When I answered the phone, I heard my Mom screaming a mournful cry, “Frances is gone! Frances is gone!” My mother was in shock and deep grief over the death of her good friend and travel buddy. Frances was my Dad’s first cousin. She was killed in November 2004 by a hit and run truck driver when she walked a block from home to help one of her seven sons (she also had one daughter) that was in a minor car accident in Detroit. The news story was on television. Frances was a well-known singer at several churches and a piano teacher;
Frances was a master of bling! She wore rings on eight fingers, always had on a necklace with earrings and her outfits were color coordinated with a matching hat. This is what I wrote in my journal at that time:
The funeral was huge; 500 folks; 20-30 pastors; 3 choirs. It was “church”. A lady with a purple dress, purple coat, and purple hat set it off with the opening song!
In spite of the elaborate send-off (even Frances’ casket had her name engraved on it), her family was in shock. They wanted to find the truck driver; who was never identified. Some even blamed the son who had called his Mom to come see the damage to his car. I felt sorry for the son. He was considered reckless by some of the family members long before Frances’ death.
Emotions were running high amongst family and friends. I even wanted to blame someone for this offense, loss in my life, and for me having to deal with these deep seated emotions right now. I wrote in my journal:
It was a shock to everyone! Her close friends were shaken. I was most affected by the suddenness of her death which caused me to reflect on my own life. I had anxiety about not living long enough to see Winston and Zoe become adults. During Church (Ma’s Church of Christ) the song He is Able was being sung… I broke down hooping and crying because the Lord spoke to me to give up my children to Him; He already had them and I couldn’t care for them or protect them as well as He can and does. I felt relief that I am each day learning to not worry or overthink on what I need to do now or Floyd needs to do if I should die while the kids are young. “He is Able.”
As I reflected back on this, I asked Floyd this morning, “Did you ever forgive the truck driver or Frances’ son for his peripheral part in Frances’ death?” Neither one of us could remember forgiving either of them for the blame we attributed to them.
Using Efraiym’s model, we forgave them, prayed for them and their families, and asked Yehovah to forgive us and free us from any bitterness that we have harbored in our hearts over the years.
Summary of the Teaching
During Arthur’s introduction, he brought attention to the “shifting” in the spirit that he became aware of some weeks ago. He believes the shifting is still being defined by the Saints’ testimonies of revelations and deliverances that they are receiving in their lives. Additionally, Arthur mentioned that Passover this year, 2017, coincides with the same calendar days in which Yeshua was crucified. Yeshua was crucified on a Wednesday and we are celebrating the Passover on a Wednesday evening.
Efraiym’s prayer to our Elohim included asking that His word, that we were ready to receive, be set-apart like Manna for us to eat and that it would give us spiritual nourishment. How eloquent!
This Part 2 teaching focused on how to stop being an offense and how we must forgive. Efraiym said he would give scriptural examples and encouraged us to ask questions during the Q & A session for more individualized responses to offenses and forgiveness. As Efraiym gave a review of Part 1, he reminded us that often it is too easy to remember the offenses and hold on to the unforgiveness. We must filter all of our actions through Yehovah’s word and forgive the trespasses of others.
One of the stumbling blocks to forgiveness is “not wanting to lose” and not wanting the offender to win. Listen as Efraiym gives some guidance in this area of forgiveness and in dealing with offenses within the body of believers.
Efraiym gave a powerful reenactment of the suffering of Yeshua, even describing the flesh ripping torture tools. Efraiym then reminded us to put our suffering into perspective. We have not suffered unto blood as yet and we all deserved the stake that Yeshua took for us.
We have all heard of the Fruits of the Spirit, but Efraiym discussed some of the Fruits of Unforgiveness.
- Anger with sin
Most of us know that we must forgive, but often we do not act like we know that FORGIVENESS IS MANDATORY. Forgiveness is non-negotiable; it is not an option. Revenge upon the person will not make the situation right. You will still be bitter, angry, and unsatisfied. Yehovah commands us to forgive that we may be forgiven. In order to put forgiveness in its right perspective, we need to be mindful that our highest and first covenant is with the Most High. He is our strength, our shield, and our deliverer in whom we can trust. We must obey Him.
Forgiveness is an act of the will. Efraiym assures us that there are blessings that we won’t receive until we forgive others’ their offenses against us. Our emotions will try to hinder us from doing right, but we must forgive even the toughest of the offenses against us. Here is Efraiym’s prayer of forgiveness.
- Abba El bless those that have been used to humble my flesh towards You!
- Grant me godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:9) that I might repent from holding hidden grudges and feeling sorry for myself.
- I freely give room for your wrath and or mercy towards those who have hurt me, You decide.
- Help me to know when to escape and when to stay. When to fight back and when to surrender.
- Teach me to examine myself first and not the one that seems to be pressuring me.
- Give me the courage to believe that You are just.
- War against the enemies of my soul that I might serve you.
- Free my will that I might give it to you freely.
- I forgive all that offend me including:
- Parents, teachers, lovers, spouses, pastors
- Friends, police, doctors, thieves
- You fill in any other offenders:_______________
- Save the souls of the ones that I have hurt and those that have wounded me.
- Bless both them and me with Shalom.
- Deliver me from any and all tormentors!
Buzz on the Teaching Forgiveness was the theme of many conversations during fellowship time. Paraphrased snippets of these conversations were:
- I am going through my mind trying to think of everyone that I need to forgive.
- I was on my knees this morning asking Yehovah to give me answers. I got my questions answered this morning in the teaching.
- We can have spiritual wounds like we have physical wounds. There are scars in our spirit that we need to heal.
- For many years, I used to think of all my offenders lined up on Judgement day and seeing them get what they deserved for hurting me. I learned that I had to let that go when I reflected on:
Proverbs 24:17-18 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: 18 Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. King James Version In the Comments section below, please tell me about the offenses you have forgiven or the offenses you committed and have asked for forgiveness. Until next time… Blessings to You and Yours, Sharon