And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.
And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law,. Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people,. While Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you. They said, "Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous and God-fearing man well spoken of by the entire nation of the Jews, was divinely directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and hear a message from you.
Deepening the Soul for Justice
And on the next day he got up and went away with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. On the following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am just a man.
And he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. So I ask for what reason you have sent for me.
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Now then, we are all here present before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord. The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.
In the New Testament, Christ offered his life for forgiveness of sin. Forgiveness is an act of our agency and will; it is not a feeling; however, the feeling of forgiveness does follow as we forgive others. When we exercise our agency to forgive, all the powers of heaven by His design come to our aid. Forgiveness may also require forgiving God.
Know that, as soon as we confess, God forgives us 1 John If the offending person is a Christian, Mat requires you to reconcile with your brother before bringing a gift to the altar. Forgiveness is not however dependent upon reconciliation. Many people are bound by bitterness against dead people. You must forgive them also. If someone is holding a sin against you, it is their problem, not yours.
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They have to get it right before God, just like you do. Parable of the Unforgiving Servant In Matthew 18, Jesus sheds expanded light on the consequences which result from the sin unforgiveness. Concerning Judgment 1. Despite the fact that being offended and being judgmental have similar but not identi- cal characteristics, their consequences are the same. If we do not deal with the offense quickly, it produces fruit in opposition to that pro- moted by God—the fruit of sin, hurt, anger, outrage, jealousy, resentment, strife, bit- terness, hatred, and envy, all which serve only to harden the heart, creating a loss of sensitivity and a blurring of our spiritual vision.
If Satan can convince us to make judgments out of for instance resentment or anger, or a critical and negative attitude, we will promptly begin hearing from an occult spirit.
1-32 Healing of the Spirit
When we judge, Satan draws us into another spiritual realm in which we can be more easily manipulated. We are deceived into believing the wrong things; we begin, for example, to selectively believe the negative about people and their actions, which brings about division within relationships. We also physically and emotionally sepa- rate ourselves from others. Sometimes the spirits of deception and delusion enter, to further deceive and bind us.
At this point, it is wise to remember that it is not our responsibility to bring correction—correction, or conviction, is the responsibility of the Lord. Those with the gift of discerning of spirits are particularly susceptible to this trap of the adversary. We judge the motives of others, thereby discrediting their worth which is great in the sight of God. Sometimes we judge groups of people, ethnic groups, or certain cultures. When we exercise a critical and judging nature, we are actually in rebellion against God Num. Now is a good time to take stock of, or to examine, your own life.
Have I ever had a critical, fault-finding attitude towards someone else? This is not always the case. We can be sincere, not realizing that we are sincerely wrong about another individual. We are all susceptible to these varying kinds of de- ception if we are not mindfully aware of these forms of entrapment and ever humbly repentant in our relationship with God.
Root of Bitterness If we do not deal in a timely manner with our unforgiveness and judgment Eph it may eventually turn into bitterness. Heb 3 Unforgiveness www. Bitterness comes with several other spirits: hatred, unforgiveness, resentment, anger, retaliation. They all may need to be cast out.
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We may be making a false judgment before its time. We need to release God to be God—to relinquish our will to Him and our expectations of Him. In these instances, we need to tell God we are sorry and to ask for His forgiveness. For Those Who Have Offended Others When someone is obedient to the commandment in Matt and confronts you with an offense you have committed against them, you must remember to humble yourself. Please forgive me. This must be your response even though you feel you have done nothing wrong and that you have been falsely accused.
Healing Relationships Deliverance may not occur if the seeker has problems in their relationships with their father or mother. We must honor them Ex. This is the first commandment with a promise that if we honor our fathers and mothers, it will go well with us for the rest of our life. We must forgive them Mat. This means respect them, and be willing to do anything to help them.
It means that we must follow their directions as long as we live under their roof. If one or both of their parents did not spend time holding the seeker, or telling them they were loved, or if they were conceived out of wedlock rejection is likely to be present.
Other inner healing may be required if verbal, physical or sexual abuse is revealed. The minister is looking for hurts, or emotional reactions to hurts such as resentment, anger, rejection, self-pity or depression.
When ministering to seekers, ask them early about these relationships with father and mother, and any unforgiveness. Becoming Unoffendable As spiritually mature adults, our goal should be to develop an unoffendable heart, to become unoffendable. In several places, the scriptures tell us not to be offended Ps. While none of us can achieve this goal immediately, the following guidelines may be helpful: 1. We are exhorted not to let the sun go down on our wrath Eph. We are to recon- cile quickly; the longer we delay, the harder it becomes.
Extend forgiveness—which is required, but we are not obligated to trust.
Forgiveness is mandatory; trust must be earned. The Lord calls us to love them, not necessarily to enjoy their company. How to Forgive 1. It takes effort to be free of unforgiveness. You have to recognize you are hurt through conviction and confess it.
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Take a pencil in hand and pray to God that He will reveal anyone for whom you have unforgiveness. Write their names below. Do not be surprised at the number God re- veals. Share your list in confession with a trusted friend or pastor.
Ask this trusted friend or pastor to pray with you, that the Holy Spirit would further reveal to you any persons for whom you may still harbor unforgiveness—though you may have already forgotten them. We seldom see all of our own "stuff. Remember, the Lord does not require you to reconcile with the person if they are un- willing to do so.
Reconciliation requires forgiveness on the part of both parties. Know, though, that God does require you to be willing to reconcile. If you have difficulty in forgiving someone tell the Lord, "I am willing to be made will- ing by an act of my agency and will. He will forgive 3 Unforgiveness www. Make sure you are able to forgive this person or get help by asking others to pray for you to accomplish this commitment. If you have a hard time forgiving someone, ask Jesus to fill you with His own under- standing and love for the other party to do for you what you cannot do for yourself and to pour out His forgiving love into your heart.
Ask God to let you see the other party as He sees them. Sometimes the unforgiveness has a root in a previous traumatic or abusive experience. In such cases, the above steps may be insufficient for releasing your offender and the assistance of a knowledgeable intercessor, who can pray for inner healing, may be re- quired. If you have tried to forgive and the unforgiveness keeps returning, inner heal- ing prayer is probably required.