The Gift of Forgiveness

By Michael M. Cook

Jesus doesn’t make bad people better; He makes them new.

The forgiveness of Christ is remarkable. It extends beyond all sin. Our mistakes and shortcomings don’t define us. He is eager to meet us where we are. Have you experienced the magnitude of His forgiveness? Spend time today thinking about these five characteristics of forgiveness.

Gracious. Romans 3:24 says, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Grace is not earned. It is truly a gift.

Complete. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7) I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name. 1 John 2:12 There is nothing missing in His forgiveness. Nothing.

Ready to Forgive. You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5 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. 2 Corinthians 5:19 His goodness and love are evident in His forgiveness.

Certain. “… to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ Acts 26:18

Unequaled. Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.  Micah 7:18 There is nothing like the forgiveness that comes through Christ. It is life-changing, life-giving and the ultimate gift.

If you’ve never accepted His gift of forgiveness and new life, simply say to Him: “Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for my debt. I accept your gracious gift of forgiveness and want to follow you.” If you’ve already done this, thank God for this gift. Want to talk to someone? Call us at 505.247.3611 or email

Freedom in Forgiving

By LuAnn Edwards

Why is forgiving others so hard? We know it is what the Lord desires – what He asks us to do in His Word. We know this, but the hurt is real; the pain is deep. How can we let go of it and truly forgive?

Apparently we can, for the Bible says, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another” (Col. 3:13a). Forgiveness is our choice. We may choose to forgive from our heart or choose to hang on to our bitterness and resentment which often leads to anger and hatred.

I have been hurt many times over the years. A friend’s snide remark behind my back, deceitfulness on a job, a supervisor who thought I was incompetent, and a friend not wanting me in her life any longer are just a few of the times when I needed to forgive. These events were painful and forgiveness did not come immediately or easily. I had to pray and ask the Lord to soften my heart so I could forgive them. I asked Him to allow me to see them through His eyes of love.

When we hold on to unforgiveness, we make it an idol in our lives. It becomes more important than God and honoring His Word. We feed it by justifying that we have the right to hold on to it, but does holding on to it ease the pain or fuel it? Our unwillingness to forgive keeps our past alive, and the bondage of bitterness can destroy us and our testimony for the Lord. When we fail to forgive, we allow the person who hurt us to continue their control over us.

There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). One truth is that forgiving others sets us free!

When we forgive, we are set free from the painful emotions that rob us of our joy. We can then let go of the past, the hurt, and the anger so we can move forward in faith, love and healing.

Whether your pain came through rejection, abandonment, abuse, or betrayal, forgiving those responsible for your pain will bring healing to your hurting heart. Forgiving those who have hurt you brings you freedom!

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:31-32).