How To Walk, Part 6 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #278)
A series of homilies on Ephesians.
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.
TEXT: Ephesians 4:32:
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
George MacDonald said, “It is simply absurd to say you believe, or even want to believe, in Him if you do not do anything He tells you.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “We fear a Russian invasion. We fear a financial breakdown. But we don’t fear God. I want to see holy fear in people’s lives. I want to see something that God builds. I want to find some people so hungry for God that every night they want to pray. We’re not going to move America any other way.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Dr. Timothy Dwight’s initial ministry led to a limited moral reform on the Yale campus, but it also prepared the school for a more significant change. During a student revival in 1802, a third of the student body professed conversion. It was the first of several Yale College revivals under his leadership.”
Today, we will continue looking at the command for Christians to have a spirit of forgiveness in their dealings with other believers and with the unsaved. Paul tells us that we should ‘forgive one another’, but also gives us a reason — “even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
As I mentioned previously, the word forgive means, not only to pardon for wrongdoing, but to give graciously or freely. That is how Jesus Christ gave His mercy, grace, favor, compassion, and salvation to us — freely. He did not hold back. He lavished it upon us. He gave according to the abundance of His riches in glory. That is how Christ expects us to forgive. When you give the blessing of forgiveness to someone else, you free yourself from the ties that would bind you to a path of bitterness and secret anger over some offense.
Dr. R.C.H. Lenski said, “The moment a man wrongs me I must forgive him. Then my soul is free. If I hold the wrong against him I sin against God and against him and jeopardize my forgiveness with God. Whether the man repents, makes amends, asks my pardon or not, makes no difference. I have instantly forgiven him. He must face God with the wrong he has done; but that is his affair and God’s and not mine.”
There is no need to put your fellowship with God in jeopardy as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing. You do yourself no favors by holding on to hurt feelings and attempting to get justice on your own. Forgive freely as Christ forgave you. Treat the other person as though they had never done you wrong. Leave it all in God’s hands and you will have a happier life.
Someone by the name of Bosch wrote these brief reminders to forgive:
Christ the Lord our debt has paid—
All our sins on Him were laid;
We like Him should try to live,
Always ready to forgive!
Jesus came our debt to pay,
Saved our soul in grace one day;
So in love we all should live,
Ready always to forgive.