Without forgiveness we rob ourselves both of the faith and good conscience

May peace and grace from our Lord Jesus Christ be multiplied in your life! I believe the word I am sharing with you here strengthens you and helps you in your daily walk with God Yesterday we started talking about why we must forgive our offenders. Based on Jesus’ parable from Mathew (18:21-35), we saw that refusal to forgive binds both the offender and the offended. We also saw how we must treat our offenders: we must be the initiators of reconciliation. And yesterday we stopped at the thought that we need to reconcile as soon as possible, otherwise the master will deliver us to the torturers. Who is the master? God is the Judge. We read about it in many passages of the Scripture. Here are some of them: 
«And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead» (Acts, 10:42).
            «For we know Him who said, „Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, „The LORD will judge His people”» (Hebrews, 10:30)
            «…to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect» (Hebrews, 12:23).
 If you are not seeking reconciliation with your offender (if you do not want to change, repent and forgive him or her), then your offender in his despair can give this situation into God’s hands – give it over to the Judge of all flesh. From that moment on you will have to deal not with a man, but with the Master who will deliver you to the torturers. Who are these torturers? They are Satan and his demons. There are several Bible verses that speak about it. But if we speak in modern terms, they are bandits whose purpose is to return a person into the dungeon (prison) and torment until he pays his debt in full: 
 «And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him» (Mathew, 18:34).
 No prison is worse that spiritual prison! And no debt is bigger than the debt of love! «Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law» (Romans, 13:8). Forgiveness is one of the works of love. So until you forgive your offender and reconcile with him, you won’t get out of the spiritual prison. We read in both Old and New Testament about the cases when God was forced to give people over into the hands of torturers. We read about one such instance in Corinthians church. There was a man in that church who committed adultery, but was totally callous towards sin in general and his sin in particular. This man refused to repent and did no show any signs of remorse when the church pointed out his sin. Because of his haughtiness and indifference towards sin, the church used its authority from God «deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus» (1 Corinthians, 5:5). Apostle Paul also talked about Hymenaeus and Alexander whom he delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme: 
 «This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme» (1 Timothy, 1:18-20).
             Without forgiveness we rob ourselves both of the faith and good conscience. We can suffer shipwreck of our faith and end up in the prison with spiritual tyrants. Forgiveness makes us like our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Who forgave us all our offenses: 
«Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases» (Psalm, 103:2-3).
 I wish abundant God’s blessings on this wonderful day! Till tomorrow! Pastor Rufus Ajiboye

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