Thoughts Along the Way September 13, 2021

Thoughts Along the Way

Pastor Tom Joyce

September 13, 2021


“Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.”

Matthew 18:21-22


Every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer we ask for God’s forgiveness, and it is given. Every time we confess our sins, “he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9) We may say, “I have been hurt,” or “it is up to them, not me to ask for forgiveness.” As we fold our arms in defiance and lose sleep over someone who has hurt us, our family or friends, we may well begin to slip away from the mercy and grace that God through our Lord Jesus Christ has offered us. The gift of faith we received from God is big enough to be shared; the gift of forgiveness is of God and not ours to keep for ourselves. Our human inclination of hanging on to our anger does nothing but adversely affect not only our health but every relationship we hold dear. As George Strait sings, “just give it away.” Just give away your reluctance to offer forgiveness and grace. Jesus died on a cross for you and for all who are in need of the mercy of God. Jesus looked at those who hurt him with compassion, not condemnation. Forgiveness is a gift from God, not only to the transgressor but to those who have been harmed. It removes the burden of anger from your shoulders and nails it to the cross. St. Paul writes that, “if it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18) Maybe forgiveness is one of the most precious gifts you have been given by God; it begins the healing process in your soul and offers the same grace and mercy to another as you have been offered. Life is far too short and eternity much too long not to offer forgiveness, just as you have been forgiven. So how many times?  As many as it takes.



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Pastor Tom Joyce
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North Ridgeville, Ohio  44039


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Our Mission: To make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the World.

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Our Mission: To make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the World.