MEMORISE : And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any:
that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
MARK 11 : 25.
READ : MARK 11 : 25 – 26.
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your
Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR : 1 KINGS 22 AND LUKE 7 : 18 – 35.
The enmity between God and man, created by sin, can only be reversed through
the forgiveness of God. Going by the righteous requirement of God’s law, no
man can pay the high price demanded by God for the atonement of sins, but the
divine mercy of God brought us forgiveness through the Blood of Jesus Christ
( Ephesians 1 : 7 ). Without the power of forgiveness, there can be no
atonement, no reconciliation and no salvation.
Just as God has extended His unconditional forgiveness to us, He expects us to
extend the same to our neighbours. This is an area where the people of God
have problems. We like to enjoy God’s benevolence, but we find it difficult to
extend the same to others. The gravity of this negative attitude is found in
the parable of Jesus about the unforgiving servant ( Matthew 18 : 23 – 35 ).
Although the king forgave this servant a debt he could not afford to pay, when
his fellow servant who also owed him begged him to be patient with him, he
refused. Rather, he cast this fellow servant into prison. This attitude made
the king so angry that he handed him over to the tormentors and charged them
to torment him until he was able to pay his debt. Of course he would not be able
to pay; so he was effectively banished to a lifetime of torment. The key thing
to note from this parable is what Jesus said in Matthew 18 : 35 :
“So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts
forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
The virtue of forgiveness proceeds from the offended, and it is carried out by
the offended also. There is nothing anyone can do to convince the offended to
forgive, if he or she does not look beyond the offending party and choose to
unconditionally forgive. There is every reason to be vengeful when you are
offended, but when you cast your mind back to remember how you have been
forgiven yourself; you will have no choice as a child of God but to forgive.
Those who easily forgive others who offend them are likely to be favourites of
God because they share the nature of God in the area of forgiveness. Their
prayers are also more likely to be speedily answered than the prayers of those
who are vengeful.
ACTION POINT :
Look out for those who have offended you, declare and demonstrate to them
that you have forgiven them.
AUTHOR : Pst. E . A ADEBOYE.
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