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The 490 Challenge

Forgive and forget…

Time heals all wounds…

These cliches about forgiveness are often said but hardly executed. When we think about the things and people that have wronged us, do we have fond memories? I’m going to venture and say HECK NO. More likely your blood is boiling right now even considering those things. PG, it’s time to be set free.

Harboring unforgiveness is a sin. But hear it from me first, forgiving is not an easy thing. You know why? Because it’s a divine thing! Forgiveness comes from God. When you forgive, you’re acting like God. Jesus is our prime example of forgiveness. While hanging naked, bloody, and in excruciating pain, He asked our Heavenly Father to forgive His tormentors. If we as Christians are supposed to emulate Christ, then we should also forgive people who hurt us. In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who wrongs him. Jesus’ reply is to forgive not just the seven times Peter may have been hoping for – but to forgive seventy times seven times – a total of 490 TIMES! The number 490 holds significance in that it means complete or perfect. Forgiveness is how we are made whole.

When you hold on to unforgiveness, God will release you to be tortured. That anxiety you feel when you think of someone you haven’t forgiven yet, that’s torture. Later in Matthew chapter 18, Jesus tells the parable of the king and his servants. One of the servants owed the king 10,000 talents and begged for grace. The penalty for not paying your debt was for you AND your family to be thrown into prison. The king was compassionate and forgave the servant. The servant went to another servant who owed him a paltry 100 denarii and roughly demanded payment. When the other servant couldn’t pay, the first servant had him thrown into prison. Word of the first servant’s unforgiveness made its way back to the king to which the king replied “You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” The Bible goes on to say, “And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."

Let’s think about it like this. You go to church; you see a person who has offended you. They don’t talk to you; you don’t talk to them. You barely glance at each other and have no other interaction. Yet, you feel your skin prickling just being in their vicinity. You’re distracted from worshiping because that person is in the same space as you. Their presence is a burden to you. Hear this PG, the root word of forgive in Hebrew means to release someone. When you can’t forgive someone, you end up carrying them. So, if you forgive them, you release them and therefore lighten your burden. Who wants to carry around a whole person all day long??? You can’t say you’ve forgiven someone until you’ve released them.

Finally, forgiveness leads the way to healing. The number 490 also means Beth-le-hem – sound familiar? Bethlehem, translated the house of bread, the place that Jesus was born. Forgiveness and bread go together. Remember how Jesus taught us to pray? He said, “give us this day our daily bread AND forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Now remember what He told the Canaanite woman when she asked him to heal her daughter, he likened healing to the children’s bread. Unforgiveness could be standing in the way of you receiving your healing.

PG, remember today that Jesus forgave all your sins. His death on Calvary erases every single sin you’ve ever committed. When He reviews your life on the whiteboard in heaven, it’ll be clean. So in turn, forgive those people who have hurt you. You might say they haven’t asked for forgiveness but hear this - they don’t have to say they’re sorry for you to forgive them. Forgive not for their sake, forgive for YOUR sake PG. Don’t carry those people around, don’t miss out on your healing, and get rid of your torturers. Let your new F word be FORGIVE.


Travel With PG!

This weekend, Pastor Sharo travels to Nashville, TN to be a part of Bride Align, a phenomenal conference hosted by Pastor Amanda Crabb. Bride Align is a three day encounter to empower women of all ages. It is a conference to awaken the Bride of Christ and for them to be filled with the power and presence of God. Ministering along with Pastors Sharo and Amanda is Pastor Deven Wallace so you KNOW the weekend is sure to be Holy Spirit filled! We can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to do through these Preacher Girls!

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