Motive for Forgiveness

29Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. —Ephesians 4:29-30

Do you know what Paul is talking about in these verses? He’s spelling out a compelling reason why we ought to be in the forgiving business every day of our lives. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ; if you have acknowledged and repented of your sin and received the Gospel—the good news of your forgiveness—by faith in Jesus Christ, then something amazing has happened to you and in you. If you’re born again, if you are saved, one of the things the Bible promises is that the Holy Spirit has come to live within you. Do you believe that? That you are sealed with the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 1:13-14). Part of God’s gift to you is Himself! The Holy Spirit is God’s down-payment on everything you’re going to get in heaven. When you gave your life to Christ, He gave the Holy Spirit to you.

Now, He’s never leaving.  When Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5), He was talking about the ministering presence of the Holy Spirit in your life. And when the Scripture says “do not grieve the Holy Spirit, by whom you were sealed,” the point is that the Holy Spirit can’t go anywhere. He’s not leaving. Everywhere you go? He goes.  Everything you say? He hears. Everything you feel? He bears with. And when we’re unforgiving, we grieve the Holy Spirit.

The word grieve there is lupeo; it means “to wound” or “to injure.” We grieve the Spirit of God when we hold un-forgiveness and cultivate bitterness in our hearts. The Spirit of God who came to be resident within us can’t go anywhere. And so He has to live alongside these damaging, destructive, and sinful choices that we make. He has to witness as we hang on to our injury and disappointment with people instead of displacing it and releasing it through forgiveness. And that’s why Scripture warns,

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” A desire to retain the fellowship with God’s Spirit should be what motivates our willingness to forgive others. His presence is a continual reminder that Christ has forgiven us.

Journal

·         How does thecontinual presence of God’s Spirit in my life affect my planning and actions?

·         When was the last situation in which I forgave someone because I remembered the amazing thing that Christ has actually forgiven me?

Prayer

Father, forgive me for those moments when I take Your forgiveness for granted instead to taking it as amazing grace! Thank You for Your Spirit’s abiding presence. Teach me to recognize when I’m about to grieve You and point me in the direction to run from those attitudes and actions. And thank You again for Your forgiveness in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God
Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God 

5 CD Series Set - $35.00

What if you believed—truly believed with all confidence that God is with you? How would today go for you if you knew without a doubt that God is in control? What would be different in your life if you were sure God is watching and good? What would you risk if you were certain God is victorious? 

Just how would believing God’s promises change your life?  

Ask the greatest Christian you’ll ever meet if they hold on to God’s promises and they’ll all say yes. Believing that God will do what He promises leads to a great life. The greatest Christian you’ll every meet knows, treasures, and is resting in the promises of God. They cling to these assurances that God gives His people so they can walk by faith while they wait for Him to work.

So what exactly does God promise?  In this topical study of what will always be true, Pastor James MacDonald will explore five great and precious promises that God keeps. Enter into this study with anticipation and faith that the God who makes these promises is faithful and true... always true.