"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

Matthew 6:14

A Blessed New Year’s Resolution

With the coming of the New Year, it is an appropriate time to reflect on the past year.  For some, it might be a time to count blessings.  For others, it might be a time to look at how they could have done things better, lived life fuller.  For many it is more about looking forward and a time to make New Year’s resolutions.  These resolutions often include health issues.  Quit smoking.  Lose weight.  Exercise more.

Taking care of our physical health is very important, and I encourage you to take care of the body that God has given you.  There is also something else I want you to consider for 2017.  As you think about your New Year’s resolutions, take some time to pray about forgiveness.

God gives clear instructions to us about forgiveness.  Jesus said,

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

                                                                                                                           – Matthew 6:14

When Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him, Jesus replied, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Read the parable of the Unmerciful Servant in Matthew 18, starting with verse 21.  Jesus ends the parable by saying, ” This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”  – Matthew 18:25

Of course, there are a lot of things we could do better in our lives.  We can all stand for a little self-improvement.  But the one thing that God cares about most is people.  He loves each one of us so much that He died on the cross for our sins.  In Isaiah we read, ” Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” – Isaiah 1:18 (NIV)

Jesus doesn’t hold a grudge.  He forgives us our sins and brings us back into a right relationship with God.  God created us to be in relationship with Him, and He created us to be in relationship with one another.

Is there someone in your life that you have not been willing to forgive?  Is there some past hurt that you are holding on to?

As we come to the beginning of 2017, I pray that you will seek new beginnings.  I pray that you will soften your heart and seek to build relationships with those who have hurt you.  I pray that you will find forgiveness.

Pastor Stef

 

 

 

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