‘Be full of love for others.’ Ephesians 5:2 TLB
Imagine how Joseph’s brothers felt when he said, ‘It was not you who sent me here, but God.’ (Genesis 45:8 NKVJ) Is he serious? God did it? This is a new level of forgiveness! When we recognise the hand of God in our lives we see He wants us to preserve the dignity and self-worth of others because He’s already done it for us! With full knowledge of our sinful past, He covers us with the garment of grace. And He expects us to do the same for others. As you read the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew chapter one, you might think the sin of adultery between David and Bathsheba was part of the divine strategy all along. No, sin never is, and David paid a high price. Yet the Bible records these events as though they were supposed to have happened in just that way. The Bible says, ‘Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave Himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased.’ (Ephesians 5:2 TLB) When you truly forgive, there’s no place for self-righteousness. You’re able to forgive because: (1) you remember what you yourself have been forgiven of; (2) you acknowledge what you’re capable of; (3) you see God’s hand at work in the bigger picture. Joseph wasn’t being condescending or patronising, nor was he thinking, ‘I’ll be admired for being so gracious.’ No, during his years in prison God had moved on his heart and changed his attitude. So when Joseph said, ‘You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good’ (Genesis 50:20 NKJV), he really meant it! That kind of response takes forgiveness to a whole new level!
SoulFood: Rom 12–14, John 10:11–21, Ps 8, Prov 30:5–6
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023