Today the reality of 30 Days to Live hit us in a very personal way. My wife (Pastor Joanne) found out that her mom (Fran) has terminal cancer. As Joanne sat in the hospital room with her mom and other family members, the doctor told Fran to “get her affairs in order.” Her response was, “So this is a death sentence.” It is one thing to be writing about facing your final days on this earth it’s another when death actually is right in front of you with someone you care about.
While we are praying and asking for God to do a miracle, first responsibility is to make sure your loved one is ready for life after death. Fran has believed in God and has been attended church regularly so there was no need to convince her of her need for God’s forgiveness. Instead Joanne focused on forgiving others.
The truth is we are all under a death sentence. Maybe not as brutal and short as the one my mother-in-law just received, but this life is short and we are not promised tomorrow. We must all “get our affairs in order” to make sure we are ready to meet our Savior. One place people usually overlook is forgiving those who have hurt you.
As we prepare for the next life we want our sins to be forgiven and if we want to be forgiven for our sins we must forgive others. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray He gave us an example that has become called The Lord’s Prayer. In it Jesus prays this:
Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. – Matthew 6:12
As Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray effectively He knew that our prayers are useless if we refuse to forgive others.
Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. – Luke 6:37
Why is this such a big deal to God? Because HE is the Righteous Judge. If we decide to judge others we are in effect saying we want to sit on God’s throne and do His job. He has never tolerated that, just ask an angel named Lucifer.
Pray this 3 Step Forgiveness Process:
- I take back any authority I gave the devil in my life through unforgiveness, especially towards ______ for what they did to me.
- I choose to forgive this person for what they did to me.
- I ask you God to help me to forgive this person, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
- Who has hurt me?
- Have I chosen to forgiven them?
- Forgive all the people who have hurt you, now.
___________________________________________________Written May 2010: prayers for Fran and our family gratefully accepted.