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Forgive ..... Forgive ..... FORGIVE JUNE 14, 2021


 
 


PSALM 130:3-4


If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.


Matthew 18:23-34


23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

 

Forgive .....

Forgive .....

FORGIVE

 

We Start our week of Devotionals in the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer on the theme of forgiveness. It seems Jesus assumes our need for forgiveness every time we pray. Notice also what Jesus is also saying to us in giving us this prayer request, it means that God answers the prayers of sinners.


Sometimes I believe we can become paralyzed in our praying and afraid to approach God because of remorse or guilt about something we have done or said. We are sinners saved by grace through Jesus Christ. And God does not turn away the prayers of sinners when we pray like Jesus instructs us in the Lord’s Prayer.


We read in 1 John 1:1-2 these words, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” God forgives so that he can have a relationship with us, and we with him. The Bible tells us the only way that can happen is for God to forgive us, but also to remove our guilt, which is exactly what he did in Jesus Christ. Those beautiful words at the beginning of Romans 8 says it all “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”


King David prays a wonderful prayer for forgiveness in Psalm 51, because he understands God does not turn away from our prayers that are given from the heart, even prayers of repentence.


1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment. 5 Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


There is another part to this petition as well. We pray forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” To me, the ability to forgive others is an outcome of our being forgiven, or should be the outcome. This lead us to our Gospel reading above about forgiveness. Jesus told a parable about a servant who was forgiven a huge debt and who then went on to “shake down” a fellow servant for a small amount amount by comparison (Matt. 18:23-34). The master who had forgiven the huge debt was angry and threw the first servant into jail until he paid back the whole debt. This story reminds us that just as we have received grace and forgiveness as a result of God’s love extended to us, we too extend this grace and forgiveness to others. Praying the Lord’s Prayer reminds us that forgiveness is not only freely given to us; we are called to let it flow through us. The evidence of God’s grace in us, is to forgive our neighbors. (others)


I need to say that it is one thing to say you forgive; it’s another thing to do it. Agreed? Do not expect forgiveness to happen overnight; it often takes time. Feelings of bitterness and resentment may sweep over us unexpectedly. But, trusting and leaning on God’s grace, we can forgive.


What we see revealed to us here, I believe, is that the goal of forgiveness is Reconciliation. Reconciliation occurs where sins are forgiven, hurts healed, and wrongs righted. That is God’s vision for the world, a reconciled creation.

 

OUR FATHER ....


Forgive us our debts,


Forgive me for all the ways I have turned away from you and your will

The ways I have not trusted you

The ways I have offended and grieved you

The ways I have rejected your wisdom, your love, your goodness, and your glory for my life


As we forgive those who have sinned against us


I forgive those who have offended me and sinned against me, because you have forgiven me of such a greater debt of offenses and sins I’ve committed against you

I forgive those who have hurt me—those who have acted against me

I forgive them and release to you my bitterness, resentment, and anger toward them

I will let go of my unforgiveness and let you heal me. Amen



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