Monday, April 4, 2011

A Message of Love: Forgiveness

"He that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." [Proverbs 18:22]

After 13 years of marriage, (or in any long-term relationship) I've faced many ups and downs as many of you have. We have to learn the power of forgiveness and institute it daily in order to avoid carrying around hurt which leads to anger, bitterness and rage. We must remember that God is Love, and in order to demonstrate his love in our marriages (or relationships) we need to pray to Him to cleanse our hearts and He will guide us on what to do. We don't want to decide to use the hurt, no matter how big or small as a means for us to become selfish and get revenge on our spouse (or anyone else).

"Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord." [Romans 12:19]

The great thing about God is that He knows how to separate the sin from the sinner. He can hate the sin without hating us, and we need to do the same when we are being "sinned" against by our spouses.

He are some powerful words by Leviticus Clarke that I hope will help you in your quest to demonstrate the type of love that God has for us!

Agape-a love that is based on the deliberate choice of the one who loves rather than the worthiness of the one who is loved. This kind of love goes against natural human inclination. It is a giving, selfless, expects nothing in return kind of love. Love suffers for a long time. True love puts up with people who would be easier to give up on. Love does not envy. If our love is directed toward others, we will rejoice in the blessings they receive, rather than desiring those blessings for ourselves. The selfless love that God call us to have does not involve pride or glory. True love does not seek its own. If we truly love others, we will set aside our own plans, agendas and entitlements for the good of another. When we truly love others, we are careful not to be touchy concerning other people's words or actions toward us. When we love, we may recognize problems and failures in people, but we do not lose faith in the possibilities of what people might become. Love never gives up, knowing that God can change lives for the better. Love endures all things. Love accepts any lordship or rejections and continues unabated to build up and encourage. The description of love Paul gives is recognizing what is best for another person and then doing it. This is the kind of love God shows towards us. (Based on 1 Corinthians 13)

~from the heart of Leviticus Clarke

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother, when he sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven times.' [Matthew 18:21-22] is short.....Sheree

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