Happy Thanksgiving! We have many things to be thankful for in our lives, but make sure you thank God for the greatest gift of all -- forgiveness and eternal life with Jesus forever in heaven. Also, thank God for your purpose, like when the Lord sent out the apostle Paul, saying:
"I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in me." 1
Lottsapoppa Forgave Me!
Most likely you missed it in my podcast Episode #257 "Who Are You?" Here is the blurb accompanying it.
"I share in this episode about 'Lottsapoppa.' He was a drug dealer from whom I took money in the late '60s. He was later shot by my crime partner. He forgave me years later, after ending up in prison with me. He admitted he wasn't saved at the time, but forgave me never the less. This was because of whom I was in Christ. 'When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.' (Proverbs 16:7). This introduction begs the question, 'Who are you in Christ?'
"The book of Acts 19:11-20, tells the story of a group of men who attempt an exorcism using the Name of 'Jesus, Who Paul preaches.' The demons say they know Paul, and they know Jesus, but 'Who are you?' It did not end well for those men. A person only has the power to use the Name of Jesus, if they are a member of the family of God. Jesus destroyed the works of the devil at the cross and the authority to defeat the works of Satan extends to us; but only if you belong to Jesus. Paul states in Philippians 3:10, that he wants to know Jesus and the power of His resurrection. Are you someone who has that knowledge? Are you someone who has that power? In other words: Who are you? Benard Crowe, aka Lottsapoppa, ended up receiving Christ, and we took communion together side by side. Selah."
For those of you who enjoy the Monthly View, may want to read and hear a weekly message by tuning into the podcast. My prayer is that you will "Subscribe and Share it" with family and friends. If you are on social media, maybe the Lord will place it upon your heart to post it.
The Prayer Of Thanksgiving...
I find myself praying the prayer of thanksgiving more than any other. When we realize the Bible is full of promises, many of them fulfilled in Christ, we can't help but thank Him for all He has already done. For instance, the LORD says:
"I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah...I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people...I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." 2
"I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins." 3
David testified: "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." 4
Hezekiah testified: "Indeed, it was for my own peace that I had great bitterness; but You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back." 5
Micah wrote: "He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depth of the sea." 6
So let us give thanks by praying these promises of God, that He has forgiven all our sins through the finished work of Jesus Christ. Instead of asking God for forgiveness, thank Him that you were forgiven 2000 years ago through the New Covenant blood of Jesus. He said, "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." 7
The New Covenant makes it clear that we are to forgive others even as we have been forgiven. Here is another blurb you may have missed from Episode #352 "How To Forgive."
"Many people believe there are those God should not forgive, and I am one of those in the crosshairs. Such an attitude comes from doubt, and it's this lack of faith that prevents a person from forgiving. A better title for this message is, 'How to Overcome Unforgiveness.' We are to '. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you' (Ephesians 4:32). Since God has forgiven me of so much, of all people, I should easily forgive relatively small offensives. In Matthew 6:14, the Lord's prayer emphasizes that we must forgive in order to receive forgiveness from God. It's tied to our faith in God's grace, which helps us to forgive. And our lack of faith affects our prayers, Bible study and comprehension, and even our fellowship.
"There are seven attitudes [spirits] that demonstrate our unforgiveness: 1) Resentment; 2) Ill will or dislike; 3) Grudges or hostility; 4) Malice; 5) Retaliation; 6) Bitterness or cynicism and 7) Hatred. These spirits increase in our hearts as we continue to harbor unforgiveness, which runs contrary to love (1 Corinthians 13). On the other hand, Jesus is the perfect example of forgiveness, when He said, 'Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.' Join me in this message as I show how the Word of God enables us to forgive others as Christ forgave us. And to be merciful, because the Lord, our God is merciful!"
Again, I pray that you'll join the weekly podcast, and be blessed by the efforts of this outreach. My sole purpose is to glorify God in all that He has done for us.
Forgiveness Can Be Tough...
Granted, it can be difficult to forgive as we have been forgiven when one has suffered so painfully, especially if the offender hasn't repented and turned to God. It wouldn't be wise to approach such a person, in order not to be hurt again. And for whatever reason, letting that person know that you have forgiven them, could incite the situation, causing more anger and harm. Remember, "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins." 8
Our forgiveness from God and forgiving others heals us mentally and emotionally and abates physical damage as a result. We forgive for our good, and not for the offender, who must repent and turn to God in order to understand the harm done and truly experience Godly sorrow. "For this kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation." 9
A Prayer For You...
Father, thank You that You have given me a New Covenant, not only forgiving my sins but remembering them no more. You have blotted them out as far as the east is from the west, removing all my transgressions. Indeed, You have given me peace, delivering my soul from corruption, and You have cast all my sins behind Your back. You have had compassion on me, casting all my sins into the depths of the sea. I thank You that You have empowered me now to forgive as I have been forgiven by Your Son's precious blood. I thank You for continually healing me; mentally, emotionally and physically from all my hurts and harm from the past wounds. I declare that I am set free by the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Scripture References (NKJV):
1) Acts 26:17b,18, NLT
2) Jere. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:12
3) Isa. 43:25
4) Psa. 103:12
5) Isa. 38:17
6) Micah 7:19
7) Matt. 26:28
8) Pro. 10:12; 1 Pet. 4:8
9) 2 Cor. 7:10a