When you think of giving and receiving, people tend to think of Christmastime. At least, I do. It’s the time of year when there is much giving and receiving going on. The Bible states in Acts 20:35 that Jesus, Himself, said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. The word blessed in the Greek simply means “happy” and “blessed”.
Webster’s defines blessed as :
held in reverence : honored in worship : of or enjoying happiness; specifically : enjoying the bliss of heaven
having a sacred nature connected with God;
very welcome, pleasant, or appreciated
So, we see that it is more reverent and honored to give. It is a way to enjoy happiness, even the bliss of heaven – it is the nature of God, it is pleasant, welcome, and appreciated.
WOW! I love that! And I love to give! It always makes me so happy!
Gifts can be just about anything. It can be something you purchase, something you make, it can be a gift of time or just about anything that would make someone’s day better. Anything that brings joy or happiness is a gift.
Did you know that forgiveness is also a gift? Webster’s defines it as:
to give up resentment of or claim to requital for
to grant relief from payment of
I like how I heard one person say it – “For” – meaning ahead of time and “give.” As Christians, the ones who are to carry the nature of our Father God on the earth, we should always decide, every day, ahead of time, to forgive the offenses before they happen!
Think about it – Jesus “FOR-GAVE” us before we were born, in that He died for the remission of our sins, knowing that we would “offend” or transgress the law. He knew we would owe a debt we could not pay, and He went before us, and forgave that debt!
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” How marvelous! Jesus chose to FORgive our debts before we were even born!
Have you ever had a debt cancelled? I have – several times! It is a marvelous feeling! To be relieved of the burden of the debt is, at times, indescribable. I remember once, years ago, when my husband lost his job because the plant where he worked had shut down. We owed $2200 on a credit card and our lawn mower broke down and we were very frustrated to say the least. A friend came over and gave us a check for $2200 and paid our credit card in full! We were overjoyed! We had a debt we could not pay and they paid it for us! What a gift!
So, as I was thinking about giving and receiving, I thought of the phrase – “You owe them an apology.” Or, perhaps, we owe a debt of gratitude or of thanks. When you owe someone an apology, or a debt of gratitude, it takes no money to make that happen. It simply takes an act of your will and a humbling of your heart.
Do you realize if there is someone in your life that you need to forgive, you actually owe it to them to forgive them? Not by their standards but by the Lord’s! If we do not forgive, that debt is charged to our account. Oh my! I don’t know about you, but I am not about to let the precious gift that Jesus died to give me, get held up because I owe a debt of forgiveness to someone and refuse to do it!
The Bible says in Romans 13:8 – “Be indebted to no one, except to one another in love, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the Law.” (Berean Study Bible) The only debt we are to carry is to LOVE! To release someone of a sin against you, a wrong you suffered because of them – that is the greatest sacrifice! We can do this without dying physically for their sin toward us – the only thing we have to do is choose to forgive their sin! That is being Christ like! That is the nature of our Father. Think about it, Jesus died for all, so we can live. The only debt we are to carry against or for each other is the debt to love each other.
I like what I have heard Pastor Dave say – When someone transgresses against him, he says “Father, do not let the sin they sinned against me, be the sin that keeps them out of heaven! I forgive them! I hold the offense, the transgression against them no more!” In other words – I CANCEL THEIR DEBT AGAINST ME! THE OWE ME NOTHING! And, I in turn, GIVE them grace, Forgiveness, and Love.
I will owe no man, but to love him! And think about it – the meaning of blessed, as I shared above, was basically happiness, being connected to the nature of God, etc. I know when I give grace, when I extend FOR-GIVEness, or when I release the person of the debt of an apology they owe me, it brings happiness because it is the reward God put into place! It also cuts the chain of the offense to me! I free myself! Then, then what is left is between the person and God and that is right where it needs to be. I may never get the apologies due me in this life, but if I walk in love and forgiveness with all men, then I sever the hold of any wrong done to me and a free man is a happy man!
So, during this wonderful Christmas season we are in, Let’s submit our hearts to the Lord and ask Holy Spirit to reveal to each of us if there is anyone we owe an apology to, or anyone we owe a debt of thanks, gratitude, or forgiveness to, and that He would bring them to our minds so that we can be obedient to do exactly what the scripture tells us to do.
Forgiveness truly is a choice…a choice to pay the debt that gets laid to our account each and every time a wrong is done to us. That’s right. A wrong done to us, automatically lays a charge to our account – a charge in the forgiveness column of our lives. And since God gave us the GIFT of forgiveness when He forgave us, BEFORE we were born, and of all the wrong we are guilty of in regards to His precious Son, how can we hold the little petty things against someone? Or how can we justify holding anything against anyone! Even the biggest sin against a man, does not compare to the sin mankind committed against our Saviour. What a perspective!
It truly is it more BLESSED, to GIVE than to receive!
Let’s pray – Father, please show us anyone one we need to forgive, or anyone we owe a debt to. Show us anyone we need to make amends with, anyone we need to make restitution to, anyone we need to apologize to. Show us Lord! Father, reveal to us anything the enemy does not want us to see! Show us, and we will do as You instruct us to do. Also, we choose to forgive, right now, anyone who has ever hurt us, betrayed us, wounded us or done us wrong. We extend grace and bestow on them the Gift of forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name.
Help us to walk this out, and thank You, Father for sending Jesus, to be born for our redemption. What a Savior.