Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Forgiveness Ledgers




Dear Friends,

The subject I am going to share today is one that I have deeply struggled with throughout my life.  The subject of ..."Forgiveness." I know that we've all had to deal with forgiveness issues, at sometime or another.  I have been hurt before, to the point of coming to the crossroads of choice. Will I become bitter, because of the way someone has hurt me, or will I become better?  I have been to the point of having hatred in my heart towards another person.   It was ugly and it was keeping my prayers from being answered.  The bitterness that was growing inside me, was robbing me of my very life.  Thankfully, God helped me to let go of my hurt, and I was able to forgive.  Had God not helped me, I would still be an extremely angry and bitter person.  The following story I am going to share with you was told by Rev. Tony Bailey of Stockton, California.  He is the author of several books on prayer. (Available at Kindle.) This story is from his CD series titled, "Forgiveness."  I pray you are touched, healed and blessed as much as I was by hearing it.  May the God of all forgiveness and grace give you supernatural power to forgive...and set you free.

Love,

---Jen
The Forgiveness Ledgers
excerpts from Rev. Tony Bailey's Sermon "Forgiveness"
 
Matthew 18:7 KJV "...it must needs be that offense comes..."  It is inevitable that you and I will be offended. Offense will come to us and has come to us. However, what we have to decide is how we will deal with the offenses that happen.  Most of the time other people will be the source of our hurt and offense.  Most of the time offense is brought to us by people we love very deeply.  Sometimes offense comes from ourselves. At times we have to forgive ourselves. It is a daily walk with God, and we need to practice forgiveness daily. We need to forgive ourselves and others often to keep our hearts pure and free. Another source of offense is God. God can bring offense into our lives for purification.  He wants the bitterness in us, past and present, to come to the surface to make us deal with it. Once we deal with it, we can be emotionally healed and made whole. Jesus wants us to be pure and free from all offense caused bitterness, so that we can be better conductors of His glory.  By bringing our impurities to the surface God can purify us and take the bitterness out of our spirits.

Matthew 6:12, 14 KJV "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors...For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." If we don't forgive others, God can't forgive us.   I need mercy, so I must give mercy.  I need grace, I must give grace. I need forgiveness, I must give forgiveness. It was my sin that nailed Jesus to the cross.  Jesus paid everything for my sin.  Through Jesus, I can and must forgive. We need mercy everyday. God's mercy is new every morning. Because we need mercy everyday, and we must give mercy everyday. (Matthew 5:7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.") God needs us to be conductors of His Glory! If we have anger, hurt and resentment eating at our hearts, we are robbed of the joy Jesus wants us to have. We must fall on God's mercy and ask God to purify us and forgive others through us. True forgiveness only comes through Christ.  We don't have the power to forgive on our own. We have to let Jesus forgive through us.  It takes as much of a miracle to forgive, as it does to believe God for divine healing.

Remember the story of the man who was sick with the palsy? Jesus asked the people who were gathered around him, "Which is it easier to do...forgive sins or heal?" The people replied, that only God could forgive sins.  The only way we can forgive others is with God's help.

The Lord showed Rev. Bailey a vision.  He saw a bookcase filled with ledgers. He went to the shelf took down the first ledger and opened it. As he viewed the page of the ledger, he saw names of people who had offended him throughout his life.  At the top of the page of the ledger was the name of the person who had offended him. Under the name were the offenses committed by that person.  The offenses had been crossed out.  The words PAID IN FULL were written at the bottom of each page. Rev. Bailey could remember the time when he had forgiven that person.  He thought perhaps God was showing him this to commend him for forgiving them. Then he saw other ledgers on the bookcase.  As he took the other ledgers and opened them, they were the same as the first. Names and crossed out offenses were written on the pages. Again, PAID IN FULL was scrawled at the bottom. Finally, he got to the last ledger. In his vision Jesus pulled out the ledger, and said, "This is the ledger I keep on you." As he opened this ledger, much to his surprise, the pages were blank. There was nothing on the pages... nothing was crossed out. Jesus had paid every debt in full, but the debts weren't even remembered. The offenses and sins were nowhere to be seen.  Jesus spoke to him and said, "This is how I forgave you, I want you to do the same for others." 

Forgiveness, is one of the most difficult acts of surrender we will ever experience in our lives.  It takes supernatural help to forgive.  On our own, we can't do it.  It takes God to help us.  God wants to make all things new for us. He wants us to forgive, so He can forgive us.  Though it may take years for us to forget, Jesus can help us with the first step...forgiving.

1.  Get alone with God. 

2. Pray this prayer with me: 

Jesus flow through me and help me to forgive ___________________________.  I release _________________________  of the following offenses: _____________________________.  I ask you to make me free, as if this offense never happened.  Help me to love _______________________ like you love them.  Let your power of forgiveness flow through me. Heal me of my hurts. Help me to let go of the words spoken, and the deeds done.  As my sins crucified you, and you forgave me, let me forgive ___________________.  Make me an instrument in Your hands to give grace, mercy, and pardon. Renew me with your Holy Spirit. I need your help. Create in me a clean heart, wash me and I will be whiter than snow.

In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

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