November 3, 2017. Mark 11, John 12.
The crucifixion of Jesus is rapidly approaching. It is only days away and tucked away in the events of a fig tree that withers, a triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an anointing by Mary, a reminder of His crucifixion and a forceful lesson concerning the house of prayer, Jesus gives this reminder,
Mark 11:25-26 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Think about the positive and awesome impact these two actions would have in the life of anyone. To pray and, while praying, to forgive anyone for anything you may have against them.
- Divorce rates would plummet.
- Children would grow up in stable homes with mom and dad.
- Children would grow up in homes of prayer and forgiveness.
- Relationships between parents and their adult children, would be harmonious.
- The term “church split” would be removed from our Christian vocabulary.
- Every church gathering (from meetings, to Bible studies, to worship) would be one that truly glorifies God our Father and Jesus our Lord.
- Acts of vengeance (anger leading to harsh hurtful words or the extreme of murder) would also take a nosedive.
- Spiritually, our relationship with our Heavenly Father would be whole and genuine as the wall of unforgiveness would be removed.
In one of the shorter verses of the Bible believers are given this command,
1Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
In light of Jesus’ words as He was heading toward His own crucifixion at the hands of ungodly individuals, we could have a tremendous impact on our own life and the life of those around us if we modify this simple verse to, “Pray and Forgive without ceasing.”
When Moses asked to see the glory of God in Genesis 33:18, God said He would have His goodness pass before Moses and He would proclaim His name before Moses.
Here is the description of that glorious event.
Exodus 34: 5-7 Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,”
Do you have something against someone else? Is it anger, hurt, bitterness, frustration? Forgive, in order to restore your relationship with them and with your Heavenly Father. Pray without ceasing for your Father to replace your anger, hurt, bitterness and frustration with the same unceasing mercy, graciousness, longsuffering and goodness that enables Him to forgive you.