Dear Ones,
Hope you are enjoying the day. We are having a good steady rain and just what is needed. Al had his men’s Soul Care group this morning and I made choc chip cookies and went to my exercise class. This afternoon we will be walking inside, I’m sure.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
I think we can all attest to the fact that forgiveness doesn’t come easy.  Sometimes we want to return hurt to the person who wounded us, and let them feel what we have experienced, but that is not God’s way. Our part is to forgive the person and then let God be our vindicator. I don’t know if I have realized before, but after Jesus’ resurrection when He appeared to the disciples who were hiding behind closed doors, He speaks peace to them. He then breathes on them the Holy Spirit and He said in John 20:23 (NRSV), “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” The disciples didn’t have power to forgive sins, only Jesus, but they were now given the wonderful privileged of telling others about Him and that their sins could be forgiven. We also have the honor to pronounce His forgiveness of sins to others! When Al and I go walking, we often confess our sins and then after the confession, the other of us says, “In the name of Jesus, you are forgiven!” Those are such wonderful and freeing words to our ears. Whatever sin we have done is now cast into the sea of forgetfulness; if it is us who have been wounded, we can speak those words to the one who hurt us and put them into God’s hand. The disciples had just received the Holy Spirit who gave them, and gives us, the power to forgive others. We can’t do that in our own power and we need His strength to do that.  When someone has wounded us, rather than hang on to the hurt, we can lift a prayer that the Holy Spirit would help us to let go and to forgive that person. The Lord is the One who will right the wrong, not us. How we forgive others is an indicator of our own fellowship with the Lord. Do we hold grudges and have unforgiving hearts; then we have forgotten how much God has forgiven us. Let us ask His Holy Spirit to breathe afresh on our hearts, empower us to share Him with others, and to forgive as we have been forgiven.
Challenge for today: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal all those whom you have not forgiven, and give you grace to grant them forgiveness.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy