“But none of these things move me, nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with JOY…” Acts 20:24
Soon another year will slip into history. I believe our days on earth are moments of preparation for endless fellowship and activity with Jesus. As I wrote in our new book, THE HIGHER CALL, we can learn to live in the “Vestibule of Heaven”. For this New Year, what matters most is to complete the work Jesus assigned to us, and finish our race with joy! We are able to do this by making the DECISION to put the frustrating and hurtful things of the past behind us.
One of the first lessons God showed me to teach inside prison was the power of FORGIVENESS. As a “church lady” for 40 years, I did not value the tremendous power it has in our lives UNTIL God revealed it in the hospital. When we ask for HIS forgiveness, He separates us from our sin, the past, and everything that was tied to it. As we learn to forgive others, we literally protect our lives from satan.
Forgiveness “cuts the strings” from offenses like anger, gossip, hurts, sickness, fear and pain. When we CHOOSE to forgive, the Blood of Jesus washes us clean and becomes a protective wall around us. satan cannot break through that wall. When we “cling” to offenses through bitterness, lying, deception and emotional wounds, we give satan the legal right to enter our lives.
Forgiveness violently stops the evil that tries to enter into our minds after we experience an offense. Jesus wants to heal us from our past. We must STOP thinking about the situation and replace offenses with loving, pleasant thoughts. True forgiveness is an ACT of our will. We can choose to finish our race with JOY!
Philippians 4:8-10 The Passion Translation
Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising Him always.