MATTHEW 6:14_Your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.
To understand forgiveness, understand your salvation.
Salvation is free. Yet it certainly was not free for Jesus. He paid an agonizing, heavy price for your sin freedom. This comes from love without boundaries. John 15:13 (KJV), “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Add another trait to God’s I AM name – HE IS love.
When you accept Jesus as Savior and serve Him as Lord, life changes. That is what salvation’s transformation does – changes lives – forever. You will never be the same. You have stepped from the path of death to life, from bondage to freedom, from despair to hope, and from hate to love. You do not want to stray from this path.
Salvation comes with love. Not just love for you, but love within you. A freedom and ability to love like you never knew was possible. This is how it works:
Love is a natural byproduct of salvation’s transformation.
Forgiveness is a natural byproduct of love.
You don’t have to work for natural byproducts.
They come with the territory.
Mighty Jesus, Thank You for the undeniable path of salvation. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ gives His love to me—I will give it to others!
MATTHEW 5:48_Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Jesus solves the whole right-and-wrong, love-and-hate, good-and-evil, thing by saying, “Be perfect!“ Yeah, right! Let me know how that works out for you!
Let’s translate the word perfect. In this verse it means full grown; to reach the character of virtue and integrity. You may make mistakes, but perfection comes when you make a goal to work toward integrity. And more than that, a goal to become a radical, salty-lit-up disciple of Jesus. This kind of perfection is to become full grown in your love for Jesus, to pattern your life after His.
How can you get there? Jesus just spoke forty-six verses of a step by step plan that maps it out. If you choose this path, you won’t walk alone. You will enjoy the company of other radical disciples. You also have the treasure chest key, aka the Bible. You also have the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit within you opens the door to wisdom and teaches you how to apply that wisdom to your life. Perfection, achieving integrity and virtue, is a natural byproduct of wisdom.
There’s one more point before this chapter ends. Don’t miss it!
Heavenly Father, Teach me how to find the path to perfection. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is perfect in every way—He will teach me a way!
MATTHEW 5:44_and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…
Don’t you hate it when someone uses you? Whether they’ve used you for their political gain, or personal pleasure, you’ve been violated. Someone you trusted took advantage of your trust and used it to better themselves. Now they despise you. That’s because they suffer from guilt, and blame you. So, whenever they have the opportunity they persecute you.
Pray for them. Try not to be hurt by them, but hurt for them. They are suffering. Guilt overwhems their emotions. You can’t despise and persecute someone without it causing you more turmoil than it does them. Count on that!
Pray for God to help and heal them. Pray for them to respond to Jesus’ unconditional love, and accept it. Pray for them to allow The Great Transformer to set them free.
Set your heart in the forgiveness mode. Hurt for them. When you pray God reads your heart, far more than hears your words. A hurting heart attracts and keeps God’s attention. When a heart hurts more for others than for itself, it may attract God even more.
Father of Compassion, I don’t want to hold grudges. I want You to help the ones who persecute me and set them free. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ reads my heart—He will give it compassion!
MATTHEW 5:44_do good to them that hate you…
How can you do good to them that hate you? It may be pretty much the same way you do to those who like you. Begin with prayer. Talk with God. Ask Him to give you an opportunity to do something good to one who has shown contempt toward you.
A good place to begin is to learn their birthdate. If you have their cell number or email just text or mail a simple, “Hey, I heard today is your birthday, I hope you have a happy one.” If you don’t have this information, you may just write a note and leave it on their desk at school.
Keep things simple. Don’t get overly sentimental or mushy with your doing good. They will already feel uncomfortable with your kind response to their obvious contempt. If the devil can convince them to take your good deeds as some kind of plot against them, he will.
Let God do His work. Focus more on listening to the Holy Spirit for guidance, and looking for opportunities which may come your way.
You certainly want to do them good, but this is also going to do you good … just don’t let pride get in the way.
Mighty God, Please give me opportunities to do good to all the people I can. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ does good to all—He wants me to do that too!
MATTHEW 5:44_But I say unto you, love your enemies…
Jesus continually points out love as an action.
Love requires dedication.
Love requires courage.
Love requires grit to accept rejection, but not be defeated.
Love requires faith in Jesus’ radical teachings to work.
If love requires all this of me, I want my love to go to the one of my choosing. The object of my affection. Here we go again! Jesus messes with my heart and mind when He says love my enemies. I don’t want to love my enemies! They are my enemies! I don’t like them! They cause me pain and suffering. They cause people I love pain and suffering. If God won’t let me seek revenge on them – at least let me hate them!
Besides, there is another problem – I don’t know how to love them. It doesn’t come naturally to me to love people who hurt me or people I love. Jesus asks too much.
In all my moaning and groaning, I use the key (the Bible). It unlocks my spirit, then I can trust in Philippians 4:13 (KJV), “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Lord Jesus, I don’t know how to love my enemies, help me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ strengthens me—I can achieve anything with Him!