(Matt. 6:12,14-15) “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.””... For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Prayer without forgiveness is dead. The prayers of an unforgiving Christian cannot be honored by God. Why? Because God commanded that those who seek forgiveness must not harbor unforgiveness in their hearts. Being offended is just a part of life, therefore how we handle those that offend us determines not just our fellowship with God but answered prayers. (Eph. 4:32) “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” We therefore must forgive others with just as much forgiveness as God has given to us! So, what happens to a Christian that does not practice forgiveness. 1) He Loses his fellowship with God. (Ps 66:18) “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” Harboring the sin of unforgiveness is not only a bad idea, but its a sin that leads one into a whole group of other sins such as hatred, bitterness, resentment, anger, evil speaking, and the like. 2) He grieves the Holy Spirit. Grieving means that God’s Spirit is offended by one’s carnal behavior and cannot work. Though the Christian does not lose his/her salvation, he does lose the power and fellowship of The Spirit, as well as God’s ear in prayer 3) He also loses his joy. There is a great joy in a personal relationship with Jesus, but also a lack of joy when we do not love God and others the way we ought. Jesus said, (Jn 15:11-12) “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. this is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” Forgiveness not only restores our fellowship with God, but it also opens up the door to love and joy as well.
( Gen 41:41-43) “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt... A nd he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.” When Joseph was introduced to us in chp.37, he was a young inexperienced 17 year old boy, and yet 13 years later God raised him up to rule the nation of Egypt. So, what made him different ? The Answer : “ Time,” and his faith in God ! You see time is a wonderful teacher; 1) Time strengthens endurance . Endurance and faith can only be strengthened over time. Like exercise, we start out not able to do much but over time we find that we can do more. You see, God allows us to go through the ups and downs of life, to help us gain not only spiritual maturity, but also spiritual abilities. Spiritual endurance therefore enables us to handle life’s trials better. 2) Time strengthens patience . Although Joseph, consistently did right, God allowe