trACker number370 Forgiveness Cannot Be Earned but It Can Be Freely Given
by Dudley Anderson 8/08/2011 / Devotionals
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08 August 2011
Dear God Tracker
Forgiveness Cannot Be Earned but It Can Be Freely Given
The service had just begun with a beautiful hymn when the double doors at the rear of the sanctuary burst open. Three hundred worshipers were routed in their glorious expression of praise as six men rushed into the room armed with AK47 assault rifles and hand grenades. Yelling and cursing they unleashed devastation upon that perplexed congregation, killing six and wounding scores of innocent worshipers. Immediately after the attack Frank, the minister of this Anglican Church in Cape Town, was recorded on national television as saying, "We are appalled and devastated by this act but we are compelled by the God we love and serve to forgive our attackers."
Forgiveness is a concept that seems to be AWOL in our society. Everywhere we look we are told, "Get your own back," or "It's your right to seek compensation," or "Someone's got to pay; justice must be done." Today we play the "blame game" but who did Jesus blame for his crucifixion? We don't see malice in his heart or hear words of vengeance on his lips when our saviour hung on the cross. Neither do we hear deep remorse from those who drove spikes through his hands and feet. And yet as he hung suspended between heaven and earth, Jesus said, "Father forgive them, they don't know what they are doing." Somehow in our frailty we do not easily forgive unless we receive remorseful apology from those who offend us.
Many years later, after the ending of the Apartheid regime in South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up. People from both sides of the political divide who had committed atrocities in the name of their perceived causes could apply for amnesty. Perpetrators and victims would be brought together. The attacker would apologise to the attacked and if forgiveness was evident then the perpetrators were pardoned. Frank, the minister of the Cape Town church, was confronted by the men who had attacked his congregation. With him were two members of his church who had been maimed by the attack. With tears of sorrow the attackers begged Frank for forgiveness. "But we can't forgive you now," said the minister with compassion, "because we already forgave you. We forgave you the night you attacked us." Then Frank added, "This forgiveness has always been yours but today you have accepted it."
Dear God Tracker, justice has already been executed for all wrong doing 2000 years ago when Jesus took the blame for your sins. God's forgiveness is already available to you and it's by your heartfelt repentance you make it your own. But have you forgiven those who have hurt you? Holding onto unforgiveness will only harm you. Why not decide today to forgive those who have offended you even despite their remorse. If your emotional bucket is filled with pain and hurt why not pull the plug of forgiveness and allow all your hurt and anger to run out to the floor? Forgiveness cannot be earned but it can be freely given.
Our hope is that, by sharing experiences in tracking the will of God, we will draw closer to him and discover the awesome value of walking with God. Let us know what you think by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org God knows the plans he has for you. So go ahead and track them!
What is trACker?
GodTracker and trACker owe their origins to an international Christian radio programme produced by Dudley Anderson called, OnTrack. Although OnTrack went off-air in 2005, trACker has continued to help people to track God's plans and purposes for their lives since July 2003.
You can now hear Dudley Anderson on UCB UK
Saturdays from 00:00 to 05:00 GMT and Sundays from 06:00 to 12:00 GMT
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Verse of the Week
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Quote of the Week
A Sample of Dudley's Fave Quotes.
"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." --- Paul Boese
Don't Give-up, Look-up!
Look-up and Fix Your Eyes On Jesus!
I Forgive My Offenders As You Have Forgiven Me
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
"Father in heaven, thank you for your amazing grace and mercy. Thank you for your kind forgiveness. Lord I truly do repent of all my sin. Help me now to forgive those who have hurt me over the years. I confess that I have been harbouring unforgiveness and repent of it, in Jesus' name. I choose now to forgive them in all sincerity. I choose to pull the plug of forgiveness at the bottom of my emotional bucket so that all the hurt and anger my run out. O Lord, help me to not harbour offence any more. I forgive my offenders as you have forgiven me. Amen."
Dudley began writing for radio. He currently presents for UCB UK and writes a weekly devotional called, trACker. trACker reaches hundreds of people and is published online. Dudley also pastors a church in the UK. More at: www.godtracker.co.uk