PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
The Power in ForgivenessMarcus Sanders
Mark 11:24,25 "I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”
Many people wish for the power to control the world around them. Some will look towards the business world; some will look into the spiritual world and will go as far to explore the legends of the ancient world to find the power to be in control. Jesus gives his disciples in a sense a blank check from heaven. “If anyone says to this mountain, “Be lifted up and thrown into the sea… and believes it will happen, it will be done for him…it is yours.” Yeah Jesus, whew that’s the bomb, I’ll make some changes around this place. But here’s the only way you can do it. You must first forgive. You cannot have any unresolved sin in your life. There it is, the difference maker. You see, the faith to move mountains, if executed with a heart of forgiveness, will love more than destroy. It will reach out to mend more than eliminate. What would be the purpose to call a down a mountain if we bring another person down with it? When my motivation is from a heart that forgives, it becomes a “Cross” experience. When Jesus went to the cross, he could have called the mountains down, he could have called 10 legions of angels instead he forgave. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” It’s the person with the forgiving heart that prays with the “will of God” in mind.
It’s heart check time again. I don’t like to admit it but I know deep inside my heart there are places of un-forgiveness. Memory is a gift from the Creator that stores the good experiences in life but it also keeps a record of the offenses from others. The sad thing is that we alter our life to avoid similar experiences in the future. When we get close to the experience we relive the pain, ouch! Can you imagine if we had the power to call a mountain down when our past experiences surfaced? The power in my hand would have solved the population explosion. There would be fewer cars on the freeway, nicer people in the market place, why because the mountains came tumbling down. But motivation does not align with the will of God. Forgiveness is my answer to strength, and power. It is strength under to the control of the Holy Spirit. Forgiveness frees me to think in line with the will of God. And when I live this way the only mountains I will see is the one I am climbing towards my desire to know Christ in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering. With great power comes great responsibility. Jesus said it this way, “To whom much as been given, much will be expected” Jesus did not give power for selfish reason, he gave power for redemptive reasons. “For God so loved the world that He gave His Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” Life is full of “Cross” experiences that will call us to forgive.
Jesus again I am brought to my knees. I definitely want to have Your power in my life but I come to a heart check. A forgiving heart must motivate the outflow of my life. Your will can only be accomplished by a forgiving heart. There lies the power of the gospel and the clarity of my calling. My motivation can never be affected by the memory of the offenses of others but by the renewing of my mind in Christ Jesus. Teach me to live in the experience of the Cross as I draw nearer and nearer to You.