Buckets of sunflowers filled my car on my way to church. At the end of summer and start of fall, I would place them beside the entrances with jars or vases beside so people could enjoy the flowers at home. Sometimes I would give a vase of sunflowers away and people would be surprised. They’d imagine I was being so generous. From their perspective, freshly cut flowers given to them said something about me. However, if they knew the whole story, they'd know it was only natural to give away the bright yellow gifts.
People pay for their flowers most of the time. A single stem can be pricey. From my perspective, I was simply giving out of an abundance of what my dad had planted and gave me freedom to give away.
For years, my dad planted a field of sunflowers. The intention was to share them with people. One handful, one vase, one bucket could not put a dent in the field. Though I tried to share what I could, there were more flowers than I could give away. I would ask friends to just come see the field. If they did, they would recognize what a small gift the bouquet was and that it came from a place of abundance.
Sometimes we extend forgiveness and grace to someone and they are surprised. They imagine we are generous people. As Christians we have a Father who has planted fields with grace and forgiveness. How could we not share that grace and forgiveness? It is so small in comparison to what our Father has given to us! When we share it with others, they may feel like we are so kind. In reality, we are simply giving out of the abundance our Father has planted and given us. That’s why we forgive.
He is the reason we extend grace.
I was thankful that the sunflowers given away could brighten someone’s day. More so, I am thankful to point someone to my Heavenly Father who planted seeds of forgiveness in the field He prepared.
Psalm 103:10-13 (NIV)
“he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;”
In the Lord’s Prayer and following section, we see the importance of forgiveness.
Matthew 6:9-15 NIV
“This, then, is how you should pray:
'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Isaiah 61:11 NIV
“For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.”
Dear Father God,
Thank you for Your generous love. Only You could find a way to rescue me from my sin. Thank You for sending Jesus to die in my place. Thank You that He is Your Holy Son who death could not keep ahold of. Thank You that He is alive and that I also have new life. I’m so thankful for the forgiveness You have given me.
Please help me to share your grace and forgiveness in the relationships I have. Thank you for your fields of grace.
In Jesus’ Name,
When has someone shown you grace?
How did you respond?
How will you share God’s forgiveness with others?
Isaiah tells us that God worked salvation because he was appalled that there was no one to intervene. I’m so glad He stepped in and rescued us!
Isaiah 59:16 NIV
“He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.”
If we see our sin more rightly, we will see the gift of salvation more accurately!
Luke 7:40-43 NIV
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.