Bishop Ronald for Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine
April 2018, Faith Life

THE BLESSING OF FORGIVENESS

THE BLESSING OF FORGIVENESS

Bishop Ronald for Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine
Bishop Ronald Hardy, Sr. is the Pastor of Faith, Hope and Love Worship Centers of Baton Rouge and St. Francisville, Louisiana

Today, I want to inspire you to open your heart to experience t

he blessing of forgiveness. The

word blessing is defined as a beneficial thing for which one i

s grateful, something that brings

well-being. It is important to understand that forgiveness is

for our well-being. The Lord knows

what is best for us. This is why He commands us to forgive.

There are some key benefits or advantages to forgiveness.

So, why is this so important to

know? Because it may seem like you are coming up on the sh

ort end of the stick when you

operate in the spirit of forgiveness, but you are not.

Listen to what the Apostle Paul says to the church at Co

rinth in II Corinthians 2:10-11:

To

whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it

, for your

sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are

not ignorant of his devices.

”Today, I want to inspire you to open your heart to experience t

he blessing of forgiveness. The

word blessing is defined as a beneficial thing for which one i

s grateful, something that brings

well-being. It is important to understand that forgiveness is

for our well-being. The Lord knows

what is best for us. This is why He commands us to forgive.

There are some key benefits or advantages to forgiveness.

So, why is this so important to

know? Because it may seem like you are coming up on the sh

ort end of the stick when you

operate in the spirit of forgiveness, but you are not.

Listen to what the Apostle Paul says to the church at Co

rinth in II Corinthians 2:10-11:

To

whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it

, for your

sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are

not ignorant of his devices.

”Today, I want to inspire you to open your heart to experience t

he blessing of forgiveness. The

word blessing is defined as a beneficial thing for which one i

s grateful, something that brings

well-being. It is important to understand that forgiveness is

for our well-being. The Lord knows

what is best for us. This is why He commands us to forgive.

There are some key benefits or advantages to forgiveness.

So, why is this so important to

know? Because it may seem like you are coming up on the sh

ort end of the stick when you

operate in the spirit of forgiveness, but you are no

There are some key benefits or advantages to forgiveness. So, why is this so important to know? Because it may seem like you are coming up on the short end of the stick when you operate in the spirit of forgiveness, but you are not.

Listen to what the Apostle Paul says to the church at Corinth in II Corinthians 2:10-11: “To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

You see, unforgiveness allows Satan to get the advantage over us.  However, forgiveness allows us to get the advantage over him. So, you should never feel that you are coming up on the short end of the stick when you operate in true forgiveness. So, let’s look at some of the Blessings of Forgiveness.

 Ephesians 4:30-32 says, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Forgiveness allows us to experience freedom to properly move forward in life. You must forgive, so you can put the past behind you. As long as your past is before you, it will block you from properly seeing your future, and it will also hinder you from embracing your present.

You see, unforgiveness keeps us emotionally trapped, which can result in different types of unhealthy emotions like bitterness, rage or anger. Bitterness is a smoldering resentment or wrath that produces rage. Rage is the heat of passion in the moment of anger. Anger is a more internally deep form of hostility or clamor[1]. You cannot allow yourself to stay trapped in these emotions, because it will rob you of God’s best for your life. Forgiveness is the key to getting free from these emotions. It is time for you to experience a freedom in your life through the Blessing of Forgiveness.

The second Blessing of Forgiveness is that it allows us to experience a new beginning. God’s open display of forgiveness through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, opens the door for a new beginning. Colossians 1:14 says, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” It is through His forgiveness that we are able to have a new-found relationship with Him.

            Forgiveness will always leave the door open for a possible “new start” in your relationship with the individual that you are forgiving. It is the key to leaving the door open for a possibility of another chance with that individual. However, please remember that forgiveness does not mean that you should continue to put yourself in the same position to be mistreated again. Forgiveness means that you are not holding any resentment, hatred or wishing any ill will towards that particular individual.

            Let me share a story with you about a new beginning. A young couple in my church was about to have their first child, which caused the wife to think about her husband’s situation with his father. The husband knew of his father, but he did not have his father’s last name. The wife wanted her husband to have his biological father’s last name, because she did not want their daughter to grow up carrying a last name that was not her true identity.  So, she asked her husband to talk to his biological father about signing his birth certificate, so he could have the same last name as his biological father. This would allow him to pass his biological father’s last name to his daughter.

Initially, he did not want to ask his father, because his father was not involved in his life. She continued to be persistent, but he still refused to do it.  Eventually, he got his hands on the book that I wrote, “Where is Daddy?” After reading the book, he shared with his wife that he would follow through with her request if his father would first read the book.

            So, they sent the book to his father. His father’s wife called and told him that his father was brought to tears while he read the book. So, he and his father decided to meet. They both expressed their feelings, and because he was willing to forgive his father for not being there for him while he was growing up, they were able to experience a new beginning in their relationship. The name was changed on the husband’s birth certificate, which allowed their newborn child to carry her true identity. The father and son have a good relationship now, because of the Blessing of Forgiveness. As I stated earlier, forgiveness opens the door for a new beginning.

            The last thing that I want to share is that forgiveness keeps us in good standing with our Heavenly Father. Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” So, if you have been struggling with forgiveness, it is time for you to forgive, so that you can walk in your new-found freedom.

            You might be saying that the individual does not deserve my forgiveness. That is exactly right. Forgiveness is not something that is earned or deserved. Forgiveness is something freely given. I have been confronted with this many times in my life. It hasn’t always been easy, but I had to choose to forgive. Forgiveness is an act of your own will. If you can see the blessing in forgiveness, then maybe it will become a little easier to forgive.


[1] Clamor: the cry of strife or contention; out of control and, lastly, evil speaking in the form of slander.

 

Bishop Ronald Hardy, Sr. is the Pastor of Faith, Hope and Love Worship Centers of Baton Rouge and St. Francisville, Louisiana a multifaceted ministry touching the lives of many. He is a preacher, teacher, prophet and author. God has given Bishop Hardy a Ministry of Restoration.

Bishop Hardy has authored two books, one that will enrich marriage entitled, “A Loke Like This”  and the other one “Where Is Daddy?” A book that brings restoration to the hearts of fathers and the fatherless. He also authors the Daily Word, a Monday-Friday devotional that helps people navigate through their daily life. This daily Word can be viewed on the face book page of Faith, Hope and Love Worship Center.

Bishop Hardy is married to Robbin Hardy and they have four living children and seven grandchildren.

April 2018, Family Life

The Love of the Father – Earthly and Divine by Robert Maxie

The Love of the Father… Earthly and divine

Robert and Aminga Maxie
Robert and Aminga Maxie spend time with their children Kianna, Robert Jr., Olivia, Elijah, and Jon’Benet

By: Robert Maxie

It was in February of 2014 that I woke up from a dream with an urgent need to call my father. I grabbed my cell phone and dialed his number, and to my surprise he picked up the phone on the first ring. I tried making small talk but it was mostly silent. My father and I have never been close. Years of physical abuse, alcoholism, and domestic violence made it very hard for me to build any type of relationship with him. Finally, he asked me what I wanted and I replied “a better relationship.” I told him I loved him and just wanted his love as well. After I finished speaking, there was an awkward silence. Finally, he said, “I think our relationship is just fine.” His cold reply hurt, but I did what I felt God wanted me to do. So I had peace.

In May I received a voicemail from my mother asking me to call home as soon as possible. She stated that Dad awoke that morning unable to see and she was taking him to the doctor. We would later find out that he had brain cancer that was very aggressive. Within a month, he was in hospice. I flew home to see him knowing that this would be my last time. My father, who was always so huge in my eyes, looked frail and worn. The brain tumor had taken his sight completely and he was quickly losing normal functioning. My mom announced my presence, saying, “Your son is here.” At that moment, my father looked up as if he could see me and said, “I have no son.” My mother quickly stated that he didn’t know what he was saying … those were my father’s last words to me.

My father passed away on July 1, and on that day I was discharged from the Navy and started preparing to move back to Louisiana. Within a week, we were home, moving into a new house and preparing for my father’s funeral. Everything happened so fast there was no time to grieve and I don’t remember even crying — until one evening when my mom called and asked me how I was doing. I said I was fine and she replied, “You do know your father loved you?” Within seconds, I was on the floor crying and screaming, “No I don’t.”

I heard those words in my head every day — “I don’t have a son.” I felt like Esau standing at the bed of Isaac, saying, “Would you just bless me!” In my mind I know my father was sick and probably didn’t know what he was saying, but for the last four years the enemy has had a field day attacking my mind with thought after thought and with lie after lie. I was sinking deeper and deeper into a depression and no one knew I was suffering.

One day I just got tired of letting the enemy torment my mind, and instead of focusing on what my earthly father did or did not do, I would instead focus on my heavenly father and his unconditional love for me. He never denies me and he calls me son. For so long I felt like an orphan and I began reading and talking about the heart of God the father and what he says about me. I allowed Jesus into those father wounds so he could heal me. I needed God to remove the fear of rejection from my heart. The pain was killing me slowly and making me become bitter.

(Galatians 4:5-7) “To redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, Abba, Father. So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”

He called me a son! He is my perfect father. I spent years looking for a father figure only to continually end up hurt and disappointed. But God has been there the whole time waiting for me to forgive and to let go of the pain of the past. It doesn’t matter the size of the wound … I learned that a person never finds healing until we forgive.

Today I choose to remember the best about my earthly father because I know that in his own way, he did love me and he did the best he could with what he had. But my identity comes from God and every day I feel his love and acceptance. So as I raise my three boys, I tell them every day how much I love them, but more importantly, I want them to know how much God loves them. I want them to know that I am human and I will make mistakes — but God will never leave them nor forsake them. He loves them unconditionally and that will never change.

(1 John 3:1) “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”