The Imperative of Forgiveness

CLP calls it the crisis of forgiveness.

Matthew 18:21-35 — a story on the imperative of forgiveness

The evil servant (aka, Servant A) found himself condemned and judged by his own words:

  • “You better pay me all!”
  • “No compassion or mercy for you — off to prison until you pay me all!”

Tough guy. Right after he hadn’t been so tough.

He asked for patience, for time to pay all. He received mercy as well as forgiveness of all. But I don’t recall thinking about this in verse 32 til this morning: He had actually desired to be forgiven all that debt. Thus, his master responded to more than just his words; he responded to the unspoken desire of his heart. I need much sharper sensitivity and discernment in my relationships with those who wrong me!

The “magical” words that worked for Servant A did not work on Servant A. When he uttered them to his master, his master forgave him. Alas, when his fellow servant uttered them to him, he refused to forgive his fellow servant.

Forgiveness in human relationships is both seed and fruit in my relationship with God. Here’s what I mean that shows the imperative of forgiveness:

  • Seed: Jesus said when I forgive others, I will be forgiven.
  • Fruit: God also says I should forgive others because He has forgiven me.

Read it all

Faith That Moves God

Matthew 15:21-31 — Got faith that moves God and you?

What a beautiful, heart-stirring telling of a great faith that moved…a Phoenician woman! My heart sings at the woman’s faith and tenacity. She didn’t turn away from Jesus’ “insensitive, rude, racist rejections” — nope, none of that quitting stuff for her. She had true, deep faith that moves God! And the “few little crumbs” she got sufficed to drive away a demon! I believe that mother “glorified the God of Israel” every bit as much as the Israelites did.

This Canaanite mother believed in Jesus’ power. She also trusted His heart.

Suppose Jesus gave me only the scattered crumbs left over from someone else’s meal. Would that unmerited generosity be sufficient to my need?

Do I have faith that moves…me? Read it all

Faithful Unto Death

Matthew 14:1-12 — as John the Baptist, let’s true to God and faithful unto death

Of the billions of people in the roster of all human history, all have been called by God. But of all those called ones, only few have been chosen to number among the redeemed. Do you belong to both groups, or just to one? Praise God, I belong to both and I hope you do also! However, I want me and you to belong to an even more exclusive group yet: the faithful. I want us to be among the fewer who are “called, and chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14). (Source: Ready for Our Lord’s Return) Let us purpose to be faithful unto death!

Practical questions from the passage

How well do I live by the value system I profess?

How far out will I stick my neck for truth? Right out onto the chopping block?

Was John the Baptist’s faithfulness misplaced?

Did he give his head and his life for an issue not at all worthy of such a sacrifice?

Which matters more: my faithfulness or the object of my faithfulness?

How were John, Herod, and the daughter of Herodias each faithful? Read it all

Above all, love God!