Famous Last Words - Part 1 [Devo]

IN THE CROSSFIRE

Famous Last Words - Part 1


In the crossfire between good and evil, Jesus walked to Calvary surrounded by a throng of people pressing in to see the One who claimed to be the Messiah. Religious leaders, the soldiers, the crowd, and even the thieves being crucified on either side of Jesus, were all eager to see His life end. Many were enraged by hate; they were unable to see the reality of Jesus.

Only Jesus would respond to this hate with the words, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) These people did not deserve forgiveness, but Christ’s prayer in the midst of their mocking Him was an expression of the limitless compassion of divine grace.  
We, as Christians, must choose to forgive as we have been forgiven. Do you know the forgiveness of sin through belief in Jesus? If so, how are you forgiving others? Because unfortunately, there are those who want nothing more than to see us destroyed by the evil around us, and we are called to forgive those people.

“I forgive you” is easy to say but very difficult to do. For me, forgiving others is a process. The most difficult time I had in forgiving others was at the first church I worked in after seminary. I was hired to develop small groups to help new Christians grow in their relationship with God. I was naive! I thought that everyone would be excited and overjoyed at this new ministry. One family, in particular, was not.

With each of their negative assessments of my abilities, my responsibilities lessened, until I was only allowed to have a children’s discipleship class and type the bulletin each week. I was so discouraged. The influence of this family caused people within the church to ostracize me from every ministry, and they even discouraged people from being my friend. It nearly destroyed me.
Thankfully, God removed me from the situation and brought me to a place where I could see my life in proper perspective. I spent time in prayer and with Godly counsel. It was there that I learned to forgive the folks involved, one day at a time, one situation at a time. This was painful but necessary.  

Forgiveness is something we all need to give and receive. As we hold tightly to the relationship we have with Jesus, believing in His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins, we must also forgive, as He has forgiven us.

Where are you in the crossfire?
Author: Barbara Barnhart, Preschool Coordinator

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