Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Forgiveness and Restoration
“Come and stay at my house” (v15)
The text chosen for today’s meditation, based on the theme Forgiveness and Restoration, talks about the transformation of two lives, Lydia and the slave girl. Historical evidence shows both were well accomplished women from a worldly standard. Luke covers the stories of three individuals (jailer being the third) who became believers through Paul’s ministry in Philippi during his second missionary journey. Here we see how act of forgiveness liberates these two women from the bondage of sin and darkness. As mentioned above, they both were financially well accomplished and socially recognized individuals but it’s quite evident from the passage that they both experienced a vacuum within until the deliverance happens. For Lydia it was a delivering experience of opening of her heart and a spontaneous transformation of accepting and receiving others. For the slave girl, it was a delivering experience of her realization that she was a slave to some evil minds and spirits and a spontaneous transformation of being liberated from the bondage. Forgiveness of the sins, beginning with repentance, is a pre.requisite to attain salvation. Forgiveness restores. Let’s meditate some of the experiences the act of forgiveness brings to restoring.
Forgiveness restores tolerance: Forgiveness in today’s context is quite a relevant topic especially in an increasingly intolerant society. Intolerance is seen everywhere whether within family, society or between cultures, countries and so on. Often we find the motives not quite right, and are driven by mere selfishness. Media also, to a certain extend, is responsible to promote intolerance in their mad run to increase viewer rating. The kind of trials that's brought before the judges in some of the top rated TV programs warrants no real judgment! Sometimes I feel I'm wasting my time watching! We just witnessed the horror of theater shooting that killed a husband and a father, quite a pity and a shame to know it all started with a simple argument over texting!
Forgiveness restores inner peace: Only those who exercised the act of forgiveness knows how liberating an experience is and it restores peace within and lifts the heaviness from inside. We do not realize that we are carrying the baggage of burden of unforgiving spirit for such long which eventually damages the health of our body and mind. John Bunyan’s pilgrim’s progress is a classic portrayal of our life and its struggles.
Forgiveness restores relationship: Finally, the epitome of forgiveness was witnessed from the hills of Calvary which resulted in the restoration of the entire humanity. We see it in the life of Jacob, how haunting it was just by the very thought till he meets his brother Esau and sought forgiveness. The lost son had his relationship restored when sought forgiveness from his father.
Prayer: Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors
Thought for the day: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong” – Mahatma Gandhi
George Sam, Immanuel MTC, Virginia