“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
– Jesus in John 14:12
Jesus says that we would witness even greater things than what He did when walking among us.
What could be greater than healing the blind or helping those who could not walk or even giving Lazarus life after death?
Consider: everyone Jesus healed later died.
Jesus’ miraculous healings were temporary. Spiritual healing lasts forever.
Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead paved the way for humanity to experience God’s forgiveness. We can connect with God personally due to what He has done to rescue us.
God’s forgiveness is real. No matter what we have done, His love is bigger.
The story doesn’t end there.
God reconciles with us and sends us out as reconcilers!
God gives us peace and sends us out as peacemakers!
God forgives us and enables us to forgive others!
Some of us have followed Jesus and experienced forgiveness, but we don’t allow that forgiveness to flow through us. We allow the evil choices of others to hold us hostage to bitterness and resentment.
We say we believe in God, but do we believe He can help us forgive? Or have we even tried?
Too often when it comes to our relationships, we live as if we are atheists.
A hard heart can be softened when we allow God to help us.
Consider the following:
GOD FORGIVES US
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord… – Acts 3:19
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “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
WE CAN FORGIVE OTHERS
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13 NIV
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV
Making Things Right > Being Right
In two different places, Jesus seems to contradict Himself. In one place (Matthew 5:23-24), Jesus says we should go to make things right with someone we have offended. In other place (Matthew 18:15-18), Jesus says we should go make things right when we have been offended. So which is it? Who should make the first step?
Jesus knew one of us wouldn’t do it, so He invited both the offender and the offended to make the first step. We need to learn to apologize. We need to learn to forgive (even without their apology).
Not forgiving someone hurts us more than it hurts them.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
– Romans 12:18
Other resources: 5 Ways to Avoid Divorce (And Maximize Your Marriage)