The Sunday Conversation | with Pastor Luke Okoro | 10. 10. 2021
Romans 12: 1-2, 9-21; Matthew 6:9–15;
Genesis 50:19-21; Luke 23:34; and Acts 7:60, 24:16.
Then Jesus said:” Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do”. Luke 23:34.
When we understand Forgiveness to mean excusing an error or offence, we are minded to let God fight on our behalf since He is the only ONE who can read the intents of all hearts. Hebrews 4:13.
Yes. God is the only ONE who cannot be mocked or deceived. He, alone knows when an error is deliberate, inexcusable or simply mischievous and perhaps, should be punished . So let us allow Him to determine that punishment We must not seek to help God. Galatians 6:7 says that nobody should be deceived because God cannot be mocked., hence whatever a man sows, he shall similarly reap. Indeed if you sow forgiveness, you will reap mercy, favor and everything good from God.
In Genesis 50:19-21 Joseph said to them (his brothers): ” Do not be afraid for am I in the place of God?
But as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to save many people alive.
Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Forgiveness allows God to have His way.
When the brothers of Joseph sold him off, little did they know that they were pushing him into his destiny — the perfect will of God for him. They pushed him into his divine promotion. Many miss it at this point with anger, bitterness and vengeance. When we do these negatives, God will remove His hand from fighting or defending us , as victims. Are you trapped in vengeance, anger and bitterness? Have you resolved to prove a point? You are missing the point. Why not allow God to prove that point for you? That was what Joseph did. And God vindicated him, as He did to Jesus when He gave Him a name above all other names wherein all knees bow and all tongues confess that He is the LORD in heaven and on earth. Philippians 2 5-11. Joseph isn’t the only person who forgave, if we think that Jesus is God and could not have done otherwise.
In Acts 7:60, Stephen still battling with death, prayed for those who were making him the first Christian matyr thus: …” Lord,
do not charge them with this sin” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Stephen is said to have fallen asleep even though he was dying. That is the joy relished in forgiveness. As a child of God , you must work hard at forgiving your traducers, your offenders and those who spitefully use you. Again, it doesn’t come easy. Hear Apostle Paul in Acts 24:16:
“This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offence toward God and men”. No wonder the same Apostle Paul challenged the Corinthians in these words:
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the crown?
Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight not as one who beats the air . But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified”. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
Apostle Paul realized that not excusing error or offence from people would make the Corinthian believers to be uncertain runners and boxers of air. And he told them this hard truth. He also told them how he was grappling with the challenge in order to obtain victory. Many believers don’t want to task their hearts and minds to think eternity and to strive to ensure that their human or carnal desires including revenge and vengeance, are put under subjection. Do not glory in revenge, evil. Do not inspire a fight back from a third party. Do not contrive an offence to get back to an ancient grudge. These are ungodly and self-help. And nobody, again, can help God to do what He says He will do. Doing so may cause God to leave us to our own device which in some cases make our enemies victors or victorious in the end. When men play God, God leaves them to their own ways, awaiting their repentance or their distress.. For instance, Esau was harshly judged by God because he obstructed the journey of his brother Jacob. Whereas Esau had every right to be angry with his brother, God didn’t vindicate him Esau because his anger was taken too far or deep. Indeed, rather than allow God to punish or judge Jacob by Himself, he blocked his escape in revenge. So, as a child of God behave like David in his relationship with King Saul.
In 1 Samuel 18:11, Saul threw a javelin to kill David. He escaped. In 1 Samuel 19:11-17, Saul commanded his daughter Michal to bring David to be killed. The daughter deceived King Saul . And David was also left the hook . Again in 1 Samuel 24 and 25:, Saul took 3000 chosen soldiers to hunt for David in the Wilderness of Ziph. You can imagine a situation where 3000 well trained and equipped soldiers were searching for one person – David. Yet God distracted Saul with another attack against his kingdom. God will always distract our enemies for them to woefully fail in Jesus’ name. Amen. And David again survived. In all these David should have developed righteous indignation against Saul. But he did not.
In 1 Samuel 26:5-12, God delivered Saul into the hand of David to kill . But he did not. Twice it occurred. And in 2 Samuel 1,
David ordered the execution of a man who claimed to have helped Saul to die. David accused the man — who thought he brought good news to him — to have killed God’s anointed. Still not done with Saul, David gave Saul a decent burial in death , despite all the evils he did against him. Also , David composed a song to mourn Saul’s death. He did not gloat over him. That is forgiveness at its best Indeed, forgiveness can be excellent. And David showed it. You too can .
Yes, whereas forgiveness makes way for eternity in Christ , but here on earth, it makes room for divine promotion that makes room for greater attainments , great grace and open heaven . You too need this kind of promotion. Happy Sunday. God bless.
*Pastor Okoro can be reached on:
October 10, 2021