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Forgiveness is anchored to Love



St. Luke 15:11-23

A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.  So his father divided unto them his living.  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land:  and he began to be in want.  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father; I have sinned against heaven, and before thee. And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father, but when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him.

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Too often we have allowed things to come between us, and the ones we love the most. In homes all over the world today there are families and relationships, marriages and friendships that have been broken apart and split because of the things someone has said or done. It may even be those who are the closest to you that have hurt you the most.  What about the times when we have said or done something to hurt the very ones we love?

Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 There is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.  Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:  For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

We get angry with one another and before you know it we begin to say hurtful things that cut like a knife. It's when we hold onto those hurtful things that tear apart at the fabrics of our relationships.  Little by little the threads begin to unravel and fall apart because of the grievances of our heart. The Bible says that if we bite and devour one another, to take heed that we are not consumed one of another and if we do not forgive others of their wrong doings, neither will our heavenly Father forgive us of our wrong doings. Why is it easier to hold on to a grudge rather than to say, I'm sorry?

Matthew 18:21-22 Peter asked Jesus a very important question saying, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?  Luke 17:4 And Jesus replied, "If he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."

Real love is manifested here in the father's compassion. For when his son was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him. We see the same love manifested in our Heavenly Father who does not condemn us for the things that we have done wrong, but with arms outstretched He receives us back into His family, as Sons and Daughters


Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

From time to time we need to take account of our own heart and to see what things have accumulated there.  Is there any unforgiveness that we are holding onto?  Have we allowed resentments to push us away from the very ones that we were at one time so close to? If so, we need to let go of it.  Let go of all the hurts, the resentments, the bitterness, and the anger. We should never let the sun go down without first resolving any thing that has come between us. We need those times of reconciliation where we run back into the arms of those we love and say, I'm sorry, please forgive me.

Love is the answer.  To those who have been your enemies, love them.  To those who hate you, do good to them.  To those who curse you, bless them.  And for those who despitefully use you pray for them. That we may be the children of our Father in heaven.


~~Rev. James A. Lewis~~


Rev. James and Jody Lewis

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Music by Bruce Deboer




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