O! Lord our God, thank You for the miracle of sleeping and waking up this morning to the glory of Your name. Be glorified in the heavens; be glorified here on earth, there is no one like You, Lord and no power can withstand Your Majesty. Father manifest Your power in our midst today, show Yourself strong on our behalf in Jesus name. Amen!
Praying time; blessing time, brethren are we ready for another time out with the Lord today? Without prayer you cannot go far, A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian; so let us grid our lions with strength from above so as to pray and pray through.
We are still considering “forgiveness” this is the bend of many Christian, many find it difficult to forgive those that have offended them but that is not the teaching of our Lord Jesus, in one of His teaching He said: “If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath anything against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”
It may be that you are saying: “I do not know that I have anything against any one.” Has any one anything against you? Is there some one who thinks you have done them wrong? Perhaps you have not; but it may be they think you have. I will tell you what I would do before I go to sleep tonight; I would go and see them, and have the question settled. You will find that you will be greatly blessed in the very act. Is someone agreeing to this suggestion?
“Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” Luke 22:46
When is the Christian most liable to sleep? Is it not when his temporal circumstances are prosperous? Have you not found it so? When you had daily troubles to take to the throne of grace, were you not more wakeful than you are now? Easy roads make sleepy travellers. Another dangerous time is when all goes pleasantly in spiritual matters. Christian went not to sleep when lions were in the way, or when he was wading through the river, or when fighting with Apollyon, but when he had climbed half way up the Hill Difficulty, and came to a delightful arbour, he sat down, and forthwith fell asleep, to his great sorrow and loss.
The enchanted ground is a place of balmy breezes, laden with fragrant odours and soft influences, all tending to lull pilgrims to sleep. Remember Bunyan’s description: “Then they came to an arbour, warm, and promising much refreshing to the weary pilgrims; for it was finely wrought above head, beautified with greens, and furnished with benches and settles. It had also in it a soft couch, where the weary might lean.” “The arbour was called the Slothful’s Friend, and was made on purpose to allure, if it might be, some of the pilgrims to take up their rest there when weary.” Depend upon it, it is in easy places that men shut their eyes and wander into the dreamy land of forgetfulness.
Old Erskine wisely remarked, “I like a roaring devil better than a sleeping devil.” There is no temptation half so dangerous as not being tempted. The distressed soul does not sleep; it is after we enter into peaceful confidence and full assurance that we are in danger of slumbering. The disciples fell asleep after they had seen Jesus transfigured on the mountain top.
Take heed, joyous Christian, good frames are near neighbours to temptations: be as happy as you will, only be watchful. Is these ministering to someone? It is good to enter into our rest but be watchful less you slumber. God forbid someone is saying and I am adding Amen to it.
Back to the subject of forgiveness, several years ago the Church of England sent a devoted missionary to New Zealand. After a few years of toil and success, he was one Sabbath holding a communion service in a district where the converts had not long since been savages. As the missionary was conducting the service, he observed one of the men, just as he was about to kneel at the rail, suddenly start to his feet and hastily go to the opposite end of the church. By and by he returned, and calmly took his place.
After service the clergyman took him on one side, and asked the reason for his strange behavior. He replied: “As I was about to kneel I recognized in the man next to me the chief of a neighboring tribe, who had murdered my father, and drunk his blood; and I had sworn by all the gods that I would slay that man at the first opportunity. The impulse to have my revenge, at the first almost overpowered me, and I rushed away, as you saw me, to escape the power of it. As I stood at the other end of the room and considered the object of our meeting, I thought of Him who prayed for His own murderers: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ And I felt that I could forgive the murderer of my father, and came and knelt down at his side.”
