Hi how are you today? I am well and getting back into the things I normally do after Christmas and the holidays. But one thing I can’t believe is it is the end of January soon. Where has this month gone?
Before we get too far into the year, I want to deal with the topic of forgiving unconditionally. To walk in the word this year of 2023 which is the revealing of the sons and daughters of God, means we must walk in love. A part of that means we need to forgive unconditionally.
The verse is in Matthew 18:35 and states in the Message Bible:
35 And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.
This verse is part of the story of the servant who was forgiven much by the king but wouldn’t forgive another servant of a really tiny debt. After he wouldn’t forgive, he was thrown in jail until the debt could be paid.
You and I couldn’t spend long enough in jail to pay the price for our sins against God. Only one person could and that was Jesus. Thank you God!.
The issue for us is that we have been forgiven much by Jesus of all our wrongdoings but then we either don’t forgive others or we forgive them with conditions. You know what I mean – we say I will only forgive you if you don’t do it again. The chances of that person failing the condition is high. I am glad God doesn’t say that to us.
But I do want to say that if someone has hurt you badly, forgiving them does not mean you need to hang around them. Jesus forgave from the cross those that had done wrong against Him by crucifying Him. But I can’t see any scriptures where after the resurrection He hung around them.
Does that mean He didn’t love them? No way but until they were willing to change, they wouldn’t be part of His Kingdom. God loves mankind but He doesn’t let everyone into heaven. Only those that have sought His forgiveness and believe in what Jesus did for them.
There are two quick stories I want to touch on that shows unconditional forgiveness. They are both found in Genesis.
In Genesis 27, Isaac was old and called for his son Esau so he could give him a blessing. Whilst Esau was away finding food and preparing it, Rebecca prepared food for Jacob to get their first. Isaac blessed Jacob instead of his oldest son Esau. Esau was mad and decided to kill Jacob but Rebecca sent Jacob away.
Sometime later Jacob wanted to come back and was in fear of Esau. So Jacob sent everyone first to see how Esau would react. But we read in Genesis 33:4 that:
But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept
Forgiveness was found and accepted. It was an unconditional forgiveness. Neither of them required restitution from the other.
Joseph is our other story of unconditional forgiveness. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers because they hated him. Later Joseph became second in command in Egypt – only Pharaoh was higher. There was food in Egypt in a time of famine and Joseph’s brothers came to buy food.
After a series of events Joseph revealed himself to his brothers and this is what it states in Genesis 45:4:
4 So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.
Joseph forgave his brothers unconditionally. This is how God wants us to forgive as well – unconditionally. Is it hard? Yes Is it worth it? Yes. Just remind yourself you have been forgiven by Jesus unconditionally.
This is how God wants us to live the life intended for each of us.