Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 31, 2016
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins Matthew 6:14–15.
How do you respond when you have been wronged? How do you react to unrighteous behavior directed toward you? You can forgive fast and be freed from pride, pain, and anger, or you can stay mad and stew in your state of self-pity. Indeed, your forgiveness of others is evidence of your heavenly Father’s forgiveness in your own life.
Since God forgave you, you forgive others, and in turn He forgives you. This is Christ’s cycle of forgiveness. If, however, we fail to forgive others, we place ourselves in an unforgivable position. Our unforgiving attitude invites unforgiveness from our heavenly Father; so those who find mercy with God are to show mercy on behalf of God.
Jesus not only came to reconcile us to His Father but also to one another. True worship is contingent on reconciliation with people. Jesus said, “Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:24).
Who in your life requires you to let go of resentment? Who has distracted your authentic worship of Christ because of their hurtful words? By God’s grace you can forgive them for Christ’s sake, and be liberated by the love of the Lord. You know you have truly forgiven when the joy of the Lord is once again your strength.
There is a song of salvation in your heart and a bounce of hope in your step. Forgiveness frees you to trust again. Love is the lever that turns on forgiveness in your heart. Allow the Lord to love you in this lonely place, and you will be able to love others authentically.
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:11-12).
Application: What does it mean for me to forgive others as God has forgiven me? How can I make love my motivation for forgiving my parents, friends, or foes?
Related Readings: Numbers 14:20; Psalm 32:1; Luke 6:37; 2 Corinthians 2:10
Post/Tweet this today: Jesus not only came to reconcile us to His Father but also to one another. #WisdomHunters #forgivefast
Today’s reading is taken from Boyd’s book: Seeking Daily the Heart of God, volume 2, a 365 day devotional.
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© 2016 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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