Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Listen: Ephesians 4
As we bring the series “The Grace Effect” to a close, we’re reminded that generosity touches every part of our lives. When we demonstrate whole-life generosity, we’re actually reflecting God’s generosity in our lives. The same generosity we’ve received from God is to flow from us to others. It’s grace in, grace out. Mercy in, mercy out. It’s true with our hospitality, finances, service, speech and even this weekend’s topic, forgiveness. Forgiveness, like the others, will cost us something. It did for Jesus—it will for us too.
This week we’ll see that forgiveness is a practice more than a feeling. We’ll be reminded that the starting point for forgiveness is recognition of my sin (it’s bad!) and acceptance of God’s grace. We’ll also look at some things forgiveness isn’t. As we do, it’s helpful to remember that Paul wrote the words “forgive each other” to Jesus-followers in Ephesus. He was writing to people who loved Jesus but who were, apparently, hurting each other. His encouragement to them is also a necessary reminder to us.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
The first step to living a life characterized by forgiveness is wanting to forgive. For many of us, it’s a difficult step to take because of pain we’ve experienced. As you welcome God into your week today, pray a prayer like this, “Father, I desire to live a life of forgiveness. I recognize I need the help of your Spirit to forgive the wrongs done to me. Some of these wrongs are small. But some are very big and painful. Fill me with your Spirit so I can model the gracious forgiveness you’ve given to me. Amen.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.