check to see if there is someone that you have not forgiven for something that they have done to you. Do you want God to forgive you for something you have done? Jesus said in this verse of scripture that if you don't forgive them your Heavenly Father will not forgive you!!! Wow! We don't have an option when it comes to forgiving one another! I have done some things that I want my Father to forgive me for and He turns the tables on me and says, "OK, I will if you will!"
We so often fail to understand that when we receive from the Lord His free gift of salvation, we become part of His family and the requirements of His children is that they love and forgive each other!!!! I would dare say that the reason our prayers are not answered is that there is unforgiveness in our hearts for someone that has wronged us! Can we afford to reap what we are sowing by not forgiving each other?
This statement of Jesus is not something to be taken lightly. If we want to be like Jesus, then we must make every effort to learn from Him. Our main problem is that we have not learned to love like Him. We love people only if they do nothing to get us upset with them. We should learn from being a mother and father that our children are not always going to do what we think they should do but our love for them will cause us to forgive them. Why is it that we can't learn to love one another to that extent?" The same Jesus also said in Mark 12:30, (NIV)
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these."
We have a life time to practice this commandment and yet we see so many Christians failing in this area. So often we fuss and fume with each other and all the time we are just acting like children. Don't you think it is about time we grow up and stop acting like children? We see a lot of children of God in the Kingdom of God but where are the sons of God? If all we hear from the pulpit is a constant emphases on salvation and getting people saved and very little about the basic teaching on what it means to walk by faith and how to live like Jesus lived, we will remain as children on these subjects.
By this time in our lives we should have down pat the basic understanding about what the Kingdom of God is all about and get on with learning about the deeper things of God. Can you imagine being taught the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade teaching all 12 years that you are in school? Sometimes I wished that I would have paid more attention to spelling when I was in those grades! Ha! Paul had something to say about this subject in Heb. 6:1-3,
"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit."
So often in our churches we major in foundation teaching and are afraid to teach our people the deeper things of God for fear of loosing them and yet we fail to teach them about the love and forgiveness of our God and the love and forgiveness we are to have of one another.
Learning to forgive is such an important thing to learn how to do because of the consequence of not forgiving! If you refuse to forgive someone it will cause you problems in this life! You will reap what you sow! If you cannot find it in your heart to forgive someone, your prayers will be hindered! Jesus also said in the Beatitudes or the sermon on the mount in Matt. 7:1-2, (NIV)
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use (to judge others), it will be measured to you."
Learning to forgive is a process and in this life we will be given many opportunities to practice the art of forgiving. One of the greatest things you will ever learn is to allow other people to be who they are and not what you want them to be. Isn't that the way you want other people to treat you?
Think about this because it is so important that we learn to practice forgiveness. The more you practice forgiving the easier it will become!