More Blessed to Give?

The Gospel is profound, yet amazingly simple. It demonstrates the Father’s willingness to sacrifice His Son as the price for our salvation – a decision that was incredibly costly, yet freely offered to all.

The beauty of the Father’s plan is that He not only rescues us from a path of waywardness and destruction, but He also forgives and lovingly restores us into a meaningful relationship with Him. Consider the words of Isaiah: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more,” (Isaiah 43:25, NIV – emphasis mine).

Since you and I have so much to gain from the Father’s forgiveness, it amazes me to think that He forgives us for His own benefit. Yet, He clearly delights in calling us His children, and never ceases to lavish His love on us (I John 3:1).

 Final Thoughts…

It couldn’t have been easy for the Father to send His Son to bear the weight of our sin, and still today, offering grace isn’t always a simple choice. Yet, His example reminds us that forgiveness is not just best for the one who is forgiven. It is best for the one who forgives.

Before signing off, I leave you with this question: when it comes to forgiveness, is it more blessed to give than to receive? I’ll let you decide. All I know for sure is that both the giver and the receiver are immensely blessed by this incredible gift.

Up Ahead on “The Path”

Next week, I will close out the year with some reflections about The Path we have traveled over the past several months. As always, thanks for reading and sharing The Path of a Peacemaker blog!

On behalf of Peacemaker Ministries, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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Are We There Yet?

With so many families and loved ones being separated by the miles, sometimes the “season to be jolly” is also the season for a road trip. Many a weary holiday traveler, especially of the younger variety, are quick to ask – every five minutes or so – this one burning question: are we there yet?

As adults we may be much older and wiser, yet when it comes to the difficult journey to forgiveness, we wrestle with the same kinds of questions. Are we there yet? Have we really forgiven? What signs tell us that we are close?

Especially when the hurt is deep, it can be hard to go beyond the pain of the past and move forward in forgiveness. Yet, we are blessed to experience the perfect example of redemptive love extended by our Heavenly Father: For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us, (Psalm 103:11-12, NIV).

Final Thoughts…

To be sure, there are times when the journey of a peacemaker is long and filled with difficulty. We may even be tempted to abandon the pursuit of our final destination – peace. In those moments, I pray that the Father will give us the grace to forgive others as He has forgiven us, removing the transgressions of others “as far as the east is from the west.” I’m not there quite yet, but I thank God for you, my traveling companions, as together we continue along The Path of a Peacemaker.

Up Ahead on “The Path”

Next week, we will continue our reflections on how the story of forgiveness unfolds in our lives. As always, thanks for reading and sharing The Path of a Peacemaker blog!

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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Gift Wrapped Grace

In this Advent season, the trappings of the holidays can be overwhelming. There are trees to be trimmed, lights to be hung, and gifts to be bought and wrapped. Even as we sing Christmas carols which cheerfully proclaim the birth of the newborn king, sadly, the amazing story of redemption sometimes gets lost in the hubbub of the holidays.

Lest we forget, the reality is that without the cradle, there could be no cross. Without a compassionate Father willing to sacrifice His only Son, there could be no salvation from sin. Without His Son, Jesus, being willing to carry out the Father’s plan, we could not fully know the freedom that comes through forgiveness.

May we never forget that the same gift of grace, Who came wrapped in swaddling clothes, offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice so that we could experience what it means to be truly loved and forgiven. Throughout this season, and all year long, may we offer the gift of grace to others, “forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave [us],” (Ephesians 4:32, NIV).

Up Ahead on “The Path”

Next week, we will reflect on the forgiveness our Heavenly Father has extended to us. As always, thanks for reading and sharing The Path of a Peacemaker blog!

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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Frequent Forgiveness

As I read Scripture, I am struck by Peter’s boldness and willingness to vocalize some of the thoughts and questions that I may have expressed to Jesus if I had been numbered among His twelve disciples. In one such candid and memorable moment, Peter asked Jesus this probing question: ‘“Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”’ (Matt. 18:21, NIV).

Jesus shattered Peter’s relatively low expectations with this poignant response: ‘“I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times’” (Matt. 18:22, NIV). Jesus wanted Peter to see the expansive nature of authentic forgiveness, which does not gain any merit in numeric quantification, but rather is an outflow of a heart transformed by the Savior.

Especially when we are deeply wounded, offering the gift of grace is a choice that may need to be made moment by moment and day by day. Rather than forgiveness being a one-time event, it may take a radical “seventy-seven times” commitment to combat any underlying resentment that threatens the ongoing process of reconciliation and peace.

Final Thoughts…

A daily commitment to love others through the extension of grace can be a challenge. To be sure, there are times when we all fall short in this endeavor. Yet, if we pursue the Lord and continuously strive toward this end, we reduce the opportunity for a painful “root of bitterness” (Heb. 12:15) to take hold in our lives.

Have you tried to forgive someone for a past offense, but find yourself still struggling to put resentment and bitterness behind you? I encourage you to seek the Father’s heart, then consider this: Have I completely surrendered to God my hurt over this situation? Am I willing to grant forgiveness daily – or as often as needed – to help me get past the resentment and bitterness that may be growing in my heart?

Up Ahead on “The Path”

Next week, we will continue to reflect on how to move forward in forgiveness. As always, thanks for reading and sharing The Path of a Peacemaker blog!

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Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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