Colossians 3:12-14 (NLT)
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
I don’t understand the abundance of God’s Grace. I cannot comprehend how someone who is perfect can make concessions for all the imperfections in my life in the simple request of a repentant soul. I just don’t understand. The more I study the concept of God’s Love, Grace and Mercy in my life – the more that I realize I will never be completely perfect. Yet somehow in its own special way these three elements give me a peace and joy that is a source of contentment. God chose me. He chose to love me. He chose to forgive me. He chose to give His Only Son to die for my sin. He chose to give me a plan that completely allows for my benefit and blessing in spite of me. See I don’t understand that, and maybe that is why sometimes we are challenged in the giving of grace to others.
“You must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” We are to make allowance for one another’s faults. God calls us to forgiveness not in cruelty but compassion. He loves us and wants to live in love with others to experience true salvation that offers complete freedom. Our expectation in others binds us to them creating a soul tie even to our enemies. When we expect anything out of them including fair treatment than we have taken that expectation from the Lord and handed it to another. In doing so, we take power from God to change our situation and give it to another who locks us in emotional bondage. Our ability to forgive others is not about them but God’s Way of staying in complete union with us. God forgave me so I must forgive others sounds like a directive. But God’s Instruction is not to enslave us to those who mistreat and abuse us but free us to be made complete and whole despite their negligence or abuse because we now depend on God’s Grace, Love and Mercy. This is really good stuff. I am amazed today at the Power of God’s Grace not only in saving me from my sin but saving me from myself.
Romans 5:15-16 (NLT)
But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.
Sin always brings condemnation to a relationship. Sin releases condemnation in our life. God’s Grace covers all our sin in the Blood of Jesus Christ. This is God’s Gracious Gift to us – it is the gift of forgiveness. When we choose not to forgive another person for any reason valid or not, we introduce condemnation back into our life. For example, if my husband and I have a rift it interrupts our relationship. I am angry or he is mad so we stop communicating. Now it may be a small trivial matter, but it introduces contingency into our marriage that is to represent Christ as unconditional. If we do not work to forgive one another, our marriage will soon be condemned as bitterness arises to destroy it. Now let me and a side note – if you are married you need Jesus to stay married. If you are not married, but seek to be married. You must be filled with Christ overflowing in grace to have a successful marriage. Every relationship in our life has the potential to be to the Glory of God. It is up to us if we will allow it to flourish in love or be condemned by unforgiveness.
Romans 5:20-21 (NLT)
God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The acceptance of Christ and repentance from sin does not mean that we become the Law keepers in life. It is not our job. The Holy Spirit is the One who instructs and conditions are heart to live in right standing with the Lord. People are sinners. All people are sinners. The only difference is that some are saved by the Grace of God. What does that have to do with anything? Nobody’s perfect. We are all going to have opportunities to give and receive grace. Forgiveness is the only way that we will ever live in the freedom of God’s Grace and Love.
Romans 6:14 (NLT)
Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
God’s Grace is our freedom. It is the very thing that allows us to live successful and blessed lives outside of being able to meet all the conditions of God’s Law. Sin becomes our master only if we allow it to remain a driving force in our life. We now are free to live in God’s Grace but like anything else in life it is a personal choice.
Romans 11:6 (NLT)
And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.
God’s Grace is free and undeserved. It is a direct result of God’s Kindness and has nothing to do with our personal ability. God’s Grace is constantly flowing from His Throne for us. We decided if we want it but we will never ever deserve it. So why do we expect others to be deserving of our love, grace and mercy. We choose to love others. We choose to offer them grace. We decide to extend some of the mercy that we received this morning. To do so like the Lord is to give grace, mercy and love without expecting anything back in return. To fully experience the Love of God and His Power in our life means releasing all others from personal expectation and deciding to love them all equally.
Luke 6:36-38 (NLT)
“You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
God is compassionate. We do not deserve the unconditional and unfailing love of God but through His Grace that is what He chooses to give us. To whom much is given, much is required. Not only that, if we want more of His Love, Grace and Mercy than we must do something with the supply that we have been given. When I choose not to forgive another person, I pass judgment on them. It then places a requirement back on my life because my inability to forgive another is a personal declaration that Jesus is not enough and His Grace is not sufficient for me.
Some other things that the Word of God says about His Grace:
- Psalm 32:1-2 Forgiveness gives us joy.
- Psalm 65:3 Even though our sins are overwhelming, God forgives them all.
- Psalm 84:5-6 God is always ready to forgive.
- Proverbs 17:9 Love prospers and grows in forgiveness.
- Luke 17:4 Forgiveness is a perpetual process due to our inability not to sin.
- Ephesians 4:31-32 Forgiveness acknowledges receipt and acceptance of God’s Grace.
We are free to live however we choose to live. Those who choose to walk in humility ready to forgive every trespass of another will forever walk in His Love, Grace and Mercy enjoying the benefits and blessings of His Children.
Isaiah 57:14-15 (NLT)
God says, “Rebuild the road! Clear away the rocks and stones so my people can return from captivity.” The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.”
In Isaiah 6:1-8, we read about Isaiah’s personal encounter with the Lord. It says that in that moment, he realized that he was unclean. It is how it is for all of us the moment that we meet Him. The angels take a coal from the altar and touch his lips representing forgiveness. The Lord said to him, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed and your sins forgiven.” The Lord then asks, “Whom shall I send as a messenger…” and Isaiah replies, “Here I am. Send me.” Forgiveness is our message to the world. God’s Grace is sufficient for us all. Our directive is clear. Our willingness is the variable that is yet to be determined.
Rebuilding the road to God’s Presence and finding our way back to Him requires clearing away the rocks and stones. I believe that part of the clearing to be done in our life is the forgiveness of others. All others. Maybe you are thinking that I don’t understand. I was not there. Surely I do not know the things you have gone through and hardship endured. Well, you are right I don’t know your plight…but then again you do not know mine. We must not judge a book by its cover. We all have people that we must forgive in our life. With each one covered by grace, mercy and love – we move that obstacle away and can ease in closer to the Lord. When He becomes our primary objective and giver of life, we don’t need the acceptance, approval or affirmation of another and can give it from the abundance of grace given to us by the Lord. Don’t let your enemies keep you from what God is trying to in you and through you. Forgive them and move on. I have had many people to forgive along the way of life. There are more to forgive and fully open the pathway to freedom in my life. I have never regretted such an act and in fact can share with you it has always turned into blessing in my life. I am challenged today to reach deep inside me and decide if there are any rocks of unforgiveness limited the Power of God’s Grace in my life and seek to remove them. Clear the way of grace today!
Micah 6:8 (NLT)
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.