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Published through www.godtracker.co.uk
26 August 2016
God-tracking Through the Year - year two
By Dudley Anderson
The second in the series of 52 weekly readings to help keep you on track with the plans of God.
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GOD-TRACKING IS LETTING GO OF OFFENCE BEFORE COMING TO WORSHIP GOD
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you
Jesus said, “If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Naturally, in Bible times, people would bring a literal offering to the temple as a burnt offering before God on the altar. It’s in this context that Jesus said these words. This type of offering was an act of worship. Often, offerings were made as sin offerings. In other words, the person bringing the offering was seeking God’s forgiveness for sins committed. It’s clear that Jesus was implying that before we can expect to receive forgiveness from God we need to be prepared to offer forgiveness to those who have offended us. This thought is reflected in the prayer Jesus taught is to pray: “Forgive us our trespassers as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.”
Unforgiveness results from hurts or offences other people cause in our lives, knowingly or otherwise. Unforgiveness is the greatest inhibitor in any person’s life. Unforgiveness will cause a someone to stagnate in their walk with God and their growth in character. Unforgiveness will drag a person out of God’s blessing and into despair, depression and desolation. The one thing that hinders God’s forgiveness of us is our unforgiveness of others. For a Christian, forgiveness is not optional, it is mandatory.
We no longer offer animal sacrifices on an altar before God. Jesus was the great final sin offering, whose holy blood spilled on the altar of the cross brought forgives of sin, once and for all. However, when I accepted this sacrifice of Christ as atonement for my sin, I laid my own life down; I have been crucified with Christ and now live by faith in his sacrifice for my sins. My whole life is laid bare on the altar of God, as it were. Therefore, every time I come to worship God or come to the communion table, I need to be sure I come in forgiveness and grace.
Today, if you hold a grievance against someone or if you’re harbouring unforgiveness, first go to that person and make right with them before bringing your sacrifice of praise before God. And if you have offended someone else, knowingly or otherwise, then be sure to ask their forgiveness before coming to the Lord’s table or offering him your worship. Remember too, forgiveness and apology need to be unqualified. So it’s simply, “I forgive you.” Or, “I’m sorry.” Add no buts or ands to it. I have found forgiveness is the most liberating and empowering act in life; an act of worship in response of the grace of God.
God-tracking is letting go of offence before coming to worship God.
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TODAY I PRAY, FATHER FORGIVE MY TRESPASSES AND I FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE TRESPASSED AGAINST ME
“Oh Father in heaven, I realise that I have been harbouring offence in my life. I apologise for my unforgiveness! Before you, I now choose to confess forgiveness of those who have offended me. If I have offended others, dear Lord, then I ask your forgiveness and ask that you help me to make an unqualified apology to them. Today I pray, Father forgive my trespasses and I forgive those who have trespassed against me. Amen.”
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GodTracker and trACker owe their origins to an international Christian radio programme produced by Dudley Anderson called, On Track. Although On Track went off-air in 2005, trACker has continued to help people to track God's plans and purposes for their lives since July 2003.
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