This Week’s Key Verses: 2 Chronicles 34 (NIV) “Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left….”
On vacation I’ve been reading a book by John Arnott, The Importance of Forgiveness. It’s actually more of a pamphlet, a small book but with huge subject matter and impact.
We have all been deeply wounded in our life. People hurt us, intentionally or unintentionally, it doesn’t really matter, we all have many wounds we need healed in our lifetime. The starting place for healing though is forgiveness. We cannot receive the healing we so long for until we first receive the forgiveness of Christ we so desperately need and then hold forth that same forgiveness to others. Several weeks ago in his sermon Steve said, “Forgiveness is simply receiving the love of Jesus and then extending it to others.” It sounds simple, and in theory it is.
But, too often we demand justice. We have been wronged, we have been maligned and we have been lied to. We have been genuinely hurt and we want satisfaction for the pain we have endured.
I love the verse “mercy triumphs over judgment.” But, what does that mean?
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:12-14)
James is reminding us that to be found innocent by the standard of the law we are responsible for keeping the whole law. We cannot keep just one or two commandments and believe we will be found not guilty. And, the same standard we use to judge others will be used with us. Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.
As, I’ve been reading this book faces of people I have been hurt by have been floating through my mind. People I know the Spirit is prompting me to forgive. It’s surprising to me to realize that ones I thought I had forgiven are popping up. But sometimes that is the nature of forgiveness— we must exercise it over and over until we are clear in our hearts.
As I have been forgiving people this week I have found myself filled with joy. As I am releasing ones I have held in bondage with my unforgiveness I am finding myself set free.
Mercy does triumph over judgment.
“The kingdom of God is not about keeping religious rules and regulations; it is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). That joy is something you and I have as we live and remain in the place of mercy.” John Arnott
To hear this week’s message go to www.kpc.org/watch_listen.