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Week 19: “Be kind and forgive one another”
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
What if others don’t deserve to be forgiven? What if they are not sorry for what they have done? What if they continue to do hurtful and wrong things? No one really “deserves” forgiveness, but everyone needs it. However, some people do not seem to realize they need it, or they just don’t care. But, not only does everyone need forgiveness, everyone needs to forgive as well. Even when others do not care about your offers of forgiveness, it is right that you give it to them. Even if they refuse to benefit from grace offered to them, you can benefit by giving grace to others. It takes two to have a relationship. When relationships have been broken, it requires that forgiveness be both offered and received, if the friendship is to be restored. However, it only takes one to forgive. Forgiveness does not mean forgetfulness or foolishness, but it is essential that you give it to those who need it. It is not your concern whether they want it or deserve it. You give forgiveness because it has been given to you. You give forgiveness because you want to live in the liberty of Christ. What if you offer forgiveness and the offer is rejected? What if they reject you, misunderstand you, and misrepresent you? Then you have the chance to live what you say you believe. Jesus is Lord of your life and he is the one you live to please. Now you have a real chance to demonstrate this fact. He has seen your offer of forgiveness and he is pleased. Let his pleasure be enough.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.