Thursday, November 19th, 2015
The Enemy's Game (Part 18)
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.
Matthew 6:14 (NKJV)
A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense.
Proverbs 19:11 (NIV)
God had a reason to make forgiveness a key component in the Lord's Prayer.* Jesus had a reason to tell The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.** Paul had a reason to add his forgiveness by mail toward a wayward brother.***
The reason? Unforgiveness is an enemy device. Like the biggest, meanest NFL defensive linemen charging against a small, unprepared high school quarterback, so Satan's legions use unforgiveness to attack us.
Is that fair? Satan is no respecter of innocence. Nor of ignorance, fairness, justice, weakness, or children.
In God's Book, unforgiveness is never acceptable. Because if Jesus forgives us no matter what or when, if not one of us deserves His amazing sacrifice, if God Himself promises to avenge our distresses, then what's our excuse to hold on to a merciless grudge?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: You forgive personal injustice. You forgive professional bias. You forgive media's naughtiness. You forgive every bad example. In the play of witnessing Jesus, showing forgiveness makes you a star.****
To Be Continued...
* The Lord's Prayer: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A5-14&version=NKJV
** The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+18:21-35
*** 'Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices' (2 Corinthians 2:10-11).
**** Previous AMTC Devotion Series on Unforgiveness: http://amtcdevotions.org/unforgiveness-part-1-leprosy-of-the-heart
**** Forgiving Forward (a recommended ministry): http://www.forgivingforward.com (Note: This website isn't fancy, but I have attended a seminar by Bruce Hebel. It was life-changing for all of us in that room. I strongly recommend churches bringing him in to speak, as well as anyone who is able to attend his seminar.)
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Enemy's Game series.