Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How to Receive Maximum Forgiveness from God

If you were convicted of a crime in our court system, there would be a range of penalties for that crime. Perhaps your crime would carry a sentence of 6 months to 5 years. The judge or jury might choose to give you a lighter sentence for whatever reason. When we sin against God, one of the factors he looks at when deciding how much grace to give us is how forgiving we have been with others.

When my children have been doing things wrong all day, I might get into a mode where I’m ready to crack down on them for the smallest infraction. At other times when they are in good standing with me, I’m more likely to show leniency and overlook some small stuff. If God were up in heaven just waiting for us to make a mistake, we would all be constantly getting punished. We can improve our standing with God and increase the mercy that he shows us by forgiving others.

When you’re driving in a 45 mile an hour zone, you might go four or five miles over the speed limit because you know that leniency is there. What if they installed a device in your car where every time you went one mile over the speed limit you automatically got a ticket? If the speed limit was enforced that strictly, we’d all be getting tickets every day.

Do you want God, who knows your every thought, to cloud up and rain over the smallest infraction? We should forgive others to the degree that we want God to forgive us. The Lord Jesus Christ, our example, taught us forgiveness when he was on the cross and said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” We are commanded to forgive one another because God forgives us.

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

Stephen followed Christ’s example of forgiveness when they were stoning him to death and his last words were, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” The Bible commands us to forgive each other, and there is definitely something in it for us when we do so.

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15

 Here is a sermon to go with this article

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