#Online Bible Study

Forgiveness: The Luke 17 Rule

About three weeks ago my heart was a mess.
I had unforgiveness brimming in my soul, anger, hurt, pain and the more I left it to stew, the more I sank into a dark pit.

First of all, I am a guarder of my heart. I mean I guard my heart. I do not let anyone get too close and I keep them as surface friendships so even if you do something to me, it’s easier to blank you out, let go (and maybe let you go also) and move on.

But this time it wasn’t so easy because I wasn’t allowed to leave and this person really means a lot to me so I had to work it out with the love of God.

I am also VERY JEALOUS of my relationship and time with God. I detest (really, it’s that strong) having anything stay as a bridge between I and God. I have seen that I would rather eat sand, make steps to talk and reconcile with someone rather than let it stew. Not just because of the person, but because of God. I am not so pretty without Him and even with Him, we are still using grace to cover up the unpretty patches.

So the stint with unforgiveness was telling on me.

****
****
We hit an impasse where by God’s grace I wasn’t ready to carryover the issues for one second more. They had taken over more time than they deserved anyway.

I passed the ugly phase and my heart was right again…

About a week passed and then I was at Church and I heard my pastor say “the spirit of offense!”

And my eyes opened!

Later on I was studying my Bible and came across this:

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
-Matthew 24:10 NKJV

“During that time many believers will lose their faith. They will turn against each other and hate each other.”
Matthew 24:10 ERV

Matthew 24 is a passage where Jesus talks about the signs of the end time.
He said a lot of things (read the full passage, its eye-opening) and then mentioned at the verse above that a key thing that would trip up believers would be OFFENSE.

Again it was almost like the scales fell off my eyes like what???!

No wonder God has been drilling me on love for weeks!
Only love can survive the times!

I have spoken to a few persons too who have also been experiencing overwhelming friction in their relationships with fellow believers – wives and husbands, covenant friendships, destiny relationships, etc.

And the funny thing is like I did, they are all fighting each other instead of collectively placing the blame on the enemy where it belongs and kicking him out of their relationship!

Gosh!

I was so mad at satan when I saw the tactic of the end time and also let down at myself. I fell fully for his crap.

Now we must know as believers that one thing satan attacks in us is OUR HEARTS.

He wants to fill our heart with ugly emotions so we cannot see clearly and cannot be used by God.

He wants to distract us from what matters so we can use up precious time in attacking one another and settling quarrels.

He wants to use your head to play ping-pong and cause disunity among you and your brethren so you cannot stand!

“So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end.”
-Mark 3:23‭-‬26 NKJV

You see, even satan uses the kingdom weapon of UNITY in his own team.

And UNITY was given to us by God to shake and move things in the kingdom.

How is it that the ones who should be unified are the ones tearing one another up in hurt and unforgiveness they refuse to release?

I imagine that the demons of strife have a field day laughing at homes, families, friendships and ministries where they spread their lies.

BUT WE DO NOT HAVE TO FALL FOR satan’s RUBBISH.

“Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
Luke 17:1‭-‬4 NKJV

What is the solution to this?

We must pray for our hearts.

The work must start from within.

Three weeks ago I had to take my heart to the Lord. Asking Him to cleanse me of negative emotions, asking Him to wash me of pride, anger, hurt and pain. Asking Him to wash me of perceived hurts and lies of the enemy against my heart.

I was sincere and bare bones before Him. What my heart was looking like was not looking like Jesus and I desperately wanted to look like Jesus, throw the whole negative emotion back at satan where it belongs and get back my peace with God and my heart!

I had to fight for it!

And when He said to apologize, even though it seemed like I was going to eat granite and I still hadn’t gotten a sorry (which my flesh wanted), I did. He made me see my own wrongs and what I should have done better. He opened my eyes to see lapses where I wasn’t loving like He loves and through that He began a new work of pruning in me so I can love like He loves and He is still on it.

Pastor Chingtok had said something at my church conference: he said that he had made a decision to never carry any man on his conscience. And that no man (or offense) was worth 10 minutes of his peace.

What is the rule that his statement alludes to?

THE LUKE 17 RULE.

“Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
Luke 17:1‭-‬4 NKJV

 

 

Peter asked Jesus a question also on forgiveness.

He said:

“Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
Matthew 18:21‭-‬22 NKJV

No doubt Peter was astounded!

You say what?

Seventy times seven times?

That’s 490 times.

Who has the capacity to forgive like that?

God.

Obviously.

So if you carry His nature in you, you must draw from that nature to be able to forgive and love.

One thing God has been teaching me though is that if I let my love and forgiveness for others flow from the love and forgiveness I have received from the Lord, then it would be easier to let offenses go.

Why do we hold on so long till our hearts become so hardened and burdened with bitterness?

Why does satan find this tactic of offenses so successful?

Because believers play into His hands. We do not want to draw from the love of Christ.

We have too much flesh on the inside of us.

I have tasted of hurt. I have tasted of unforgiveness even if it was for just a week. I NEVER WANT TO GO BACK THERE AGAIN.

I have been crying out more and more for the nature of God to be made alive in me. To look like Jesus. Behave like Jesus. Love like God. Be a love being.

If we must survive these times, we also must go back to letting the love nature of the Lord dominate our spirits, souls and bodies.

“…because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
Romans 5:5 KJV

Pray:
Lord make me more like Jesus.
Cleanse my heart with your living water. Flush out the mindsets of negative emotions.
Holy Spirit do a work in my heart. Take away bitterness and anger. Oh make me a love being! Let the love of God flood my heart and my soul to overflowing!
Let it pour out into others I come in contact with.
Like Stephen and my Lord Jesus, let me able to say “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.

 

Love,
Hephzibah Frances

JOYFUL NEWS:
1: My book PRAYERS FOR YOUR FUTURE HUSBAND is available for purchase in both ecopies and hard copies.

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God bless you!

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