Forgiveness: The First Part of Agape Love

Those of us with ears to hear the “high calling” to be the sons and daughters of the King of the Universe—nothing less—have a “calling and election” to be made sure. To be the offspring of a King, it is understood that we must have the same spiritual DNA as the King Himself. Why? Because the children of kings are expected to grow from being princes and princesses into kings and queens, wielding the same power as their Father.

This, brothers and sisters, is where we are in the Father’s plan and purpose. He is so big and magnificent and grand that it is difficult to begin to wrap our tiny minds around the concept of who He really is. He is behind everything and in front of everything. His omniscience is staggering, even to knowing how many hairs we now have on our heads. He even knows when a sparrow checks out and becomes permanently grounded. And He knows our hearts, what we think and do or don’t do. Hey, He wrote the book of life and knows every jot and tittle of our thoughts. He even knows our futures and how we will get there—things we are clueless about—He knows.

He knows what each of the elect needs to fulfill our calling. We must remember: “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” That quote does not just refer to the life and death of our current earthly lives. It means also He gives into our lives both “good” things and “bad” things. He takes the good away from us when we have had too much, like us monitoring how many sweets a child needs. And He supplies pain and sorrow when it is needed to effect the outcome that is written in His book about us. He has said, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” (Isa. 45: 7).

If you have ever found yourself in a spiritually dark place, a place of grief and sorrow, Yahweh did it, for He has created darkness and evil. If you came out of the darkness, even temporarily, into a peaceful lull of tranquility, then Yahweh did it. For He is the Creator of peace. It is He who prescribes the exact right amount of “good” and “evil” that we need in order to grow. Too much glorious sunshine will dry up and kill the plant. Too much rain will drown it. He is the husbandman; He knows how much we can take of each, to make us grow up into Him

Understanding by Books

The body of Christ grows as its members supply nourishment one to another. “…Every joint supplies…[and] makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph. 4: 16). He has created us to be givers and sharers of His truth to each other.

A book called SonPlacing by Garrison Russell has supplied a much needed truth in order to help this vessel to continue growing. He describes agape love, how it is the full maturity that we all need to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives. Agape Love is God. It is what we are to love mankind with. But how do we do this? How do I love mankind like Christ did? What do I do to place agape love into my life? [1]

To forgive any slight is a big first step. For He forgave and has commanded us to forgive those who have harmed us in some way. To be His child, we must do what He did and does: He forgives. We have all forgiven slights and oversights by those we love. But when God sees that we are ready for the big time, when He hears our prayers asking Him for more and deeper truths, then He will administer pain so deep that we will at first run from the very thought of it, like Jonah ran from going to Nineveh. We must remember that He is the Creator of both good and evil, and He will use both to accomplish His will. Just ask Job.

To enable growth, He allows “bad” things to happen to us. For it is only the act of forgiving the “bad” thing done to us that will cause agape love to grow within our hearts. I am learning that forgiveness is agape love.

The production of the fruit of agape love within us is only realized by forgiving those who sin against us. This is heavy stuff; someone has wronged you, hurt you, shamed you, ridiculed you, abused you, mocked you. These sorrows produce an aching hole in your heart. These sorrows are wounds found deep within your breast. The wounds of betrayal will be so deep that they create a cavern of dry tears. It is in that suffocating sorrow that you must choose a path out of the torture. Either you swear vengeance, or you run out of that cavern and seek an elixir to make you forget the pain, or you sink back into the darkness and give up…

…Or, you forgive the perpetrators of your betrayal and sorrow. For there is no power given except it be given from heaven (John 19: 11). God gave your perpetrator power, and He has also given you power to forgive them and thereby overcome them with love.

Look, all of us have been run over and left for dead. But one thing is certain. All the sorrows and pain and anguish and heartache and tears—all of these trials and tribulations of life will be utterly and completely in vain if we do not forgive those who trespassed against us. For all the betrayals and slights and injustices are really only God’s preparations for our future perfection, which is to become like Him. Forgiving is the first step.            Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

[1] Russell, Garrison R. SonPlacing; pp. 78-137. Xulon Publishing: Juneau, Alaska. 3933 Old Garvey Road/Colville, Washington 99114

 

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