Forsaking Your own Mercy

September 10, 2021

Matthew 18:21-35

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23″Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talentswas brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26″The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28″But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29″His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

30″But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32″Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35″This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Forsaking Your own Mercy

               Today I felt the Lord speak this scripture into my heart, because still there are those that are holding on to grudges, hurts and offences that they are unwilling to forgive and release.  The Word speaks to us on more than one occasion to release forgiveness and forgive the debts, sins, offences and wounds we have received of others even as He has forgiven us.  In this parable obviously the Father is the master.  We have all been the wicked servants that owed a debt that we could not pay.  We could never, of ourselves, live up to the standard of righteousness that God has placed before us.  We all know in our hearts the times that we have disobeyed and offended the Lord are far too numerous to even count. Yet, when we fell before Him and asked His forgiveness, He forgave our debts and all of our sins in Christ Jesus who paid the penalty for all of them.  The Lord simply commands us, not requests us, to forgive others as He has forgiven us.  In comparison to what we owe the Father, what someone else has done to us is relatively small. 

               I believe God knows that sometimes it takes time to work things out where we can fully release our unforgiveness toward someone who has offended or hurt us deeply.  Bring those hurts, debts and the offences of others before the Lord in prayer.  Begin to pray for that person and ask the Lord to bring you to that place of full forgiveness and release. 

               What the Lord was impressing upon me this morning is that when we fail or refuse to forgive another we are negating and preventing God’s forgiveness for us.  In as much as we hold that grudge of unforgiveness to make them pay for their sins, we will in turn be held accountable and payable for our own sins.  The Lord gave us the example of forgiveness in Christ, so that we would, in turn, exercise it toward others. 

               We will all experience, hurts, disappointments, offences and wrongs at the hands of other people in our lives, but what are we going to do with them?  What does Jesus say in Matthew 5:21-25, “”You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brotherwill be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca, is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23″Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. 25″Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. Do not forsake your own mercy.  Settle your accounts and get things right with others.  We may not only need to forgive, but we may need to ask for another’s forgiveness for where we have wronged them.  Many of us have experienced the turmoil in our souls for far too long.  Release the forgiveness that only you can give, seek forgiveness for your wrongs and you will again find peace and know that the Father also has forgiven you. 

               Life is too short and too precious for us to waste it on hate or unforgiveness.  The love of God cannot thrive in this environment or attitude of heart, so make your peace with others and you will find your peace with Him.

Blessings,

#kent

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