Matthew 6:14–15

 


Matthew 6:14–15

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.


Forgive me for being so blunt, but if you don’t practice forgiveness, it will destroy the quality of your life on earth and even put at risk your entry through the gates of heaven.


Write that on your bathroom mirror. Forgiveness is that important.


Forgiveness is serious business, but it isn’t complicated. You don’t need a seminary degree to understand that when you forgive, you will be forgiven; and when you don’t forgive, God will not forgive you.


The Lord’s Prayer endorses heaven’s policy on forgiveness: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12, KJV). We recite that prayer but seldom practice it. It’s not only important to know the words but understand its message and to obey it. Forgiveness is not optional. If the Bible teaches anything, it teaches that. The Word and the will of God are made perfectly clear: we can freely ask God’s forgiveness once we have fully forgiven others.


Saint Paul wrote, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32, KJV). When I was a boy, my mother made my older brother Bill, and me quote that verse to each other every time we got in a ruckus, which was about three times a week.


I had that verse memorized before almost any other. It still rolls off my tongue with ease. But the fact that my brother and I said it so much was an indication that we knew the words, but we weren’t getting the message. Get the message!


Paul continued teaching the New Testament Church by saying,


Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (Colossians 3:12–13, NKJV)


This truth is clearly affirmed by God, Jesus, and Paul—forgiveness is not optional! If you won’t forgive another person, God will not forgive you. The words “forgive” and “forgiveness” appear sixty-six times in the New Testament, and one-third of those are tied to the forgiveness of others. Why so many? Because the power of forgiveness is that important.


Blessing: 


May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. Father, forgive me for my unforgiveness toward others. I forgive them and ask that You bless them. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.


Today's Bible Reading: 


Old Testament


Joshua 19:1-20:9


New Testament 


Luke 19:28-48


Psalms & Proverbs


Psalm 88:1-18


Proverbs 13:12-14

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