The important message illustrated inside this devotional is more than ‘forgiveness’ that you keep to yourself and deceive yourself into believing you have forgiven another. Here is an example of a Nazi guard reaching out to a Jew with obvious sincerity to make amends. The real healing begins when people meet face to face and genuinely desire to be at peace with each other. For how on earth do people who call themselves “Christian” think that God will ever allow them into His Heaven while they refuse to make amends on this earth with those they have hurt? The Bible says that it cannot happen (Matthew 5:22, Romans 12:18, 1 John 4:20).
God’s grace does not cover doing whatever pleases you while it brings harm to others. -Dre
Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37
Corrie Ten Boom tells of a time she learned an important aspect of spiritual growth. It was 1947, and she had just finished speaking of God’s forgiveness to a group in a small German church.
The audience was still haunted by memories of war. Yet the message they heard that day brought a sense of hope. They could forgive those who treated them so cruelly and go on with life.
As the service concluded, Corrie noticed a heavyset man coming toward her. Instantly she remembered him. He had been a guard at the concentration camp where she had been imprisoned.
“I know God has forgiven me for the things I did,” he said. “But I would like to hear it from your lips. Will you forgive me?”
“It was the most difficult thing I had ever had to do,” she writes. “I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. A healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes. ‘I forgive you, brother!'”
One of the ways we measure spiritual growth is by the way we extend our arms of forgiveness to others. In doing so, remember that Jesus extended His arms completely for you at Calvary.
Dear Lord, thank You for extending Your arms of forgiveness to me at Calvary. help me to extend that same forgiveness to others.