Defining Moments

Read: Genesis 45:1-15
martin-luther-on-forgivenessDefining Moments

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Gen. 45:15 (NLT) Then Joseph kissed each of his brothers and wept over them, and then they began talking freely with him.

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1.    Joseph plead with his brothers not to be angry at themselves for selling him into slavery.

2.    It wasn’t until Joseph showed forgiveness, that their barriers came down and they began talking freely.

3.    Joseph tells them that it was God who made him master over all the land of Egypt, and not what they did.

4.    Joseph had a choice between revenge and forgiveness.  God brought Joseph to this moment to display His mercy and forgiveness. This moment defined Joseph as a man of God.

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Is bitterness really like drinking poison to inflict revenge on those we refuse to forgive? As insane as that sounds, it happens every day. We all have been guilty of it. People divided, and protests to show outrage for another’s actions or words. We want to ensure that there are consequences for our mistakes and crimes.  However, as Christians we should want to forgive, for fear of drinking that poison. God always turns our tragedies, mistakes, and crimes into beauty and life, according to His will.  If it seems impossible to forgive as Christian, imagine how difficult it must be for non-Christians who have never accepted God’s forgiveness.

A person says horrendous things, and people understandably become outraged and express their distain. Through this fog of outrage, it is difficult to remember how we once forgave another person, who was guilty of equally horrendous things.  Perhaps, hope comes from when we remember how capable we are of great forgiveness and love, no matter the circumstances.  God never stopped blessing Joseph, no matter the horrendous things he had to endure.  Joseph remained faithful. His defining moment, was when he forgave his brothers instead of holding on to his distain.

We all have choices to either reflect God’s mercy and love, or our selfish distain which will continue to separate and poison us.  Christians and non-Christians alike understand the necessity of forgiveness and the insanity of division.  I learned through my bitterness, that invariably it always leads to greater suffering and separation.  Hope comes when we remember Christ’s love, forgiveness, and our ability to do the same through Him. Our choices define us in our moments here on earth.

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Loving Father. Heal our communities and keep Your loving guiding hand on us. Help us remember the great forgiveness, love, and mercy You show us each and every day. Please forgive me when I fall short. Use me as You will.  In Your name I pray, Amen.
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