We are a community of believers who's desire is for everyone to grown in a deeper and more vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ.
As RISING Church prepares to transition into in-person meetings again, what is it going to take to prepare our new space to gather together?
Learning to Bask in the Father's Affection
The voices we listen to shape us in a powerful way. Do we know what the Father thinks and feels about us?
RETHINK Prayer V
Our 30-Day Challenge
RETHINK Prayer IV
As Jesus teaches us to rethink prayer, the second category of petition Jesus teaches us to pray and ask our heavenly Father for is "forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors". The word forgive here is the Greek word "aphiemi", which literally means "to send away from, to let go, to release, to discharge". Our prayer is not that God would send us away from him, but that God would send our debts, our trespasses, our sins, our offenses away from us!
The most dangerous part of this prayer is the "as", which just as easily could be translated "as, like, according to, as long as". Is that something we really want to pray, that our Father would send our sins away from us as long as we have sent the sins others have committed against us away from them? The reality is in this fallen world we live in, others will sin against us. It's not a matter of if, but when. Everybody at some point will sin against us, disappoint us, hurt us. Jesus teaches us that we need to forgive others. Why? Ultimately because our heavenly Father has forgiven us of an insurmountable debt. If God is willing to send the sins we have committed against him away from us, as his sons and daughters, shouldn't we be willing to send the sins others commit against us away from them?
Let's be honest, this is not an easy teaching. Forgiveness is difficult. Perhaps this is why Jesus builds this sort of self-check into the Lord's prayer. When we ask our Father to forgive us of our sins, we are forced to consider who have I failed to forgive? Who am I harboring anger and resentment towards? Who am I holding indebted to me?
Here are 3 steps we can take to move in the direction of forgiving others as our heavenly Father has forgiven us:
1. Pray for the capacity, the ability, the strength to forgive
2. Choose to forgive
3. Practice forgiveness
Ultimately we have a decision to make, we can either send away the sins people commit against us, or we can send away the person, the relationship. When we choose to follow our Father's example and send away the sin, rather than send away the person, our Father's name is hallowed, our Father's kingdom comes, and our Father's will is done here on earth as it is in heaven.
Change is Coming
There are great things on the horizon