The Forgiveness Formula- Part 3


In part 1 of this series I gave the first part of the Forgiveness Formula, Forgiveness=Freedom. In part two I gave you the second part of my Forgiveness Formula, Forgiveness+Love=Restoration. Now in part three of The Forgiveness Formula I would like to discuss the final equation.

In part two we went beyond rational. We learned about loving our enemies. In this post we will going way beyond rational. Almost to the point where people think we might be a little crazy. Today I want to write about a word most of us don’t like to read, sacrifice.

No one likes to sacrifice. No one like to deny something from themselves. I don’t. I want what I want and I want it now. Case in point. About a month ago I was dead set on getting a new laptop. I researched it, I talked about it and I dreamed about it. We were getting some money for our move and part of it was budgeted to go to me for a good laptop. I have a desktop but it is in our bedroom and while I like to write early in the morning my beloved wife likes to sleep. A laptop would be the perfect solution. I can grab it and go out into the living room and type away with no fear of waking The Queen. But, as always, life happened. Money was needed for other things. I didn’t like it (Amy and I argued over it, which we rarely do), but I sacrificed. As much as I didn’t like sacrificing it wasn’t a huge deal as it was for my family. I love my family.

But what if it was for someone you don’t like? What if you were asked to sacrifice something for an enemy or even the guy at work that just annoys the heck out of you? What if a major sacrifice on your part for someone that hurt you might allow that person to find their way back to God? Would you be willing to give up something for someone you don’t like? I know, me neither. Not easily at least. I’d need a sign from God; billboard size, flashing neon lights and a tractor trailer horn blaring saying “Sacrifice for (insert random name here).”

I’m not going to give you a specific Bible verse this time. I’m just going to recall to your mind the story of Jesus. A man who physically walked this Earth around 2,000 years ago. A man who trusted a friend named Judas with his life and was betrayed. A man who stood up for what was right, fought for the oppressed and taught that love is the most important of all commandments, love of God and love of others. A man that the entire world rejected, spit on and beat with a whip. A man that not only cried out while hanging on a cross in terrible agony begging God to forgive them for what they had done to him but went further. He loved them. He prayed for them. And then he went totally crazy. He sacrificed for them. He sacrificed his own life. He died. He died for me when I was rejecting him. He died for me when I was making fun of him. He died for me when I was ignoring him. He died for me when I was hurting others. He died for me when I was disobeying his Word and enjoying my sinfulness. He died for me. He sacrificed for me, beyond forgiveness, beyond love- sacrifice.

You see Forgiveness+Love+Sacrifice=Redemption. Redemption is deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; salvation.

Jesus is our example.  He is the one we should hold ourselves up next two.  If we want to really reflect Jesus like a mirror then we need to be willing to go to the extremes that He went to.  First, forgive.  Then learn to love that person.  Next force yourself to sacrifice for them.  Did you know Jesus didn’t want to die?  He didn’t want to sacrifice for us.  He did it because He loved us so much he forced Himself to do it.  Read in Matthew 26 what Jesus prayed before He was to go to his death.

39Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?” (Matthew 26:39, The Message)

Jesus wanted out.  Wouldn’t you?  I would.  But He also wanted to please the Father.  He wanted to do God’s will above His own.  He was willing to sacrifice.

It won’t be easy.  It won’t be fun.  But your sacrifice may mean the difference between salvation and damnation for someone.  What better way to show the love of God than to sacrifice for your enemy?

It’s all about Him,

ShawnReblog this post [with Zemanta]

Did you like this post? Did you hate it? Please share it with your friends and leave a comment below. I would love to read your thoughts and opinions.

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Questions? Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know. I will try to answer it the best I can. No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

Einstein

I’m not Einstein!

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