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The Lord's Prayer - Part 4
Forgive Us Our Debts as We Forgive Our Debtors
Going on with the Lord's Prayer, we come to:
Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Our debts as shown in other passages such as Luke 11:4 are our sins and trespasses. We all stand in need of forgiveness, both from God and from each other. James said that we offend many people in many ways, and that the man who didn't offend in word was a perfect man. Well, that's not me! I need forgiveness quite often, both from God and from man.
Speaking of forgiveness, Jesus didn't beat around the bush, He said that if we won't forgive our fellow man, we need not expect the forgiveness of God.
Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
That's hard, but it couldn't be any plainer. We have to forgive to be forgiven.
I believe that unforgiveness has many undesirable side effects such as stress and it's resulting health and emotional problems. If we won't forgive, we internalize the problem and we're the ones that suffers, not the person who offended us.
We are told to forgive just as Christ has forgiven us. We remember the instructions for discerning the Lord's body, when we take the communion cup. Paul said that many were sick and weak because they did not discern it, and that some had even died. Certainly, not forgiving as Christ has forgiven me, would be a failure to discern the Lord's body.
I believe that if we follow our Lord's instructions to forgive, we'll have a lot fewer doctor's visits and we won't have near as many medications to take. Want to cut your medical bills? Forgive!
We remember Peter asking Jesus, "Lord, how many time do I have to forgive my brother? Seven?" "No," Jesus using a bit of hyperbole or exaggerating to make a point, said, "Seventy times seven."
That's over 20 times an hour or once every 3 minutes. Not likely that any person could offend us that often, but how often do we offend God and stand in need of forgiveness? The equation changes when we look at it in that light, doesn't it?
Jesus continued His answer to Peter with the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant in Mt 18. A servant who had been forgiven a very large debt, found a man who owed him a rather small amount.
The man couldn't pay and asked for mercy which was refused. he was cast into prison until he could pay the debt. I assume he died there.
When the Master of the unmerciful servant heard of it, he was enraged. the fellow was delivered to the tormentors until, he could pay that which had originally been forgiven.
Once again we come to a hard saying of Jesus. Mt 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.
We are enjoined in:
Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
So what do I do when I'm agitated and peeved over the actions of another. Do I hold on to it? Brood? Gossip? Run the person down? NO, I must forgive and forgive from the heart. Like the man in the parable, I'm been forgiven much and my sins were placed under the precious blood of Jesus. When i weigh my account against whatever wrong has been committed against me, there's really no comparison. If I refuse to forgive my brother, it's actually an insult to the blood of Jesus that was shed on my behalf
My prayer then is, "Lord help me to let it go and to forgive freely, just as You forgave me. God Bless You.
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HumorA fisherman returned to shore with a giant marlin that was bigger and heavier than he. On the way to the cleaning shed, he ran into a second fisherman who had a stringer with a dozen baby minnows. The second fisherman looked at the Marlin, turned to the first fisherman and said, "Only caught one, eh?"
Somebody Has Said"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you." - C.S.Lewis
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Don and Marie Spooner
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