FORGIVE AND FORGET
I'll wipe the slate clean for each of them. I'll forget they ever sinned (Jer 31:34 MSG)

I FORGIVE YOU .
A letter written to a man on death row by the Father of the man whom the man on death row had killed:
You are probably surprised that I, of all people, am writing a letter to you, but I ask you to read it in its entirety and consider its request seriously. As the Father of the man whom you took part in murdering, I have something very important to say to you.
I forgive you. With all my heart, I forgive you. I realize it may be hard for you to believe, but I really do. At your trial, when you confessed to your part in the events that cost my Son his life and asked for my forgiveness, I immediately granted you that forgiving love from my heart. I can only hope you believe me and will accept my forgiveness.
But this is not all I have to say to you. I want to make you an offer -- I want you to become my adopted child. You see, my Son who died was my only child, and I now want to share my life with you and leave my riches to you. This may not make sense to you or anyone else, but I believe you are worth the offer. I have arranged matters so that if you will receive my offer of forgiveness, not only will you be pardoned for your crime, but you also will be set free from your imprisonment, and your sentence of death will be dismissed. At that point, you will become my adopted child and heir to all my riches.
I realize this is a risky offer for me to make to you - you might be tempted to reject my offer completely - but I make it to you without reservation.
Also, I realize it may seem foolish to make such an offer to one who cost my Son his life, but I now have a great love and an unchangeable forgiveness in my heart for you.
Finally, you may be concerned that once you accept my offer you may do something to cause you to be denied your rights as an heir to my wealth. Nothing could be further from the truth. If I can forgive you for your part in my Son's death, I can forgive you for anything. I know you never will be perfect, but you do not have to be perfect to receive my offer. Besides, I believe that once you have accepted my offer and begin to experience the riches that will come to you from me, that your primary (though not always) response will be gratitude and loyalty.
Some would call me foolish for my offer to you, but I wish for you to call me your Father.

Sincerely,
The Father of Jesus

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?
How is it possible that God is willing to forgive me for the wrong things in my life? How is it possible that He will forgive me unconditionally? How is it possible that He is ready to forgive me NOW? It is possible because

He loves me:
I, the LORD, am not easily angered, and I show great love and faithfulness and forgive sin and rebellion. (Num 14:18 GNB)
You forgive the sins of your people You do not stay angry forever, but you take pleasure in showing us your constant love. (Micah 7:18 GNB)

He is kind and patient:
Come back to the LORD your God. He is kind and full of mercy; He is patient and keeps his promise; He is always ready to forgive and not punish. (Joel 2:13 GNB)

He is merciful, compassionate and faithful:
turn to the LORD, our God; He is merciful and quick to forgive. (Isa 55:7 GNB)
the LORD, a compassionate and merciful God, patient, always faithful and ready to forgive. (Ex. 34:6 GW)

I DON'T REMEMBER
Here's a true story which I heard from a visiting priest from Canada. This is a story told to him by Cardinal Jaime Sin of the Philippines.
The story: There was this woman who claimed to have visions of the Virgin Mary and she claims that she even talks to the Virgin. Cardinal Sin (his real name) didn't pay much attention to her and usually pretends not to hear her. But one day she persistently kept on calling him on the phone, and after five unsuccessful calls, she went to his residence and asked to speak to him.
Cardinal Sin thought that he'd better put an end to this foolishness and told her, "When you see the Virgin Mary again tonight, tell her to ask her son Jesus what my gravest sin was." And so the woman left, happy that finally Cardinal Sin believes her. And Cardinal Sin was sure that now she'd stop telling him about her visions. But the next day she came back and asked to see the Cardinal again. The Cardinal asked her, "Well, did you talk to the Virgin Mary last night?"
And she said, "Yes, but..."
"But what?" Cardinal Sin asked. "Did the Lady ask Jesus about my sin?"
"Yes, she did ask Him." was the reply.
"What did Jesus tell her then?"
The woman reluctantly answered, "She said Jesus said that He had forgotten."
(~ As told by Don Morales)

