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First Forgive

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
August 6, 2021 8:00 pm

First Forgive

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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August 6, 2021 8:00 pm

We called ourselves “sisters in Christ.” But my white friend and I had begun to act like enemies. Over a café breakfast one morning, we argued unkindly over our differing racial views. Then we parted, with me vowing not to see her again. One year later, however, we were hired by the same ministry—working in the same department, unable not to reconnect. Awkwardly at first, we talked over conflicts. Then, over time, God helped us to apologize to each other and to heal, but also give the ministry our best.

God also healed the bitter division between Esau and his twin brother Jacob, also blessing both their lives. A onetime schemer, Jacob had robbed Esau of their father’s blessing. But twenty years later, God called Jacob to return to their homeland. So, Jacob sent ahead bountiful gifts to appease Esau. “But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept” (Genesis 33:4).  

Their reunion stands as a classic example of God’s urging to settle anger with a brother or sister before offering our gifts—talents or treasuries—to Him (Matthew 5:22). Instead, “first go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift” (v. 24). Jacob obeyed God, by reconciling with Esau, and later setting up an altar to the Lord (Genesis 33:20). What a beautiful order—first strive for forgiveness and reconciliation. Then at His altar, He receives us.

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. Today's reading, titled First Forgive, was written by Patricia Rabin. We called ourselves sisters in Christ, but my white friend and I had begun to act like enemies. Over a café breakfast one morning, we argued unkindly over our differing racial views. Then we parted, with me vowing not to see her again. One year later, however, we were hired by the same ministry, working in the same department, unable not to reconnect.

Awkwardly, at first, we talked over conflicts. Then, over time, God helped us to apologize to each other, and to heal, and to give the ministry our best. God also healed the bitter division between Esau and his twin brother Jacob, and blessed both their lives. A one-time schemer, Jacob had robbed Esau of their father's blessing.

But twenty years later, God called Jacob to return to their homeland. So, Jacob sent ahead bountiful gifts to appease Esau. Genesis 33 verse 4 says, But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him.

He threw his arms around his neck and kissed him, and they wept. Their reunion stands as a classic example of God's urging to settle anger with a brother or sister before offering our gifts, talents, or treasures to Him. Instead, Matthew 5 verse 24 instructs, First go and be reconciled to them, then come and offer your gift. Jacob obeyed God by reconciling with Esau, and later setting up an altar to the Lord.

What a beautiful order! First strive for forgiveness and reconciliation. Then, at his altar, he receives us. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Genesis chapter 33 verses 1 through 11. Jacob looked up, and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two female servants. He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear.

He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him. He threw his arms around his neck and kissed him, and they wept. Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children.

Who are these with you? He asked. Jacob answered, They are the children God has graciously given your servant. Then the female servants and their children approached and bowed down. Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down.

Last of all came Joseph and Rachel, and they too bowed down. Esau asked, What's the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met? To find favor in your eyes, my lord, he said. But Esau said, I already have plenty, my brother.

Keep what you have for yourself. No, please, said Jacob, if I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God. Now that you have received me favorably, please accept the present that was brought to you. For God has been gracious to me, and I have all I need.

And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it. Let's pray. Dear God, if we're harboring bitterness or ill feelings toward someone today, please help us take the initiative to make things right with them, even if we feel we are the ones who were wronged. God, give us the courage to embrace them and show them grace, mercy and forgiveness, even if they may not give the same in return. Make us healers and reconcilers, just as you are the great healer and reconciler. Oh, thank you, Lord. It's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-17 06:26:33 / 2023-09-17 06:28:33 / 2

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