My fellow Disciples, I pray this post finds you in good health and spirits, for we are truly blessed with this day our Lord has granted us so we may worship and praise Him.
Allow me to share a story my pastor recently shared with me:
Two men who were dear friends had the misfortune of finding themselves stranded in a scorching desert. As they walked along for days, devoured by the sun and without fresh water to replenish their bodies, they began to argue, for the heat, sun, and the stress of their dire situation had taken hold of their minds. As they progressed, the argument became quite heated even to the point one of the men struck they other in the face, sending him spiraling face down into the parched sand.
Once the man who had been on the receiving end of the blow regained his composure, he righted himself and, taking a stick, wrote in the sand, “My best friend just hit me.” Turning to his dear friend who had struck him, he observed his friend staring at him and the words he had written in disbelief! “Why did you write such in the sand, have you gone mad from the heat?” his friend asked of him.
Continuing on their way, they came upon what appeared to be an oasis in the desert; a small pool of water surrounded by some trees and bushes. Seeing the apparently life-saving pool of water, the man who had been struck took off at a sprint, as fast as his tired legs could propel him, diving headlong into the water…only, it wasn’t water; it was a bog.
Flailing in the bog which was quickly pulling him under, the frantic man yelled out to his friend; the friend whom had struck him previously, “Please, please rescue me!” Never flinching, the man whom had struck his friend, grabbed the soon-to-perish man by the hand and pulled him out of the bog to safety.
Once the man whom had been pulled from the bog was able to catch his breath and realize what had occurred, he looked around and saw a large rock and a small, white stone laying nearby. The man whom had been saved from sure death, picked up the small, white stone and with it, wrote upon the large rock, “My best friend just saved me.”
Truly dumbfounded by this time, the man whom had struck his friend, then just saved his life, asked unto his friend, “What is the nature of this? You wrote in the sand when I struck you before, “My dear friend just hit me,” and now that I have saved you, you write on a rock, “My dear friend just saved me.” Smiling in friendship, his friend whom he had stuck and then saved, explained: I wrote in the sand, “My dear friend just hit me,” so as the winds could blow it away and it be forgotten forever, just as I have forgiven you. When you saved me, I wrote on the rock, “My dear friend just saved me,” so it will forever be remembered, for the kindness; the friendship you have shown unto me will forever rest in my heart for as long as my time on earth.
What greater gift can we, as Christians, give unto our fellow man than forgiveness, just as through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven of our sins:
“Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5:31 (KJV)
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:7 (KJV)
“Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.” Psalms 25:18 (KJV)
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:34 (KJV)
O Lord, we thank you for sending your only begotten son to die for us on the Cross, so we are completely forgiven of our sins. You are a long-suffering God, granting unto each of us ample time to see our sinful ways, to repent and ask your Son to come into our hearts so we might know the mercy and Grace you so freely offer, but O at such a cost; the life and blood of Christ. We humble ourselves before you this day and every day forward til such as our time on earth is over and we may dwell with you, God, and all the Saints eternally. We ask you be with us now; in our hearts, minds, and spirits, so we too may possess the gift of forgiveness, forgiving all those who have wronged us, for in this manner your Son forgave us through the precious gift of His life and blood, so we might too forgive. We pray this in the almighty and powerful name of Jesus. Amen.