A Servant's Heart — Part 6

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You. Psalms 86:5 (NKJV)

We have been looking at a series of devotionals titled, A Servant's Heart. In this series we have been looking at what it means to have a proper servant's heart as defined by God.  We’ve learned we cannot properly serve others in the way our Lord demonstrated without first having this type of heart.  And so we are looking at eight qualities we are to put on, as outlined in Colossians 3:12-14 — qualities we must possess before we can properly serve others in His name. 

Let’s take a look at the seventh quality we must, "put on.”

7. We are to put on forgiveness

…and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. Colossians 3:13 (NKJV)

This is quite possibly one of the biggest temptation traps we will face from the enemy.  There is something in our flesh wanting to exact vengeance, or to be given some sort of payback for the wrongs we have encountered.  We don’t have a problem with God forgiving us, but we will find ourselves seizing up at times when it comes to forgiving others.  And so forgiving others doesn’t seem to come easy for us, even as proclaimed followers of Jesus Christ.  As a result of our unforgiveness many of us are left on the sidelines, unable to be used, or our ability to bring glory to God has been greatly diminished.  

When I find myself getting bogged down because of another person’s offense against me, I am quickly reminded of what our Lord endured on our behalf.  As He hung on the cross of Calvary, the guards mocked and ridiculed Him from below; they cast lots for his possessions and divided them up between themselves.  They spit upon Him, cursed at Him, beat Him physically, and threw verbal insults at Him.  After all of these horrible things, Jesus responded by saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34 NKJV).  

When I read Jesus’ words in this verse I am reminded, this is what I need to imitate — I need to forgive others every time.  If we don’t practice this type of forgiveness we will only be hurting ourselves, because as we hold on to unforgiveness we lose the close relationship God wants to have with us, our prayers are being hindered in our sin, and we will not be able to serve God in the way He has intended for us to serve. 

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

Q: So how do we forgive others?

We forgive others by first choosing to imitate Jesus, and then we throw in the cross.  We identify that Jesus’ death was enough to pay for every transgression, and we choose to forgive others in the way God has forgiven us — in His unmerited favor (cf Eph. 2:8-9). One more thing about God’s forgiveness — it’s forever!  He casts our sin into the sea of forgetfulness.  And it is as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12).  This is how far our sin is from God, and this is how far other people’s sins should be from our mind as well.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about forgiveness by reading the Scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Is there anyone whom you have not forgiven, whether living or deceased?  

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Choose to forgive those who have hurt and offended you, or your loved ones.  Choose to pray for them—that they will see their sin just the way that God does, and for God to use it to bring them closer to Him.  

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Father, thank You for forgiving me of my transgressions. Father thank You for the propitiation of Jesus’ blood upon the cross of Calvary.  Lord please reveal to me if there is anyone I have not forgiven in my life.  Help me to continue to bestow grace and mercy upon those who may offend me or those I love.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…


Be Blessed, Pastor Scott







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