Carey Lewis Devotions
Thursday, August 10th, 2017
Name Tags: You Are... (Part 42)
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)
In Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:14 (NASB)
He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the Blood of His Son and forgave our sins.

Ephesians 1:7 (NLT)
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Luke 11:4 (NLT)
Don't fool yourself. You can't walk with Jesus, nor receive the blessings of His Father, if you continue to harbor a grudge. No matter how grievously you were hurt. No matter how justified your grudge seems. No matter if everyone takes your side...

God loves your oppressor as He loves you, and He hopes for each sinner's salvation.** Therein, consider a few need-to-knows about forgiveness and unforgiveness:

1. No matter what sins were once committed, saints are clean and forgiven in Jesus. They're lovely in the Eyes of their Father.

2. Some believers who were rulish-ly raised may permeate holier-than-thou airs. But to God, pride is a stench in His Nose.

3. The forgiveness of other people's sins sets saints up to receive equal treatment. The Lord's Prayer emphasizes that point.

4. If Christians hold onto unforgiveness more than they hold onto God's Commandments, they're embracing sin more than loving Him.

5. God's Word says unforgiveness brings torture.*** Victims are continually tortured by poisonous thoughts in their bloodstreams.

Actors, models and talent for Christ: Some Christians have thrown venomous darts toward entertainment's shows and stars. Their concern is understandable, but their retaliation is not.

You hold the poison's antidote, and I believe you know what it is: Love as unconditional kindness. If it's not due, so much the better. It's a remarkable reaction that will impress the hardest skeptic.

To Be Continued...

* Previous 7-part AMTC Devotion Series, Unforgiveness:

** 'Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth' (1 Timothy 2:4, NKJV).

** ' 'Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?' declares the Sovereign Lord. 'Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?' ' (Ezekiel 18:23, NIV).

*** Concluding Lines of The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant: ' 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses' (Matthew 18:32-35, NKJV).

P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Name Tags: You Are... series.

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"I labored, yet not I. By the grace of God, I am what I am, and do what I do' (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 15:10). I love God's Word. As a late-in-life committed Christian with no Bible training prior to age 51, some people wonder how I'm qualified to write devotions. I wonder that, too. But God loves children and fools for Him. I am both. Ghost Writer? God.

Carey Lewis

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