January 1st = Forgiveness (The 70X7 Principle)


New beginnings.  That’s what some people are hoping for at the start of 2014.  Cue the song “High Hopes” (I’m really not being cynical here either…really).  I believe in the God of second chances, do you?  I believe that when His disciples asked Him how many times they had to forgive Jesus told them seventy times seven (Matt 18:21-22).  I know that He wasn’t just giving them a random number out of His head and it wasn’t legalistic in the sense that they only had to forgive 490 times (that’s 70 X 7 by the way for us who had to use a calculator cause we suck at math).  I believe the disciples eventually got Jesus’ point.  Forgiveness isn’t really about how many times we have to forgive but rather about the conditions of our hearts and the willingness to find grace for others.   Isn’t that what God has done for us?  We mess up royally and we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness and yet His prevenient grace is offered to us through Christ.  He forgives us COMPLETELY!   


I don’t wish to imply that there are conditions on forgiveness here but think of it this way: Forgiveness of others and those who have wronged you alleviates the burdens and scorn you may still have in your heart for that person(s).  They may not even seek sincere forgiveness from you but when you wipe the slate clean of transgressions done to you, you are clearing the weight of that burdens of wrongs done to you.  It may sound selfish, but why live life burdened by the wrongs of others?  It holds you back.  It holds you captive.  You will always be a prisoner to their wrong doings done to you even if they have moved on.  So why let it fester?  Why let that kind of emotional/spiritual sliver remain?  Pluck it out and move on for your own health and well being. 

Secondly, forgiveness doesn’t mean that you become naive and trust people who haven’t earned that trust yet, but it does mean that you move on.  We must be wise in how we let others effect us coupled with the decisions we make which also impacts others.  Forgiveness and trust aren’t always mutually the same.  What forgiveness allows you to do (and the offending party) is to move on.  I don’t believe that we have to automatically forget but we forgive.  Afterall we can’t expect someone who has been sexually or physically abused to forget what was done to them right out of the “forgiveness gate”…it will take time to heal and to cope.  In the same way that it may take years of counseling and healing for the abused, those who have been wronged in other ways will find that time needs to pass before trust and “forgetting” can ever take place.

Lastly, I mentioned earlier about what the year of Jubilee meant in the Hebrew culture.  It was a year in which all debts were erased and people could start over.  Perhaps 2014 is that year of Jubilee for you.  Perhaps you’ve been holding onto pains, hurts, and grudges that need to be wiped completely away.  Forgiveness heals and lifts burdens of all parties.  

Are you willing to forgive?  For those also who are seeking to find forgiveness, be strong.  It takes a lot of courage to own up to wrong doings so that you can grow and move on.  Don’t miss this opportunity on the first of the year to begin on the right foot!  


-Just a thought for new beginnings.  

Jesus = Clean Slate


Luke 4:18-21 (NIV)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

 Well this year is cruising to an end.  We are just over a week from 2014, and many (post Christmas) will be making lists of resolutions and promises.  Most will probably break them within the month of January, while others might actually fulfill their promised new year’s resolutions.  Regardless of where you stand on the whole “resolution” thing I imagine all of us would like a “do over” from time to time.  We all, most likely, live with some regrets in life.  We’ve erred and made poor decisions and we wish we could find a way to clean slate and start over.  


Jesus came to earth.  He was born within lowly means and He even slept in a feeding trough to begin His humble journey.  Jesus didn’t enter this world with much, but He left a lasting impact on this place.  Yet when he went back to His hometown in Nazareth (post wilderness temptation) he discovered his “old stomping grounds” were less than friendly to him.  He was invited to read from the very Word of God in the temple, yet what he read set the city folk’s teeth on edge.  Some thought perhaps, if he was Messiah (a big grasp for some), perhaps he would give them preferential treatment.  Yet he wasn’t what any expected the Messiah to be. Instead of vanquishing enemies and re-conquering Israel for his people, he came for a much more important conquest – the souls of all people! His mighty purpose wasn’t strictly for the Jews but for the entire world – those who would seek after him would find eternal life!  

Jesus declared within this prophetic passage that  it was fulfilled “in their hearing” (vv21).  He wasn’t only implying that He was the One they were waiting for but that a clean slate was possible – new life could take place!  How many of us have experienced this clean slate with Christ?  It’s interesting that Jesus uses this passage in Isaiah.  Do you know that there were specific years in the Hebrew custom that was a cause for celebration by the burdened, the taxed and the debtor?  It was called the “year of jubilee”,this was the year at the end of seven cycles of “shmita” which means Sabbatical years.  What that meant that after 49 or 50 years there was a year where all debts and financial burdens could be forgiven.  It was the year of clean slates!  This was certainly a cause for celebration for many many people.  Some probably hadn’t even caused their financial issue(s) but was passed onto them by their parents or relatives.  

A clean slate – Jesus declared himself to be Messiah and one in whom all could find a “do over” in life…to make better decisions, to start afresh and live selfless holy lives.  


Do you need a “do over” today?  Are you praying for a “restart” button?  Is there a slate that needs to be wiped clean?  Perhaps it’s time to make the leap and trust that Jesus was and is the ONLY ONE who can cancel your debts and set you free!  

-Just a thought for you today!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