What if the next great move of God only comes through forgiving and loving our enemies? What else could be holding God back from healing our nation, since we've tried everything else? We live in a wounded nation, with wounded families. We've all been wounded.
Joseph's Choice to Forgive
Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers at age seventeen. Then they sold him as a slave to Potiphar's house. Thirteen years passed from the time his brothers sold him into slavery until he was freed and appointed as a leader over Egypt, and he served two of those years in prison for the false accusation from Potiphar's wife. I believe Joseph's choice to live in forgiveness for thirteen years is what took him to second in command of all Egypt.
Perhaps Joseph's example of choosing to live unwounded is the answer to saving our nation. At the height of saving his family and the nation of Egypt, Joseph discovered that what his brothers meant for evil, God meant it for good (see Genesis 50:20). Could forgiving and loving our enemies (or our brothers) be one of God's ways of us influencing the governments of this world? I believe so.
Forgiveness at the Cross
Then Jesus, from the Cross, said, "Father, forgive them; they don't know what they are doing" (see Luke 23:34). Those words released the greatest move of God in history, saving the vilest of sinners such as us. I believe if Jesus had not forgiven on that Cross, His Blood would have been shed in vain. But He wanted to, because love wins!
We can hate what people do to us, but we can't hate people. Hating people disqualifies our prayers for them. Everyone was on His Cross.
"You have heard it said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in Heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Matthew 5:43-45 NIV). Yet another opportunity to become more like Jesus. (Photo via Piqsels)
Forgiving and loving our enemies is a crucial principle in our walk with the Lord. This is what Jesus teaches His followers. In the same way, our nation awaits its healing through a people willing to forgive and love each other unconditionally.
Perhaps We Talk Too Much about Our Enemies
I believe what caused the miracle that allowed Israel to take Jericho and watch the walls fall was them keeping their mouths shut for seven days. If they hadn't, I think they probably would have talked themselves out of it. Sometimes the best thing to do is to say nothing at all about your enemy.
"'Do not shout; do not even talk,' Joshua commanded. 'Not a single word from any of you until I tell you to shout. Then shout!'" (Joshua 6:10 NLT)
Friends, What Will You Choose?
Dear friends, your prayers keep taking us to unexpected places that make us wonder how we got there. Although difficult, the more I choose to be forgiving and live unwounded, the more I notice God's favor increasing in my life, family and ministry—so much so, at times, I feel my head is spinning.
As my title above expresses, "Love Wins!" I believe offenses come to promote us, if we will choose to forgive and love unconditionally. I'm learning to love. I believe this quote from our son, Joel, says it all: "I think the next great move of God will be people awakening to how loved they really are. Therefore, they will also be able to love others well."
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Blowing the Shofar Ministry
Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown, Maryland for the past 40 years where he is in leadership. He faithfully served in Prison Ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years and now travels full-time, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. Bill's calling is to encourage the Body of Christ to move forward into God's destiny as they are sent into the harvest field. "Humility and Humor" characterize his ministry as he brings forth a fresh word that is "in season" proclaiming the Word of the Lord! The shofar or (ram's horn) is at times used in his meetings, breaking the powers of darkness over regions, churches and households. Many of God's messages which Bill ministers prophetically, come out of every day life with his family and friends.
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