Peter Horrobin

International Director of Ellel Ministries

January 29, 2013
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on How do I forgive when I can’t?

How do I forgive when I can’t?

Matthew 6:14-15, NIV
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Some years ago I came to the place where I felt completely unable to forgive. Somebody close to me had hurt me deeply, breaking my trust through betrayal and broken promises. I found myself saying to God, “I’ll do anything for You, but don’t ask me to forgive, I can’t do it!”

I continued to pray and read my Bible, but something wasn’t the same. I felt distant from God, as if something was getting in the way when I tried to connect with Him.

Around the time this was happening, I’d moved to a new area, and hadn’t been going to church. I felt convicted to attend, and as I found there was a large charismatic church in the nearest city I decided to try it.

The preacher began his sermon with Matthew 18 – the Parable of the Unmerciful servant. He was preaching that we had to forgive everyone, for everything. I felt quite angry at this, and didn’t even stay for the final hymn.

The next Sunday I decided to try a different church, in another nearby town. I couldn’t believe it when I discovered the sermon was on Matthew 6 – The Lord’s Prayer – which teaches us to pray ‘forgive us our debts in the same way as we have forgiven our debtors!’ The preacher explained that we need to forgive if we want to be forgiven by God. I couldn’t stand listening to it, and again left early.

Following these two encounters, I wanted to choose the next church very carefully! I felt that the nearby ‘sleepy’ Methodist church would be just the thing. By 11 am there were only a dozen people in church, most of them elderly ladies in their eighties wearing felt hats! A very aged Methodist minister was helped into the pulpit, and as he prepared to speak I noticed some of the elderly ladies beginning to doze off – I felt reassured that this wouldn’t be too challenging!

He opened his message with the words: “I want to teach this morning on how to forgive when you can’t”. I couldn’t believe what I was listening to – the third sermon in three weeks on forgiveness! But this sermon was different.

He began by explaining that within our own selves (independent of God) we have no resource with which to forgive. We need to ask God to come supernaturally and fill our empty forgiveness tanks with His spirit of forgiveness. Having received this empowerment from God, we are then able to release our forgiveness to those people who have hurt us the most. Apart from Him we can do nothing!

Secondly he taught that forgiveness is not a transaction between us and the person who has hurt us, but it’s a transaction between us and God. Forgiveness is an act of obedience on our part – if we don’t obey this command then our relationship with God suffers and we end up in prison ourselves. We must look upon the face of God when working through forgiveness, rather than seeing the face of the person who has hurt us.

Finally he explained that we need to release those who have hurt us, from our judgement. We must let go of our ‘right’ to judge, and hand them over to God, trusting that He alone is the righteous judge of all men. We can’t (and don’t) pardon them for what they have done (only God can do that), but we forgive and release them into God’s hands.

The preacher then said, “I believe that there’s someone here this morning who knows that they need to forgive, but they don’t know how to do it. I would like to pray with you.”

I went forward and knelt at the altar with this old man, as he helped me to understand how to forgive. I sobbed for nearly an hour as I worked through it all, and finally I experienced the freedom that full forgiveness brings. I was then able to pray blessing into the life of the person who had hurt me and discovered that I had let myself out of prison!

I am so thankful to this Methodist minister, and to God, who had been so patient with me. He went to such lengths to help me forgive and enter into the freedom that forgiveness brings. I still remember what happened to me, but when the memories surface they no longer have the power to trigger pain or anger, because I’ve received inner healing from Jesus. When God forgives us He chooses to remember our sins no more.

Prayer: Father, will You help me today to list all the people that I need to truly and completely forgive? Will You come and fill my empty forgiveness tank with Your spirit of forgiveness, so I can release forgiveness to all those who’ve hurt me. I love You and choose to be obedient to You in forgiving others, as Your Word teaches me to do. Please come and bring healing to all the wounds I’ve received, and all the pain I’ve been carrying, especially where I’ve been hurt by those closest to me. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.

Click here for more information about the NETS training Programme

Forgiveness – God`s Master Key. Book by Peter Horrobin.

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January 2, 2013
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on God of the second chance

God of the second chance

Jonah 3:1-3, CEV
“Once again, the Lord told Jonah to go to that great city of Nineveh and preach his message of doom. Jonah obeyed the Lord and went to Nineveh.”

God had called upon Jonah to go and preach to the people of Nineveh. Yet in direct disobedience to God’s command, Jonah set off to Tarshish, 2,000 miles in the opposite direction. Jonah was running – as far away as he could possibly get!

God intercepted Jonah’s flight by sending a massive storm into the path of the ship. The wind was so severe that it threatened to break the ship into pieces and all the sailors cried out fervently for help – yet Jonah was surprisingly unmoved. His heart had been hardened by sin.

Being identified as the cause of all this calamity, Jonah was thrown over board by the other sailors. It would be very easy for the story to end here! A disobedient man runs away from God and as a result is thrown into the stormy seas and swallowed by a giant fish. End of story.

But it doesn’t end here – God gives Jonah his second chance! Jonah found himself alive, within the belly of that fish. From this place of darkness and isolation, he cried out for deliverance and God gave him another chance.

Many of us can relate to Jonah’s experience. Having run away from God and from His calling on our lives, we find ourselves in the midst of a storm. Our hearts are hardened and perhaps we are trying to fix things ourselves, or do things our own way. But ultimately we seem to come to our own personal low point, just like Jonah.

The good news is that no matter how far away we have run or where we have found ourselves as a result, we serve the God of second chances! He assures us in 1 John 1:9, that ‘if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’.

And not only does He forgive us, but He also lifts us out of the miry clay, restores our relationship with Him and gives us another chance to respond to His call. As Romans 11:29 tells us, the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. What wonderful news!

So no matter where we find ourselves today, let’s be encouraged to stop running away. Instead, let’s turn back to God and cry out to Him for deliverance. He’s the God of second chances and He uses imperfect people – like Jonah, and each one of us!

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your grace and Your mercy – that no matter how far away I have run or what sort of circumstances I now find myself in, You offer me another chance. I’m sorry for running away from You, and I choose today to turn around and run back to You. I gratefully accept the gifts and the calling that You have given me and I choose now to respond to You and walk in Your ways. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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