DAY 3: MONDAY, 4TH JANUARY 2016
FOCUS: POWER TO FORGIVE – LIVING FREE FROM ANGER,
BITTERNESS AND RESENTMENT
TEXT: MK. 11:25-26; MT. 18:20-35; MT. 6:14-17; COL. 3:13
INSIGHT FOR EFFECTIVE PRAYER
“But if you forgive men their trespasses your heavenly father will also forgive you, But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your father forgive your trespasses” (Mathew 4:15,15)..
“Forgiving someone is a way of recognizing that we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world- Gary chapman (2008).
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude” – Martin Luther King, JR.
Forgiveness is one of the basic characteristics of love. There is no way you can genuinely love without having the ability to forgive others. Forgiveness simply implies finding freedom from the grip of anger, hatred, resentment, bitterness and retaliation! It is using honesty, compassion, and self awareness to reconcile with someone who has hurt you in one way or the other.
The Lord Jesus said, your willingness and ability to forgive anyone that offends you is a condition for receiving pardon of your wrong doing from your heavenly father. He also said, if you can make forgiving others the way of life, your prayers will be answered and you will have unbroken relationship your heavenly father. Should that be the case, all believers must know the following facts about forgiveness.
- It does not come easily
- It does not remove all consequences of wrong doing
- It does not restore trust instantly, but without forgiveness, trust cannot be restored.
Another truth we must know is that no long term positive relationship is possible without forgiveness. This is because in any wrong done to you, cling to your memory.
Forgiveness should seen as a must; in the Church and family setting because we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. Therefore:
- Be aware that anger and love are not compatible
- Take the initiative to seek reconciliation rather than allowing resentment to grow
- Learn how to forgive or release the offender whether or not he acknowledges or apologizes for the offence committed.
- Acknowledge your wrong doing and apologize appropriately to give someone else opportunity to practice forgiveness
- Have the attitude of true love toward those who offend you and live out forgiveness in relationship, as a way of life.
LET US PRAY
- Give God praise and thanks for His forgiveness that flows to us because our God is full of compassion and love.
- Give Him praise because His mercy endures forever and He will not retain His anger forever.
- Thank God for the forgiveness of your sin and cleansing you from unrighteousness
- Ask the Lord to give you a heart that is tender to forgive others
- Ask God for the grace to forgive freely, those who have offended you in the name of Jesus
- Pray for the grace and Spirit of unconditional love towards people around you.
- Plead the blood of Jesus to rid or remove from you all offenses you have held against people
- Ask God to cleanse and liberate you from the grip of unforgiving spirit in the name of Jesus
- Destroy every curse which lack of forgiveness may have brought on you.
- Pray that God should help you to live in love and peaceably with all men in Jesus name.
- Pray and deliver yourself from the grip of anger, bitterness, hatred and retaliation in Jesus name.
- Oh God, help me to bless and not to curse in Jesus name.
- I receive the grace to wish people good not evil in Jesus name
- Invite people who have grudges against other people in the Church and outside the Church. Pray for them and encourage them to go and reconcile with them.
- Invite those people that have offended their bosses, parents, pastors or even their subordinates and are sighing under this condemnation; pray with them and advise them on how to make proper reconciliation.
- Invite those that have one time or the other conspired or lied against their spiritual leaders or pastors, or provoke them in one way or the other; pray for them and ask them to go and seek forgiveness.
DEVELOPING THE NEXT GENERATION: BACK TO BETHEL
Texts: Gen 35: 1-7, Gen. 28:13
Jacob began his journey to Haran but had to stop overnight at a place called Luz. He gathered some stones for a pillow and went asleep. And it was then the Lord began to move in his heart. There Jacob had a dream of a ladder that was set up on the earth to heaven and angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord stood above it and proclaimed (Gen. 28: 13) “I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;” Jacob was moved by this experience and took the stone he had used for a pillow and anointed it as a memorial. He called the place Bethel which means “the house of God.”
Many people are like Jacob today in that they have been to the place where they met God and have made a vow to Him that if he would help them with this or that they would live for him forever. However, troubles, trials and gross sin have caused them to forget that vow. It was 30 years later and Jacob’s family was a mess and he needed God. In verse 1 of our text “God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau, thy brother.”
Points for Discussion
- BETHEL IS A PLACE OF ACQUAINTANCE
This was the place where Jacob met God.
B. There are a lot of people today that know less about God than they did when they got saved. “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (II Pet. 1:9)
C. The reason for this is they have forgotten their Bethel experience
D. Jacob met God during a time of trouble in his life
E. He was fearful and was basically running for his life.
F. Many of us today need to go back to that place where we first met the Lord
G. Bethel is the place where you can go back and find power, purity and peace
H. It is the place where you can go back and fall in love with the Lord again.
- THE NEXT GENERATION NEEDS THE BETHEL EXPERIENCE
- Jacob took his entire family along with him to his starting point of experience with God? Why do you think it was necessary? Remember his children just committed some murder prior to this time. (Gen 34)
- Discuss why the next generation need the faith of their fathers if we are not to have a societal breakdown in values.
- What are the Biblical ancient landmarks which our forefathers put in place, but may be threatened if not passed on to the next generation? Discuss this and be mindful of the difference between doctrine and dogma and of course discuss the current technological trends which may force us to amend some of our dogmas(not doctrines) if we have to carry the next generation along with the faith of our fathers.
- BETHEL IS A PLACE OF AFFIRMATION
Can you recall at a time that you promised God that if he would help you, that you would do this or you would never do something again?
B. Remember the vow you took the night you were saved and promised the Lord that if he would save you then you would live for him.
How then do we pray for a return to our Bethel in the face of the daunting circumstances we face today?
- O Lord, give unto me the Spirit of revelation and wisdom in the knowledge of Yourself
- O Lord, make Your way plain before my face on every issue of my destiny
- O Lord, reveal to me every secret behind whatever problem I may be facing.
- O Lord, bring to light everything planned against me in darkness
- I remove my name from the book of those who groped and stumbled in darkness in the name of Jesus.
- O Lord, make me a vessel capable of catching your Divine Revelation.
- O Lord, reveal to me every secret I need to know to excel spiritually and financially, in the name of Jesus
- Any evil activities, currently affecting my life, be exposed and disgraced, in the name of Jesus.
- Every secret I need to know about my environment, reveal it to me O Lord, in the name of Jesus
- Every secret that is still hidden in satanic archive, crippling my elevation; be exposed and disgraced in the name of Jesus.
- Lord, as the people of Joshua generation served God all the days of Joshua, so let our youths carry on with the same anointing of knowing and serving God in their generation.
- Lord, give our parents and adults the true heart of mentorship that will spend time in teaching the precepts of the Lord and leading by example, the next generation.
- Lord, give our youths teachable heart like that of Joshua generation, none of them will become children of Belial, but should be filled with the fear of God.
- O Lord, let our homes become haven of righteousness that will create an enabling environment of growth, signs and wonders.
- Whatever is ailing in our homes, or has become a reproach, receive healing now in Jesus Name.
- Every power that wants to truncate the positive destiny of our children, be destroyed by the Holy Ghost fire in Jesus name.