June 24, 2018

Matthew 6:14&15… For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you.

            These were Jesus’ first words after teaching the disciples the Lord’s prayer

Verses9-13… Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

            So… as soon as He taught this, He put our attention on forgiveness.  Considering the value in the Lord’s prayer, His emphasis must be of considerable importance. Perhaps He knew that humans would struggle with forgiveness and therefore, wanted to emphasize it. Forgiveness is the key to our life with God. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, God can look on us and even though we are scarred by sin, He forgives us and invites us into His presence.

            Have you considered that power on earth? When you are wronged by someone, that person does not want to be near you. When you forgive them, you invite them back into relationship with you. God accepts us not because we are sinless, but because we are washed. That warns us to never walk away from Jesus. It is by His blood that we are washed clean. Salvation is an ongoing experience. It is not a one way ticket to heaven that we hold in our possession; it is a relationship with Jesus that He holds for us until we stand before the Judgment Seat of God. God is not a vending machine. He is our companion. When you forgive someone who wrongs you, you provide evidence that you live with God in your heart.  You also show that you are serious when you pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Forgiveness is not earned; it is given. Think… “I give you this be-For…”  

              So, does God reward us? I hide behind the words of Jesus and say, “Yes.”