Matthew 5:43-48 NIV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
“Forgiveness does not mean that one ceases to feel the hurt and pain associated with someone’s failing, but it means that one forfeits their right to express their anger, to parade their hurt, and to demand reparation. Forgiveness, as initiated by the wounded party, remains an expression of the divine character and becomes a trait that makes the new covenant community stand out among the cycle of resentment and revenge that typifies human relationships.”(Michael Bird, Colossians and Philemon in New Covenant Commentary Series)
Here is also a quote from Mother Teresa – “If we really want to love we must learn to forgive. ”
In forgiveness, we are walking in the way of God’s love. It is loving in God’s love. May we, as his church, stand out as a people who display God’s love and forgiveness to all around us.
Prayer: Father, may we walk in the way of your love, forgiving one another and displaying the love of Jesus to all those around us whether in our cities or on our campuses. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s close in worship with “Here I Bow” by Bethel Music (click here).