Sunday, December 4th, 2016
Do-Gooders (Part 19)
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Matthew 6:14 (NASB)
Then Peter came to Him and said, 'Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?'
Jesus said to him, 'I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.'
Matthew 18:21-22 (NKJV)*
Forgiveness is a graduate exam. Passing it is a mark of mature faith.** Funny thing: small children are its masters. They example forgiving everything. Then they forget it in faith, hope and love. Therein, Jesus said we must be like them.
'Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven' (Matthew 18:3).
The best way I know to reduce myself is to consider Jesus on the Cross. If those long nails beaten into His Flesh represent past, present and future sins, He forgave me and suffered grievously for every selfish thing I've ever done.
If you think you don't sin much or sin big, if you think you're above evil tyrants, if you think your righteous worship in church is above the Pharisees', think again:
'For whoever keeps the whole Law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of It' (James 2:10); 'For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God' (Romans 3:23); 'All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags' (Isaiah 64:6).
Actors, models and talent for Christ, if God forgave you, you must forgive: not just the naughty celebrities, but even more, those who have harmed you.
Because if the only sinless Man forgave everyone for everything, and if He's called you to do the same, and if you call yourself a Christian, you must forgive, forgive and forgive.
No matter how often you've been hurt, no matter how grievous the offense, no matter how justified you feel, no matter if men agree with you, you must forgive, forgive and forgive.
If not, you're stuck playing the victim. But you are destined for greater roles.
To Be Continued...
* The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+18:21-35&version=NKJV
** Previous 7-part AMTC Devotion Series, Unforgiveness: http://amtcdevotions.org/unforgiveness-part-1-leprosy-of-the-heart
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.