Forgiveness is like a River

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I had the privilege this past week of being part of my daughters wedding. She and her husband are both pastors children. Both fathers had the honor of sharing a message to the new couple. I would like to share with you this Sabbath what I shared with the newly weds.

When two rivers merge for the first time, there are a lot of rumbling waters. Water sprays into the air, waters crashing into the rocks. However, as the waters continue to merge, the river becomes deeper, stronger and calmer as the rivers finally become one. Something happens as you go further down the river, the rumblings are now behind, and they are in the past. The first lesson of the River of Forgiveness is don’t bring up the past, look forward. The past is forgiven, it’s done, it’s history, and it’s forgiven. Whenever you get into an argument, and you will, don’t bring up the past. If you bring up the past, was it truly forgiven? Whenever you bring up the past, you also bring up the emotions of the rumbling and tumbling of the waters past. When Jesus forgave, He forgave. The Bible is clear.

Isaiah 38:17 “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.”

Let’s follow the example of Jesus. He casts our sins behind Him. Don’t bring up the past.

Rivers have bends and turns. When a river turns several things happen. One part of the river slows down while the other part speeds up. At times the river develops on the edges eddies where the water swirls and goes back up stream. The second lesson of the River of Forgiveness – don’t get caught up in the swirls of life. The eddies can cause havoc to a marriage. These waters get caught in a viscous cycle. Some times you have will arguments and debates that will go back and forth. It becomes a viscous cycle that appears that no one can stop. It’s a constant swirl of emotions. No one is giving in. No one knows how to stop it. Don’t get caught in the swirls of life. You can end the swirls, by taking a deep breath, and being the first to ask for forgiveness. “Honey, I am sorry for letting this go this long, can you forgive me?” End the swirls, before they last for days. The Bible is clear.

Ephesians 4:26,27 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”

Rivers go through ups and downs. At times they drop in their level and go through what we call waterfalls. Like Niagara Falls, at the bottom of the falls the waters are turbulent until they finally make their way further down. In life we will have our ups and downs. We will have our falls and turbulences. We say things that we wish we could just take back. Words can really hurt your partner. The wounds can run deep. The third lesson of the River of Forgiveness; wait till you are past the bottom of the fall. You can’t hear clearly until you get to the calmer section of the river. When you are in the midst of the turbulence, you can’t think clearly. However, when you wait a little, and things settle down, and you become calmer in your spirit, you will be able to discuss what just happened.

The Bible is clear Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”

Remember the River of Forgiveness When you first get married; you both are two rivers that are joining together. There will be rumblings and tumbling’s. This is normal. Remember, as the river flows, you move on, forgive. Don’t bring up the past. As you flow down the river, you will have your bends and turns in life. Remember; don’t get caught up in the swirls of life. Stop the cycle by asking for forgiveness. Finally, you will have your ups and downs, and even your falls. Remember; wait until you reach the calmer waters down stream when you finally talk. It’s hard to listen when you are in the midst of the emotional falls. Forgiveness is like a River.

Here are some additional words of council.

“None of us, of ourselves, can do anything about our past sins. We can’t change our hearts or make ourselves in the least good. But God promises to do it for us through Jesus. All He asks is that we believe His promise, ask forgiveness for our sins, and commit ourselves to Him. In other words, we make a decision; we use our will. And the moment we believe – believe we are forgiven and cleansed – God supplies the fact. So keep thinking about that paralyzed person. He was healed. And spiritually, the same can happen to us, too, if we believe it.” AC 44.2

“The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order to gain forgiveness. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression. He that ‘confesseth and forsaketh’ his sin shall ‘have mercy’. Proverbs 28:13.” Acts of the Apostles p.522

May the Lord bless us this Sabbath as we remember the River of Forgiveness

Angel J. Rodriguez, D.Min
Houston Central – Senior Pastor

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