ODJ: Free to Forgive

June 12, 2016 

READ: John 10:22-30 

No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand (v.29).

p>As a child growing up near the ocean, I did a great deal of boating. Weekends weren’t complete unless we rounded up friends and family and spent at least an afternoon on the water.

I vividly remember one occasion when a boat we were boarding wouldn’t start. It took nearly an hour of tinkering before the engine started. When it finally did, the driver was so excited he pulled away and made it far down the channel before he realised that he’d left his wife standing on the dock! Rather than laugh off his mistake, his wife was furious. Several years later, she’s still angry with her now ex-husband for what he did that day. So sad...

It’s not easy to forgive when we’ve been intentionally or unintentionally hurt. But throughout life, following our Saviour’s example, it’s vital for us to regularly choose to extend God’s forgiveness when we’ve been offended.

In her book The Quiet Place, author Nancy Leigh DeMoss draws from John 10:28 as she writes, “We so often find ourselves chafing against second causes—those people, circumstances and events that seem to be wrecking our lives, making things so difficult and unbearable for us. But ultimately, we are not in the hands of other people and their sinful designs. We are not in the hands of chance or circumstance.” DeMoss goes on to share that because of Jesus’ sacrifice and the forgiveness He made possible, we can experience salvation and the reality that no one can “snatch” us from His loving hands.

Our heavenly Father, who is “more powerful than anyone else” (v.29), provides the identity and security we need by His divine power and promises. As we accept His love and forgiveness, we’re free to truly love and forgive others.

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day plan: Matthew 2:1-12

Based on Mark 11:25, is there someone you need to forgive today? 
How does experiencing identity and security in God make it easier to forgive people who have hurt you? How has God’s forgiveness changed your heart?