THIS IS GOD'S PROMISE: I WILL NOT REMEMBER YOUR SINS
But I wipe away your sins because of who I am. And so, I will forget the wrongs you have done. (Isa 43:25 CEV)
I will not remember your sins. (Isa 43:25 ESV)
I don't keep a list of your sins. (Isa 43:25 MSG)

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO?
Believe in Jesus; accept Him as your Saviour
people who believe in the One named Jesus receive forgiveness for their sins through Him. (Acts 10:43 GW)
by his blood He should become the means by which people's sins are forgiven through their faith in Him. (Rom 3:25 GNB)

Turn back to the Lord
However, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, search for Me, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear their prayer from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their country. (2Chron 7:14 GW)
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that He will forgive your sins. (Acts 3:19 GNB)

Confess your sins
But if we confess our sins to God, He will keep his promise and do what is right: He will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. (1John 1:9 GNB)

THERE IS TOTAL FORGIVENESS!!
As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our sins from us. (Ps 103:12 GNB)
I'll wipe the slate clean for each of them. I'll forget they ever sinned! (Jer 31:34 MSG)
Turning a blind eye, a deaf ear, to the past sins (Micah 7:18 MSG)
You will trample our sins underfoot and send them to the bottom of the sea! (Micah 7:19 GNB)
You have thrown all my sins behind You. (Isa 38:17 GW)
Though your sins are bright red, they will become as white as snow. Though they are dark red, they will become as white as wool. (Isa 1:18 GW)
I have rescued you and swept away your sins as though they were clouds. (Isa 44:22 CEV)

WHAT DOES GOD EXPECT FROM US?
Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph 4:32 MSG)
We are usually unwilling or slow to forgive people who offended or hurt us, who said bad things about us, who used or abused us, who stole our belongings or our ideas, who didn't pay us for our services. We like to keep a list of others' wrongs, we keep grudges; maybe we will forgive, but we say that we will never forget!

Sometimes the other person will offer us an apology and we are not even willing to accept that. NO! This is not what God wants from us. After all that He has forgiven us, we dare not be unforgiving towards the people around us. Jesus says in Luke 6:37: do not judge do not condemn forgive others - even seventy times seven!

If you refuse to forgive others, it can result in distrust, frustration, anger, worry, depression, feelings of revenge, bitterness, sleepless nights, physical illness like headaches or ulcers - unnecessary baggage that you will carry with you, baggage that will weigh you down, hinder you in your daily actions, tiring you out. Make a decision to put down the suitcase of unforgiveness today! Someone said "Though it might feel better in the short term to maintain a grudge, in the long term forgiveness heals the soul and presents the heart of Christ to others."
Forgive and forget. When a friend makes a mistake, don't rub it in. Rub it out. People with clenched fists can't shake hands. Give that list of offences that you are keeping to the One who can destroy it forever.

SELF PRESERVATION
(~by Mary Katherine Kohl)
Many things have been done - or words were said
That pierced the heart - like a bullet of lead
And though the event came - and soon was gone
The sting of it all - lingered on and on.

Dwelling on the past - though time has marched on
Will make us miserable - no mood for a song,
Because peace and joy - Satan is stealing
Thus, he alone prospers - if we hold an ill-feeling.

We must forgive others - in a way that is right:
Leaving their flaws - for only God's sight.
Sometimes it's impossible - to humanly do
So we call on the Holy Spirit - to see us through.

When the Lord forgives us - our slate is wiped clean.
God doesn't hold grudges - or see us as mean.
Yes, He gives us a chance - for a whole new start.
He holds no memory - of our mistakes in his heart.

If we can't forgive - like the Lord intended
We have a miserable life - which can't be mended.
Because an unforgiving heart - is real devastation
And forgiving completely - is self-preservation.
 

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