Verse of the Week: Colossians 3:13 “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Encouraging Thought: We serve a gracious and forgiving God. Who can claim to deserve God’s mercy and forgiveness? No one. Psalm 103:10 says, “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” Our sins have separated us from a holy and righteous God. (Isaiah 59:2) God doesn’t offer His forgiveness to us because we deserve it but because He’s merciful and kind, and He loves us more than we can ever comprehend.
In John 8, a crowd of people brought before Jesus a woman taken in adultery. According to the law, she deserved stoning. Yet, Jesus said to them in verse seven, “…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Then verse 9 says, “And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last…” We all sin. We all make mistakes. We all fail. Aren’t we glad that God is merciful and forgives us?
Words of Wisdom: When you fail to forgive someone, you actually stand in judgment of that person. Yet, Matthew 7:1 clearly states, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” And the only one who can stand in judgment of another is one who never sins. That disqualifies the entire human race. But what about courtroom judges? They judge according to the laws of the land. And to be a judge, you cannot have a criminal background. So someone who breaks the laws of the land can never sit in judgment of another person in a court of law. Therefore, the principle is no different. Jesus is our ultimate Judge. One day, all believers will stand before Him and give an account.
We will answer to God for what we’ve said and what we’ve done; for how we’ve treated others and how we’ve used the resources He’s entrusted to us; for how we’ve served Him and how we’ve obeyed His Word. Remember our verse? “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
God expects us as believers to patiently bear one another, and if anyone wrongs us, we’re to forgive them just like Christ has forgiven us. Dare we do any different than Christ? If we choose not to forgive, then we elect to stand in judgment of the other person. And judgment belongs to God. That’s why Jesus said, “…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” None of us are so righteous that we can throw stones. So if you are harboring unforgiveness in your heart toward anyone, know for certain that you are disobeying God’s Word and your disobedience dishonors the Lord, especially after He’s forgiven you of so much.