True Forgiveness

Noah challenges us to read Nehemiah chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8. Also, look at 1 Corinthians 12. 

Remember, we are inquiring of the Lord about our callings, dreams, careers, and gifts of the Spirit and how he wants us to serve the kingdom. 
These can be things that are already in your heart or perhaps you don't know what they are yet. 


     Starting in Chapter 5, Nehemiah is bombarded with several  issues such as famine, and a lack of reconciliation. He was pressured with a temptation to disregard these issues and even abandon the crusade. The people were enslaving their children, charging interest on land and debt. It was a direct reflection of the persecution that they had been under in Babylon.  Nehemiah turned these cries for help into the foundation of a community by eliminating all debt and demanding reconciliation. Nehemiah could have easily said, y'all deal with your own problems and settle your own debt. Instead he showed compassion for his people and a fierce determination to end the strife. This is a declaration that God can give you strength to deal with all things if you trust in Him. These issues could have very easily turned Jerusalem into a smaller version of Babylon riddled with slavery and social injustice. Instead, in an instant, it was turned into a self respecting, people honoring, boldly faithful community of people.

     Noah had us read and relate to Matthew 5:23-24; Luke 12:58; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, and Romans 5:11. 

     In Matthew, Jesus was delivering the sermon on the mount. The specific verse referenced shed light on forgiving your brother before you give to God.  “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift." Reconciliation is defined as "to restore to friendship or harmony"  or "to settle or resolve differences". It is an exchanging of our sins for Christ's righteousness. This is important to note due to a hardening of heart that occurs when you hold onto transgressions. Resolving these differences allows you to fully give to the Lord without holding anything back. 

     Luke also highlights the importance of reconciliation. He states: "As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison." Reconciling with each other helps avoid being harshly judged and suffer severe consequences. This ultimately separates and divides us instead of unifying us together. 

     2 Corinthians speaks to being ambassadors for Christ. Reaching others through our reconciliation, and actions, to exemplify Christ. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 

     Romans clearly states that our sins have been washed away through Christ. " And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." Christ has given us the joy of the Lord through our seeking of reconciliation. 

Scott HowardComment