– Secret Place Insights –
Dear One, through the months of February and March the sermons at our church are taking the congregation through the Lord’s Prayer phrase by phrase. Following the sermon, nine lay people are taking turns leading an adult class through a discussion on that Sunday’s topic. Mid-March I will lead the discussion on forgiveness, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12.
I have not yet begun studying the subject of forgiveness, but I have been doing a great deal of thinking about it. I have been considering how God has dealt with me over the years. He has expanded and expanded on what had once been a limited understanding of forgiveness.
What I have learned so far is that forgiveness is not meant to be an occasional love response to God’s teachings for the big upsets of life, it is for both the big, the small and the minute. Forgiveness is almost a constant loving obedience to God’s love for the forgiveness He offers to His believers.
Examples of this are: I find that when I am at the wheel of my car, I sometimes need to forgive other drivers. While shopping I may need to forgive other shoppers, clerks and cashiers. While on the phone trying to make an appointment, acquire information, or reply to a sales call I sometimes need to remind myself of whose I am, and behave accordingly. Whatever the situation Christians are to remember, as often as possible, what our heart attitudes should be in light of the God we serve.
I have not forgotten the Sunday morning that our pastor put up on the screen, side-by-side, pictures of both President Trump and Nancy Pelosi and spoke about God’s call on our lives. Though I could not agree with both political views, and was not told to, I became painfully aware that I had some work to do in regard to my hardness of heart.
During my focus on forgiveness, I have gained another understanding. When Jesus was being crucified on the cross, he said, “…Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34. Until my recent ‘forgiveness’ thinking, I considered Jesus’ words to be only for those who were working against Jesus at the time of His crucifixion. Now, when I consider those words, I realize the words could be meant for me, for there are times when I know not what I do.
Thankfully, forgiveness is not limited. God is always willing to forgive repentant believers. And with it He provides all that is needed for forgiving others.
“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 6:14-16
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