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The Forgiving God

“When we run to God, we find these things that we thought were going to ruin our lives and our future; In the love and presence of God, we can command those things that we are scared are going to harm us to leave us. God gives us authority. That's what forgiveness and hope are; it's that God loves us.” -Pastor Shipp

Welcome back; I hope you are all having a blessed and wonderful day. I recently sat down with Pastor Shipp to talk about forgiveness. I’d love to share this conversation with all of you. First, there are a few things I've thought of that I was to share about forgiving ourselves:

1. We have to release ourselves from our past. You're saying we're not going to allow our past to dictate our future. I am going to remove myself from those things, and I won't let the power of those things hold me back from my destiny. This life with Jesus

Christ is going to be so great and wonderful and not tainted by our past. Get Past our Past

2. We need to forsake trying to make our past right. You can't correct it, but we want to. If I am saying I forgive you to someone, it wasn't you that broke it. It was them. When we are talking to ourselves, we did it. God alone can heal it and transform it. God will fix what needs to be fixed.

3. I have to forsake trying to find something good in myself. That is freedom. As Christians, we try to find something good in us and show God, but we still fall short. It builds condemnation on us. Grace is the ability of God in my life and for me to live by faith for what he wants to give me and to believe him to do that. The fact is our old life won't be

reformed, it will be crucified. That new creation in Christ will come forth. When you walk in Christ, that old thing can’t battle you.

4. To be free, you have to realize you didn't get away with anything; God's wrath was fully unleashed on me at Calvary. According to the scripture, I died with him, and all of my wrongs have been completely paid for. God has been satisfied in the judgment of my sin because I have been joined with Jesus Christ. They were created in the image of Christ.

The grace and mercy of God are that you broke things you can't fix, and he will come and fix it and pay our debt. If we really believe that, why would we dishonor the gift of God's son in freeing me from my sins and transgressions by keeping them in front of me? I think people often think they should carry this guilt, shame, and condemnation. If they walk around with it, then maybe mercy will be given to me, but the truth is if you turn to the lord with your shameful past and give them to him, that's when you find mercy and freedom. That's the beauty and grace God brings into your life.

Pastor Shipp also had some words on forgiveness to share as well:

“1 John says Perfect love casts out all fear.” That is because fear is linked with torment.

Torment is the result of our sin because we've transgressed against God, and there is a sense of justice that makes us feel like we need to pay for that now. So I am scared to bring it out into the open because how are they and God going to treat me. The belief that I can't be given mercy because of what I have done. But Perfect love cast out that fear that something terrible will happen to me.

When my daughter was six years old, she was playing outside, and she started screaming. When I went out there, I saw that 2 Doberman Pinchers were walking up the driveway and coming towards her. She was scared because she knew she was going to die, and when I walked out there and called her name, she turned her back to the dogs who were threatening her, and she just ran as fast as she could and jumped up into my arms. Because she knew I loved her and that I would protect her from danger and harm. So when she knew she was in the safety of my arms, she then turned to the thing that caused her fear, and she rebuked it. She turned to the dogs and told them to go away and shut up. A few seconds before that, she was scared they would kill her, but in my love, she has authority. People have to understand that God is calling us, and the dangers are the things we're trying to hide, and we’re paralyzed in our fear. We find our safety in God. I've run across Christians in my life that don't understand forgiving themselves, and these people are usually people who haven't gone through anything traumatic in their life. Most people have gone through traumatic things in their life.

1 John 3:20

20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence in God.

So here's John telling us, look, you're the beloved and children of God, and here your heart is condemning you, and we need to be forgiving of that. The need to forgive ourselves is a real thing. Nothing will bring greater condemnation than ourselves. We are quick to justify ourselves and quick to destroy ourselves. So I would say, first of all, God is the answer to us being free from our condemnation. When you put it into the sense of our heart, if our heart condemns us, that goes way beyond the knowledge that I've done something wrong. Now it's gone past the head knowledge, and it's gone down into the heart where my passions and affections are. Now my passions and affections are condemning me. Now we're in prison, and the only way to escape is God. The beautiful thing is God wants us out if our heart condemns us; God is greater than our heart. And God knows all things, so we don't need to hide anything from him. God does not want to condemn us; we are condemning ourselves. There is a great need for us to be free from condemnation.”

Now, There may be someone reading this that has gone through something traumatic or suffered from something. Not every time, but a lot of times, these people will accept responsibility for what happened. I've sat with kids whose parents have divorced, and they think it's their fault. Or a victim of rape or abuse. The belief that they attract those things to their life, and that something must be wrong with them and that they'll never be free from it, people shouldn't be around me or ill hurt and wreck them. That's the condemnation that God can get you past. Religion is this cycle of you should be better than this or try to be better than this, and you never will be. You'll never change. The hope of the gospel is you don't have to be this anymore, and you are now a new creation in Christ.

What do you say to the perpetrator, the person who has committed these things against that person? The Rapist, abuser, or cheating husband or wife that broke up the marriage. They've committed their life to God, and they are trying to do better, but there is this guilt following them around from having hurt so many people in their life.

Pastor Shipp: “There has to be healing with God that happens first. Freedom from that

condemnation in their heart. I think James says in chapter 3: Let's don't lie against the truth. If there is strife and envy in their heart, I can't lie against that. Things are going on in my heart that are hard to deal with. I have anger and bitterness and hurt. I don't understand why God has allowed this to happen. We have to deal with God about our hardships. You talked about

Joseph, and what did Joseph do? God presented him with the opportunity to forgive his brothers. God put them together. Sometimes people are so afraid because they have to force this encounter with someone I am scared of or someone who has hurt them badly, and there is no change in them. We have to walk with God and be willing to walk with God to deal with perpetrators that have wounded us and hurt us, and for all we know, they still will. But God first gives us the strength in his love not to be afraid anymore; you can't hurt me anymore. You can't violate me anymore because my life and security are in God. So I have to be secure in the fact that God loves me. Then from that point, God is going to give me that opportunity. Whether the opportunity is the holy spirit telling me to write them a letter or if I need to call them or see them. I know it's the lord when I have the faith and courage to see them. And they can tell them that God has forgiven me and God has freed me and I am going to release you and forgive you because God has restored me and that frees us to live our life that God has called us to live.”

I want to close this out today by giving you some scriptures from Psalms 103 to marinate in. I love that passage because God reminds us that he knows where we are from and still loves and forgives us. Therefore, if our God can forgive us, we should be able to forgive ourselves.

1 My soul, bless the Lord, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 My soul, bless the Lord, and do not forget all his benefits. 3 He forgives all your iniquity; he heals all your diseases. 4 He redeems your life from the Pit; he crowns you with faithful love and compassion. 5 He satisfies you with good things; your youth is renewed like the eagle. 6 The Lord executes acts of righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7 He revealed his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel.

17 But from eternity to eternity the Lord's faithful love is toward those who fear him,

and his righteousness toward the grandchildren 18 of those who keep his covenant, who remember to observe his precepts. 19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his faithful love toward those who fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. 14 For he knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust.

Thank you guys so much, don’t forget to share this with a friend.

See you next time!

Bj Pons



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