Thursday, September 01, 2005


Forgive those who have hurt you. Not one person
reading this Devotional today, has not had someone
at some point in your life hurt you. Some of you
may have been physically or sexually abused as a
child by a mother, a father, a relative, or someone
your family knew.
Some of you may have had a wonderful childhood, but
in your young adult life been hurt by a boyfriend or
girlfriend. Some of you may have been the victim of
a horrible crime like robbery or rape.

Still others may have been deeply hurt by your husband
or wife that wanted a divorce. There are many of you
that have been hurt later in life by your children.
Lots of people reading this have been hurt by employers,
business associates, or close friends. Sadly, some of
you have even been hurt by a pastor or someone in your
church. The fact is, EVERYONE reading this today
has been hurt at some point in your life.

As painful as the experience was that caused this hurt
in your life, so many people have compounded that pain
by letting bitterness, even hatred into their life
against the person or people who caused your pain.
Today, I am going to help set you free from this hurt
and pain you have experienced in your life.

In a prison, they have a central lock that can
automatically open all of the cell doors in a
given area. If you have ever been in prison or
watched a prison movie you know what I am talking
about. There is the loud buzz, followed by the
clanking sound of all of the cell doors automatically
opening. Today, many of you are in prison from
the hurts and pains in your life. Today, the
cell door is going to open and you are
going to be FREE!!!

The key to unlocking that door is FORGIVENESS.
As simple as this may seem, it can be one of
the most difficult things in this world to do.
Forgiving someone who has hurt us deeply is one
of the hardest things to do in life. It is not
something that we can even do in our own strength,
but must be done in the strength we get from the Lord.

I realize that many people right now are saying,
"NO WAY, not after what that person did to me."
As a Christian, it should be our goal to be like
our Lord every day. What were some of the last
words Christ spoke from the cross? What was his
last act before dying that horrific death? He
asked God to forgive those who had crucified Him!

When we sin, and we all sin every day, what do we
do? We go to God and ask Him to forgive us. We
do so with the full assurance that He will
forgive us because He has promised to in His
Word. In Colossians 3:13 the Bible tells us
to "forgive as the Lord forgave you."

God's Word is clear that just as Christ forgives
us when we sin against Him, we must forgive those
who sin against us! That is the key to unlocking
the prison door and being free once and for all
from the hurt and pain you have experienced in
your life. FORGIVE the person or people who have
hurt you in your life!

The other problem I deal with each day is people
not being able to forgive themselves. Listen,
the Bible tells us that we have "all come short
of the glory of God." We are all sinners. We
all make mistakes. When you go to God and confess
your sins, the Bible promises us that He not only
forgives us but cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
He not only has forgiven us, but He has
forgotten the transgression. God acts like it
never happened. The point I'm trying to make is
that if God has forgiven you, if God has wiped
the slate clean, if in God's mind the sin never
existed...then you need to forgive yourself.

I love you and care about you so much.
I realize that this is a difficult word
for many of you to hear today, but this
is going to literally change the lives of
those who will receive it...and do it! I
want you to take a moment right now, stop
what you are doing, and take out a piece of
paper and a pen. Literally write down
the name of the person or names of the people
in your life who have hurt you deeply Now,
pray this prayer,

"Dear Father, I come to you today, thanking
you that you love me so much. I thank you
that you are not only a God of love, but a
God of forgiveness. Thank you for forgiving
me of my sins. Father, I come today and
pray that you will give me YOUR strength
to forgive those who have hurt me in my life.
Right now, this moment, I forgive (name/names).
I not only forgive them, but Father, I ask that
you bless them. They need you in their life
and I pray that they will come to have a
personal, intimate relationship with your
Son. Thank you for giving me the strength
to forgive and thank you for setting me free from
the pain in my life. In Jesus precious
name I pray, AMEN!"

I will be praying for each of you today
to pray this prayer. It is time to forgive
those who have hurt you, and it is time
to forgive yourself if need be. Put the hurt
and pain of your past behind you once and for
all and move forward with your life. God
still has much left for you to do and by forgiving
those who have hurt you, you are now free to do
all that He wants to do in and through your
life for His Kingdom!
In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

~ Bill Keller ~


Blogger Darnell Clayton said...

Without forgiveness it is impossible to move forward in any walk of life. Bitterness makes life bitter to not only to friends around you but to the world as well.

Ironically my Pastor talked about this today. Could God be telling me something? ;)

5:05 PM  

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