WALKING IN FORGIVENESS TOWARD OTHERS…

PSALM 130:1-8: “Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD; Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications. If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel From all his iniquities.” NKJV

OBSERVATION: Am I keeping a record of others sins? This question may make more sense if stated a bit differently. Am I keeping a record of the times someone has hurt me, failed me, or disappointed me? If I answer yes in any way, I am counting the sins of others.

This Psalm of Ascent reminds us of the wonderful gift of God’s grace that has been extended to our lives.

  • “If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.“

What would our life be like if the Lord had kept a record of all the sins and failures that we have had in our life? How would we approach Him if we knew that every time we failed He would say – “Here we go again.” We would cower in fear, we would live in shame, and we would hang our head in worship.

Yet, the Lord does not keep count of our iniquities. He removes them! He does not parole us, He fully pardons us. He forgives us and cleanses us of all unrighteousness. This is the wonderful power and promise of grace!

  • “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:8-9 NKJV
  • “For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalms 103:11-12 NKJV

The Children of Israel knew their blighted history. They had recorded in the pages of Scripture all of the times they had rebelled against God, had failed to obey His commandments, and had worshipped other gods. As they traveled each year to celebrate the feasts in Jerusalem they would sing these Songs of Ascent to remind them of God’s great grace, and to prepare their hearts for worship. We could take a page from their playbook and do the same.

As we prepare our hearts each week for worship, we too need to remember God’s grace that has been poured out on our lives. If God kept a record of my iniquities then how could I come and stand before Him? I would be sentenced to a life of guilt and shame. Yet, He has not only forgiven me, He has washed both me and my record clean. I have been fully justified before Him through Jesus Christ my Lord!

If this is true in my life, if I enjoy this wonderful gift of grace, should I not extend it to others? Should I not forgive others as He has forgiven me? I may not be able to forget the things of the past. However, by God’s great grace I can choose to refuse to rehearse them in my mind, and to lay them at the foot of the cross. I can choose to respond to those who have hurt or offended me with the same power of mercy, grace, and forgiveness, that has been extended to me by the Lord!

  • “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25-26 NKJV

If we walk in unforgiveness toward others, we will not experience the fullness of fellowship and the free flow of forgiveness from the Father. Sin and unforgiveness will hinder our fellowship with God. However, if we forgive others as we have been forgiven, we can lift our heads, our hands, and our heart to the Lord in worship, and we can extend our hands and our hearts to others in sincere love. Our fellowship with God and others will be enriched, and we will walk in a continual outpouring of God’s grace and mercy in our lives!

  • “My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel From all his iniquities.”

Lord, help me today to lay all of my sin at the foot of the Cross. Help me also to lay down all of my offenses against others. Cleanse me and renew me in Your grace and mercy. Help me to walk in love and forgiveness toward others as You daily walk in love and forgiveness toward me.

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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