Vicky Bentley’s Blog
Intimate Absolution Part Three
Relinquish our feelings in order to stand in submission to the Biblical promises about forgiveness
· There are times when you need forgiveness and the other person withholds it from you. What do you do then?
o Our natural response is to get hurt, to be bitter
o To retaliate, to blame, to press the issue
o What would Jesus have us to do?
· Matthew 5:23-24: Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. Be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
· Psalm 41:9-13:Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me. LORD, have mercy on me. Make me well again, so I can pay them back! I know that you are pleased with me, for you have not let my enemy triumph over me. You have preserved my life because I am innocent; you have brought me into your presence forever. Bless the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives forever from eternal ages past.
· There are times when a relationship is so damaged that it feels hopeless. One pastor described it as a heart with Jericho sized walls protecting it.
o Remember that God can cause those walls to crumble. Stop trying to force it and pour your heart out to God in prayer. He may ask you to do something crazy…like march around a heavily fortified city without weapons…Just do it!
o Jacob and Esau were reunited after a lifetime of rivalry, deception and hatred.
o Corrie Ten Boom was able to shake hands with one of the guards who mistreated her in a concentration camp and say from a heart of love, “Jesus forgives you and I forgive you too!”
o LOVE always prevails…it never runs dry…
· I know many of you are dealing with pain and that this pain was inflicted upon you by someone else. It’s not your fault, it’s unfair, and you are justified in being upset about it.
o This is a common, nonetheless debilitating, barrier to trust.
o I need to tell you
§ Surrendering your situation to the Lord DOES NOT mean that the sins committed against you are ok.
§ Surrendering your situation to the Lord DOES NOT mean the person will get off “scott” free
§ Surrendering your situation to the Lord DOES mean to walk in obedience because you LOVE and TRUST God.
§ Surrendering your situation to the Lord DOES mean you get out of God’s way so He can deal with the other person
§ Surrendering your situation to the Lord DOES mean you can be set free and trust can be restored EVEN IF the situation doesn’t immediately change
Mercy triumphs over judgment James 2:12-13: So whenever you speak, or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law of love, the law that set you free. For there will be no mercy for you if you have not been merciful to others. But if you have been merciful, then God’s mercy toward you will win out over his judgment against you.
Respond to the LORD right now. If your heart is touched dont walk away until you make things right.
1. See unforgiveness as your enemy: Purpose in your heart to follow all three steps prayerfully. Journal your thoughts, let the Spirit speak to you, seek our guidance in the Word where you have diffivult relationships. Be diligent and Do the Word!
2. Unforgiveness Breeds bitterness: Ephesians 4:29-32: Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
3. Bitterness brings forth death: James 1:14-16: But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved sisters.
Don’t take this lightly…..it cost our Savior EVERYTHING!