How to Forgive: 9 Steps to Follow

Prayer A to Z

According to Matthew 5:23-24, the first thing we are to do when we remember that someone has something against us, is to go quickly and make friends with him, even if we are in the middle of prayer.  In fact, that is the time that the Holy Spirit will bring it to your mind.  And really, it doesn’t matter who the offender is, whether it is another that offended you or you that offended another, you are responsible to go and make reconciliation.  Don’t think that he must go to you.  When you meet him you must confront him in love.  If he has sinned you are to reprove him, but in private (Matt. 18:15).  If you have sinned then you must confess to him and ask his forgiveness.  If we practice this law of reconciliation then we will live in freedom from the chains of bitterness. 

But what if…

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The Consequences of Not Forgiving: Five Progressive Steps

Prayer A to Z

 

 D. L. Moody, in his book, Prevailing prayer, said, “…When you go into the door of God’s kingdom, you go in through the door of forgiveness…If we are unwilling to forgive others, God cannot forgive us.”  Consequently, if He doesn’t forgive us of sins, then they remain with us to create havoc on our body and soul.  We will discuss now that havoc in five progressive steps:

 1.  Fellowship with God is lost.  My relationship with God depends on my relationship with others.  For His love for us and for our neighbors cannot be separated.  He loves us all the same, and He loves the whole world (Jn. 3:16).  Therefore, when we refuse to love and forgive a person whom He loves and forgives, we are cutting ourselves off from His flow of love and forgiveness to us (Matt. 6:15), because we in a sense are…

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Forgiving Our Offenders: What It Should Look Like, 6 Points

Prayer A to Z

 

Our forgiveness of others should look actually the same as God’s forgiveness to us (look at my post right before this one—Understanding God’s Forgiveness).  There should be no difference; forgiveness is forgiveness.  Of course, since we are human, our forgiveness will not be as complete as His is; however, the nature of our forgiveness and its aim should be exactly like His in every way.  So as we plan to forgive others we must endeavor to make our forgiveness as His.  He has set the example and the standard for us.  Now here are six aspects or parts of forgiveness, which taken together, will help you to see the big picture of what it should look like.

 1.  It is confrontational.  First of all, we must understand that though we should always unconditionally love our offender (as God has loved us), we should never offer…

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Understanding God’s Forgiveness: 5 points

Prayer A to Z

Here’s another post from my book Prayer A to Z.

1. His forgiveness is rooted in His unconditional love.  Though God does not always forgive everyone—He forgives only those who will repent of their sins—He does love everyone unconditionally.  And that unconditional love is what draws sinners to repent so that He can forgive them.  Thus, forgiveness is always contingent on repentance; but that doesn’t mean that He doesn’t always love us.  He has always loved us and He always will, because that is His nature; God is love; it comes out of His own righteous and merciful character (Titus 3:4).  God loves the whole world and He desires all to repent so that He can forgive them (2 Pet. 3:9).

2.  His forgiveness was costly for Him.  God purchased our forgiveness by the blood of His own son Jesus.  Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him [Jesus] we have…

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Five Wrong Reasons to Fast

Prayer A to Z

In a previous blog post I gave twelve good reasons to fast, and I invite you to look at that post. In this post I want to bring to you the wrong reasons to fast, just to make sure we aren’t inclined to fast that way.  Here are five wrong reasons to fast.

1. As a form of religion or ritual. Arthur Wallis, in his book, God’s Chosen Fast, notes that in the history of the church, what was at first a matter of custom, such as the practice of fasting each Wednesday and Friday, became a matter of obligation.12  Be careful not to let this happen to you.  Fasting should always be a matter of love to God, never of religion or ritual.

2. To punish the body for sin. Some have believed that the body is evil, and in order to secure the purity of…

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Fasting: Three Categories of Fasts

Prayer A to Z

 

When you pray, sometimes it is beneficial to fast. There are all kinds or types of fasts. Here are three categories of fasts.

