It is Required – Part III
Scripture Reading: Matthew 18:21-35
Key Verse: Matthew 6:15
“But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”.
I cannot overstate the importance of forgiveness if we are going to be “Kingdom Fit”.
Jesus was telling those around Him that they could pray for anything, as long as they were willing to live a life of forgiveness, look at Mark 11:
I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. (Mark 11:25-26).
From these words of Jesus, you can see how important it is for us to learn the art of forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the most important aspects of following Jesus; it is the hardest one as well.
Someone may have hurt you and if so, you know how hard it is to work through the process of forgiveness. The easiest thing to do is to walk away from the person who has hurt you. However, simply walking away does not take care of what is important to God: your forgiveness of others. As you have read in earlier devotionals, God hinges His forgiveness of you on your ability to forgive others!
I am sure that you often ask God for favors. This is good and Jesus invites us to do so. However, our scripture in Mark reminds us that if we are holding a grudge against someone, we are to forgive that person before asking God for favors.
Why would God put that criterion on our prayer request of Him? Is God trying to make us earn the favors we ask of Him? No, God is wanting us to have a heart clear of any bitterness. He wants us to enjoy abundant life with no barriers to our prayers. When we refuse to forgive someone, we open our hearts to bitterness and great damage to our relationships with God and others.
Do not forget that it becomes easier for us to forgive others when we remind ourselves often how much and how often we need God’s forgiveness.
Father, I praise You for the forgiveness You give me, over and over. With Your help, I am going to live a life of forgiveness toward others, no matter how deeply they hurt me. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.