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Merry Christmas everyone! Welcome back to our 25 day Christmas devotional. Today is Christmas Eve. We’ve been looking at the decorations of Christmas and admiring the beautiful decorations of the cross which is also referred to by many as “Calvary’s tree.”
Today I’d like us to consider the decoration of forgiveness. The very reason why Jesus was born was to forgive us of our sins. Look at what the angel told Jospeh…
Matthew 1:21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
1 John 3:5 And you know that he became a man so that he could take away our sins… (LB)
That’s the very reason why Jesus was born. The forgiveness of God that comes through Jesus Christ is complete forgiveness because it is provided for every sinner.
Acts 10:43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
God’s forgiveness is also complete because it is provided for every sin.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
When it comes to forgiving us of our sins God is not like people. Many times we say we have forgiven each other but we sometimes still hold bitterness and resentment in our hearts toward the person for what they have done.
We tell them they are forgiven but then remind them from time to time of what they have done to us. On the other hand, God forgives us completely and forever.
Micah 7:18 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
When people hurt us and then apologize, we may say that we forgive them. But like a dog that won’t give up its bone, we may let our mind continue to chew on past insults.
In 1 Corinthians 13:5, Paul declared that love “thinks no evil.” He was using an accountant’s term that described the recording of figures in a book. Love does the opposite–it does not keep a record of wrongs. Instead, love forgives and refuses to keep it on the books.
If you want to remember something, you go over it again and again. The child reviews his spelling words; the actress rehearses her lines; you review people’s names that you want to remember. But love deliberately and consciously lets go of past hurts and gives them to God.
Some people might bury the hatchet for a time, but they gave the impression of always marking the spot.
Lord, help me be kind and forgiving–
Your loving forgiveness You’ve shown
To me for the sins I’ve committed;
Lord, grant me a love like Your own. –Anon
So, we need to remember to forgive and then remember to forget. Don’t let the way people have hurt you ruin your Christmas. Forgive them just as Jesus has forgiven you.