Dear Ones,
Happy weekend! Hope you are enjoying time to regroup and be refreshed. I plan to clean today and wrap some Christmas gifts.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
    Forgiveness is a precious gift and one that is needed by every person. We will never outgrow our need for forgiveness for we sin daily, both by commission and omission. We also have to keep forgiving others who sin against us and we need the Lord to help us with that as it is too easy to justify our own actions and responses.
   We are commanded to forgive as it says in Eph. 4:32, “Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ.” Prior to that Paul writes that we are not even to say anything that would hurt another person but speak only what is good so that we can give help wherever it is needed.
Of course, the enemy wants to cause friction in our relationships and bring divisions, so we separate from others. He loves disunity and tells us that the other person is more at fault than we are, and they don’t deserve forgiveness. In fact, we should give them a piece of our mind and let them know how much pain they have caused us; or he could tell us to bottle up our feelings and let them continually fester and cause us unrest. But as we harbor vindictive feelings our conscience becomes desensitized and before long, we find that we can’t hear the Lord clearly.
  But Jesus way is vastly different, and we are to forgive as He did. It takes humility and grace but will bring us a sense of peace, even in our hurts. We are to forgive others even as He forgives us. We are not responsible for the other person, but only for ourselves and even though we don’t feel like forgiving we can do it as an act of our will. Then as it follows that we pray for them and let go of trying to get even, we will find our hearts soften. For some time after going through a hard time in one of our churches, my hope was that I would not have to meet up with those that hurt me when I went shopping etc.; but that was an indicator I hadn’t fully forgiven. It took a while longer for that.  But the bottom line is that in giving it all to the Lord, letting Him work on us and them, we can feel peaceful and free.
   Let us not harbor resentment and forgive as Jesus forgave those that did far worse things to Him than we will ever experience.
Challenge for today: Pray for someone that has hurt you and forgive from your heart.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy