At Manna Church, our mission is to glorify God by equipping His people to change their world and by planting churches with the same world-changing vision.

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Week 1

“Father, forgive them…”

DAY 1

 

DAY 1 

Theme - Jesus forgives the very people responsible for His pain WHILE IN the midst of said pain!

 

  • Luke 23:33-34 NLT When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

 

Devotional Thought:

  • Sometimes when reading through the Bible we can overlook the weight of what was happening in the moment.  While reading Luke 23, it can be easy to picture Jesus on the cross, serene and “Jesus-like”, totally at peace and dutifully fulfilling what was prophesied centuries before. However, what Luke recounts in only 70 verses took place over the span of about 12 hours.  In those 12 hours, Jesus experienced the most horrific beating and execution imaginable.  Simply surviving long enough to be placed on the cross was a miracle in itself.  It was in the midst of this pain, betrayal, and intense precursor to death that Jesus cried out “Father, forgive them…” His choice of words show us how necessary the act of forgiveness is for us as followers of Jesus. Not forgiveness after the offense, but during.  Not after everything has been made right, but before.

 

Going Deeper Questions:

  • Spend a few minutes pondering what Jesus went through during his final hours.  What does this tell you about His love for you?

  • Are you in the middle of an offense now? Who do you need to forgive, even if the wrong has not been made right?

 

Pray: “Lord, thank you for your unconditional, undeserved, unending love for me.  Thank you for sending Your Son to die a horrific death that paid the penalty for my sin and making me righteous in Your eyes. Help me to live my life as a response to that amazing act of love. Show me who I am holding in unforgiveness and help me to release them in my heart.”

 

DAY 2 

Theme - Forgiveness is not supposed to end with us. We are to forgive others just as Jesus has forgiven us.

 

  • Matthew 5:43-44 ESV “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”

  • Colossians 3:13 NLT Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

 

Devotional Thought:

  • What Jesus spoke on a sunny day on the Mount of Olives on a sunny day He modelled for us on a dark day on the hill of Golgotha.  Forgiveness is an essential quality that every follower of Jesus should practice, but pride often holds us back from doing so.  We find ourselves giving little room for people to make mistakes, often the people we love the most.  However, Romans 3 tells us that we have all fallen short, that we all have faults that need room for grace.

 

Going Deeper Questions:

  • Why is forgiveness an essential quality for us to practice?

  • Where do you find yourself people giving little room for their faults? Look for areas of frustration, continued conflict, and bitter feelings.

  • Where have you needed room for your own faults?

 

Pray: “God, thank You for making miles of room for my own faults. Help me to see where I am not following Your example with the people in my life.  Give me truckloads of grace and patience for others so that they can see a glimpse of who You are through my life.”

 

DAY 3 

Theme - Not only are we forgiven, but we are also ‘cleansed’. Don’t let guilt from your past affect your future. Jesus wiped the slate clean!

 

  • Acts 13:38-39 NLT “Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. 39 Everyone who believes in him is made right in God’s sight—something the law of Moses could never do.

  • 1 John 1:9 NLT But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

 

Devotional Thought:

  • Freedom starts with forgiveness and forgiveness is free for us, even though it cost Jesus His life.  It can be said that our sin is what put Jesus on the cross, but it was His love for us that kept Him there.  He became the payment for our sin so that we would not have to bear the consequences. Psalm 103:12 tells us that “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”  God is truly the one who forgives and forgets!

 

Going Deeper Questions:

  • What mistakes and sins from your past do you beat yourself up over?

 

 

Pray: “Lord, I accept Your forgiveness and the freedom from sin that You died for. Today I forgive myself for _______.  Help me to walk in Your freedom!”

 

DAY 4 

Theme - Forgiveness must also be extended to those who don’t make it easy.

 

  • Matthew 5:43-44 (ESV) - “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  44  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

  • Luke 6:28 NLT Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.

 

Devotional Thought:

  • “My prayers may not change the other person, but they will always change me.” When we pray for people who have offended us, it is almost never for their benefit, but rather, for ours.  In praying for and asking God to bless them, we go against all of our natural desires to retaliate. Remember, forgiveness is a choice where the actions lead and the feelings follow. To forgive is to choose freedom over the bondage of bitterness. Additionally. forgiveness is almost never a single choice, but a series of choices that you make to continually release from your heart the person who hurt you.

 

Going Deeper Questions:

  • Why is it important to pray for those who have offended us?

  • Why is it important for us to forgive even if we don’t feel like it?

  • Who do you need to “re-forgive” today?

 

Pray: “Lord, thank you for your continued forgiveness.  I let you down every day and yet you still forgive.  Help me to operate in the same way! Help me to choose the freedom of forgiveness over the bondage of bitterness.  I choose to forgive (name) today.  I release them from any unforgiveness in my heart.  Bless them today.” 

 

DAY 5 

Theme - Unkindness is unacceptable - LIVE ALOHA on this Aloha Friday!

 

  • Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

 

Devotional Thought:

  • Followers of Jesus are different. They just are! In fact, the Greek word used for “the Church” (remember, the Church is people, not a building! ) in the New Testament is ekklesia, and it literally means “those who are called out.”  In Christ, we are called out of the ways of this world and into His.  One of the best ways that someone can show the love of Jesus is by simply responding to situations differently.  Instead of showing frustration to the person who cuts you off on H1, throw a shaka.  Instead of posting a rant on Facebook, post an uplifting scripture.  Instead of getting frustrated at the long wait at a restaurant, be patient. Show people who Jesus is by using kindness.

 

Going Deeper Questions:

  • What is one way (and to whom) you can show kindness today? 

  • How can you make kindness a daily habit? 

 

Pray: “God thank you for your incredible kindness that leads to repentance.  As I have been the recipient of your kindness, help me to practice that same kindness in my own life. Allow me to see opportunities, both big and small, to show kindness and give me creative ideas in meeting those opportunities. May others see your kindness through me.”

DAY 2

DAY 3

DAY 4

DAY 5