Am sensing in my Spirit that someone is crying at this point of this devotion, this individual is struggling with forgiving someone that hurt him/her deeply but if thou heavenly Father commended you to do so, why not ask for grace to do it. Matt 5:44 (KJV)…and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Not as easy as it seems but if you ask the Holy Spirit to help you beloved, there is joy in forgiveness both to the one that gives it and to the one it is extended to. There is a reward for you. I want introduce to you a path that drop fatness, come along to discover more:
“Thy paths drop fatness.” Psalm 65:11
Many are “the paths of the Lord” which “drop fatness,” but an especial one is the path of prayer. No believer, who is much in the closet, will have need to cry, “My leanness, my leanness; woe unto me.” Starving souls live at a distance from the mercy- seat, and become like the parched fields in times of drought. Prevalence with God in wrestling prayer is sure to make the believer strong—if not happy.
The nearest place to the gate of heaven is the throne of the heavenly grace. Much alone, and you will have much assurance; little alone with Jesus, your religion will be shallow, polluted with many doubts and fears, and not sparkling with the joy of the Lord. Since the soul-enriching path of prayer is open to the very weakest saint; since no high attainments are required; since you are not bidden to come because you are an advanced saint, but freely invited if you be a saint at all; see to it, dear reader, that you are often in the way of private devotion. Be much on your knees, for so Elijah drew the rain upon famished Israel’s fields.
There is another especial path dropping with fatness to those who walk therein, it is the secret walk of communion. Oh! the delights of fellowship with Jesus! Earth hath no words which can set forth the holy calm of a soul leaning on Jesus’ bosom. Few Christians understand it, they live in the lowlands and seldom climb to the top of Nebo: they live in the outer court, they enter not the holy place, they take not up the privilege of priesthood.
At a distance they see the sacrifice, but they sit not down with the priest to eat thereof, and to enjoy the fat of the burnt offering. But, reader, sit thou ever under the shadow of Jesus; come up to that palm tree, and take hold of the branches thereof; let thy beloved be unto thee as the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, and thou shalt be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. O Jesus, visit us with Thy salvation!
Finally, my friends, there are forgiveness that are not forgiveness at all. I believe true forgiveness includes forgetting the offense—putting it entirely away out of our hearts and memories.
The father of Frederick the Great, on his deathbed, was warned by M. Roloff, his spiritual adviser, that he was bound to forgive his enemies. He was quite troubled, and after a moment’s pause said to the Queen: “You, Feekin, may write to your brother (the King of England) after I am dead, and tell him that I forgave him, and died at peace with him.” “It would be better,” M. Roloff mildly suggested, “that your majesty should write at once.” “No,” was the stern reply. “Write after I am dead That will be safer.”
Another story tells of a man who, supposing he was about to die, expressed his forgiveness to one who had injured him, but added: “Now you mind, if I get well, the old grudge holds good.”
What about God, does God forgive us our sins? Let discover that. If God’s forgiveness were like that often shown by us, it would not be worth much. Supposing God said: “I will forgive you, but I will never forget it; all through eternity I will keep reminding you of it;” we should not feel that to be forgiveness at all. Notice what God says: “I will remember their sin no more.” In a passage in Ezekiel it is said that not one of our sins shall be mentioned; is not that like God? I do like to preach this forgiveness—the sweet truth that sin is blotted out for time and eternity, and shall never once be mentioned against us. In another Scripture we read: “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Then when you turn to the eleventh chapter of the Hebrews, and read God’s roll of honor, you find that not one of the sins of any of those men of faith is mentioned. Abraham is spoken of as the man of faith; but it is not told how he denied his wife down in Egypt; all that had been forgiven. Moses was kept out of the Promised Land because he lost patience; but this is not mentioned in the New Testament, though his name appears in the Apostle’s roll of honor. Samson, too, is named, but his sins are not brought up again. Why, we even read of “righteous Lot;” he did not look much like a righteous man in the Old Testament story, but he has been forgiven, and God has made him “righteous.” If we are once forgiven by God, our sins will be remembered against us no more. This is God’s eternal decree.
Am sure someone is convinced that forgiveness is necessary for us to receive answers to our prayer. I pray that the grace to do it be made available to you now in Jesus name. Amen!
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Evang Ifeoma Ohondu