#Gafartawa in Hausa means ‘Forgiveness’ – The one that has been ‘forgiven much loveth much; but the one has been forgiven little loveth little’ (Luke 7:47). It is not our ability to love and forgive that proves that we are christians; it is rather the revelation of who Christ is that allows us to love and forgive – Remain blessed in the Lord.
The one that has been forgiven little loveth little and the one that has been forgiven much loveth much. These are some of the words of Christ towards his followers when speaking about the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with ointment (Luke 7.47). Like Blind Bartimaeus, like the woman with an issue of blood, like Paul on his way to Damascus and like any sinner who by God’s Grace comes into contact with the Lord will not only have a life changing encounter of forgiveness; but will also have a life changing revelation and a continuance of a growing life changing revelation of just how deep with sin we are but moreso how rich and full of mercy God’s Love for us is in Christ Jesus.
A Psalm of David. A Maskil. How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! (Psalm 32.1)
‘We love him, because he first loved us.’ (1 John 4.19 KJV)
Only those who have been emptied by the Lord; repented of their sins, turned away from the vomit they once use to delight in and have anchored themselves in the one they use to hate will be forgiven. Only the forgiven can forgive. The unforgiven can’t forgive. The unsaved, the lost, the self-centred and self-worshipping, the rebellious, the proud, the moderately religious and the greedy who have no penitent heart haven’t been forgiven and hence cannot forgive. It is not the ability of a christian to forgive that proves that he or she is a christian; it is a rather a revelation of Jesus Christ and God’s forgiveness for us in Jesus Christ that allows us to forgive. Once again; only those that have been forgiven can forgive. Indeed; 1 John 4.19 is true: ‘we love because He first loved us’. It really does start with Him and a revelation of Him seeing the face of Christ in scriptures and being given a revelation of God’s Love for us in Jesus Christ destroys our sinful worldview and ushers us into an understanding of just how wide, rich and heavy His Love is for us.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4.32)
‘But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.’ (Psalm 130.4)
In fact; forgiveness and being forgiven much – applies to everything. Absolutely everything. Everything. Our entire worldview and ability to be Christ like within this perishing world rests on the extent to which God permits us to understand just how much he loves us. The serpent will convince us our sin is as deep as the grave; but the Lord tells us that His Grace is deeper still. Forgiveness is everything. Absolutely everything. Only the one that has been ‘forgiven much’ can forgive much one that offended her. Only the one that has been ‘forgiven much’ can love much as you have an understanding that Christ in His Holiness was more alien to us that anyone here on earth we may claim is our worst enemy. The wider our revelation of God’s Love for us; the wider our ability to love, be patient and kind and long-suffering to those who are most wicked to us. It really does start with Him; Christ.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1.9)
‘For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you’ (Matt 6.14)
It is not the ability of a Christian woman to love her husband that proves that she is a christian; it is rather the revelation of Jesus Christ and God’s love for us in Jesus Christ that allows a wife to love her husband. It is not the ability of a Christian man to submit to Christ and love his wife that proves that he is a christian; it is rather – the revelation of Jesus Christ and God’s Love for us in Jesus Christ that allows a man to submit to Christ and love his wife. A christian who is lonely and has no one in this life yet has been given a revelation of God’s Love for her or him will do exploits in this world. Not in terms of being well known and celebrated by humanity; but will do exploits in advancing His Kingdom and His Will here on earth; sharing God’s Love and God’s Word into the lives of the perishing through their actions and being used by God to draw men and women and young ones onto Him. O that we are given a revelation of His Love and Forgiveness for us in Christ Jesus! O that He will be lifted up over our lives; that all around us will be drawn onto Him.
‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered’ (Romans 4.7)
‘And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.’ (Luke 24.47)
The ability to embody 1 Corinthians 13 Love; the ability to be loving, to be kind, to not be envious, to not boast, the ability to not be arrogant or rude, nor rejoice at wrongdoing, the ability bear all things and endure all things (1 Cor 13.4-7) comes from the extent God’s Grace and Holy Spirit allows us to behold the face of Jesus Christ in the scriptures and be given a revelation of God’s Love for us in Christ. Unbelievers will live a life of piled up unforgiveness; believers live a life of piled up forgiveness. I think it was Max Lucado who said ‘Apple trees bear apples, wheat stalks produce wheat, and forgiven people forgive people.’
Prayer: O Lord; widen my understanding of your love for me in Christ Jesus. Widen my understanding of the forgiveness and mercy you have bestowed upon me in Christ and may I be used by you to reflect that onto others.