Matthew 18:21-22 – “Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” NASB
Let’s continue in this process and discussion regarding Forgiveness, Fellowship, and Repentance. The Bible tells us in Psalms 51:17 that “God loves a broken and contrite heart.” Why is that important? Because False Repentance is nothing more than Emotion and produces no Freedom. We see an example of it in Hebrews 12:17 where we read of Esau’s emotional outburst seeking repentance but could not find it. Sorrow was present but not Repentance.
Paul addressed both Sorrow and Repentance in 2 Corinthians 7:9-10. If there is sorrow but no true repentance, there is no victory. It is always a matter of heart not emotions. I’ve heard preachers insist that someone at the altar had not repented because they were not crying. That is absurd because emotional tears are not a genuine or valid sign of repentance.
Unfortunately, there are too many times when people are sorry that they got caught and for the impending consequences but not for what they did. Children may scream and holler because they got caught, but not because of what they did. They are traumatized over what is coming not the root of what they did. Repentance will get you delivered and set free.
I must offer a warning – You cannot simply sit down and decide you are going to repent. It is not emotion it requires a work of the Holy Spirit bringing conviction to the heart. In Acts 11:18 we read, “God has granted to the Gentiles also repentance that leads to life.” That’s what we are looking for!
I have discovered that if a person is not genuinely repentant it is virtually a waste of time trying to minister to them. However, most people that I deal with are, at least, somewhat repentant. But a non-repentant person usually exhibits a spirit of “Self-Justification.” One of the reasons that people get angry and stay angry is because of what someone did to them. They have adopted the mindset of being a Victim!
One more caution that I feel compelled to offer is we are to Confess our sins. Some people want to talk about what somebody has done to them. There can be a benefit in getting it all out in the open but then the next step must be taken. As you reveal what has been done to you God has shown you what you must now do. You have to Forgive! You have to forgive all those people for all those things. You will also have to Repent for receiving the anger, the heartache, and the rejection you accepted. You have to repent of believing the devil’s lies and agreeing with him.
Luke 6:41-42 – Is powerful. We have to take the logs out of our own eyes before we can address the specks in the eyes of others. If we can get people to come to the reality that they have issues too, they will see more clearly with open eyes and hearts.
Psalms 32:1-7 – It is a Covenant Blessing to have sin removed from our hearts. There can be no deceit, no hiding of transgressions. There must be openness and transparency of heart. Scientists have discovered that bitterness causes physical maladies such as arthritis and heart conditions. Confess your bitterness!
Matthew 18:34-35 – If we do not forgive others, from our hearts, the Tormentors will come, and they are evil and harsh taskmasters. Confession frees from Guilt and brings Freedom!
At the risk of over laboring in this area, I will bring one more devotional because I believe that Forgiveness is a key to Freedom! In the next devotional we will discuss another aspect that is also critical and that is Pronouncing Forgiveness. Until then, may the LORD be with you and help you move forward in Christ Jesus!
Blessings as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!