Daily Devotional: Day 33
“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:59-60, KJV).
Forgiveness is empowering. It’s liberating. And it’s refreshing. We are where we are because of the Father’s love and forgiveness. Without forgiveness, there’s little difference between us and the rest of the world. Moreover, our ability to offer forgiveness is a key indicator of the depth of our relationship with Jesus. Today’s Scripture passage will help us to address an important question about forgiveness: What if someone wrongs me and will not apologize? Must I still forgive? If Jesus is your model, then the answer is, “yes.” Apology or no apology, you forgive from your heart, and better still, you pray for the offender. When you do this, you’re identifying with Jesus, as every Christian should. And each time you align your life with that of Jesus, you reinforce your Christ-like identity and you rise to new heights of victory over evil. This delights your Father in heaven!
Contrary to what the world would have us believe, forgiveness doesn’t make you weak. In fact, forgiving others – whether they apologize or not – is a sign of strength. You should feel happy about it. Don’t let the Devil use shaming tactics to make you feel that you’re weak for letting forgiveness prevail. Take a look at the Bible passage for today. It’s about Stephen, the first Christian to be put to death for his faith. With the consent of Saul (Paul), Stephen was stoned to death for defending the Gospel of Christ. Stephen prayed that Jesus would forgive the sin of his killers. That takes supernatural strength. Stephen’s focus was on Christ all the time (See Acts 7: 55-56). You see, when your focus is on Jesus, there’s nothing you can’t forgive. Moreover, you wouldn’t need an apology in order to forgive from your heart. Jesus is the key to everything. When you take your eyes off Jesus, the Christian life would seem impossible; but the truth is, with Christ you can do all things. Whether people apologize or not, forgive them from your heart and pray that God would have mercy on them. You can do this, not because of your own strength, but because your Father’s merciful spirit is at work in you. (Visit Charis Temple’s church website for more inspiring Bible based messages).
Daddy, thank you for your kindness toward me. I bless you for your mercies. I am who I am today because of your love. Thank you for pouring your love into my heart and for washing my sins away. Enable me to extend mercy unconditionally. In the Name of Jesus. Amen. (Enjoy this song by Crystal Yates, Micah Tyler, and Joshua Sherman).
For further study: Luke 6:35-37