 Fasts That Depict the Degree of the Fast

Normal fast.  This is a fast from food and drinks, but not from water.  It is the normal way to fast, and how Jesus fasted for forty days.

Absolute fast.  This is a fast from food and drinks, including water.  It is how Moses fasted for eighty days on Mount Sinai, and how Elijah fasted in the desert (both were miraculous feats).  There were other absolute fasts not miraculous, but were not much over three days.  For no one can naturally live for much over three days without food and water.

Partial fast.  In a partial fast, you would eat only fruits and (or) vegetables—like Daniel did.  If you have health problems, if you are concerned…

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3 Reasons Why Most Christians Don’t Fast

Prayer A to Z

I would say that most Christians these days don’t fast.  Here are three reasons why:

We have reacted against extremism.  Those whom we have read about in the Bible who have fasted, most of those in the early church who have fasted, and all the others we have talked about, I think were quite sincere and dedicated Christians; and I think their fasting was with right motives.  But I suspect that there were some that were off base, that is, they were extreme and legalistic.  Perhaps there were even some who were saying that you have to fast regularly in order to gain God’s acceptance.  I think this is why many people have revolted against fasting—because they don’t see the good side of it, only the negative side.  And so, because of those extremists, many have thrown it all out.  They say fasting is all bad, or it…

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Guidelines for Fasting

Prayer A to Z

GUIDELINES FOR FASTING

 

Here are 16 guidelines for fasting taken from my book Prayer A to Z.  This list is very brief.  For more information you can get my e-book by clicking on Prayer A to Z.

 

1.  Most importantly, your fast must be a fast that God chooses.  If it is a fast that God chooses then He will lead you and give you the right motives.  You will be fasting for Him and not for any selfish reason (Is. 58:3-5).

 

2.  Pray about your fast and set objectives.  Before you start, make it clear in your mind how you believe God wants you to fast.  Then determine that you will fast that way.

 

3.  Be flexible in your fasting plans.  If you have planned to fast on a certain day, and, because of circumstances, it will not work out, move your fast to…

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Easter: A Christian Holiday

Easter is to be a wholly Christian holiday. It is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, and also the Christian’s resurrection to new life in Christ. The non-Christian can have no part in this holiday—because he or she has not been resurrected into new life. They have no spiritual life. They are spiritually dead.

If the non-Christian tries to celebrate Easter at all, its real meaning will be foreign to them. They will not be able to relate to it. I suppose they can acknowledge the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection, but it will have no meaning for them. And I wonder if they even truly believe in His resurrection.

So, for the non-Christian, the only meaning they can possibly get from Easter is that it is a time for family and friends to come together and to share a meal together. And they would say that it is especially for the kids: to enjoy the chocolate Easter bunnies and the traditional Easter egg hunt. These times will serve as a diversion from thinking of the real meaning of Easter.

Now for those of you non-Christians who traditionally show up at church on Easter Sunday; you of course are welcome. And I invite you to listen to the pastor and the music. But please, don’t think just by going you will get any points with God—for an entrance into heaven. The best thing you can do is to seek God and listen to His voice. Ask Him how you can be saved from your sins and from a life of sin. He is waiting for you to come to Him and truly believe in Him.

Twelve Reasons to Fast

Prayer A to Z

Twelve Reasons to Fast

 

1.  To humble self so God can use me.  In fasting we attempt to bring ourselves to a humble state so God can make us holy, so we will be willing to seek Him, able to minister to Him, honor Him, and do His will (e.g. Ezra 8:21).

 

2.  To express grief and repentance for sin, and for deliverance.  If we fast to express repentance, it will also be for deliverance.  When Ninevah fasted they did turn from their evil way, but their main purpose was to avert God’s wrath.  And that is just what happened.  “…God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them…” (Jonah 3:10).          

We in America also need to repent with fasting because of our evil (e. g. materialism, sensuality, pornography, and…

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