Open your quiet time with God in prayer. Ask that He reveal His heart to you, ask that He reveal areas of disobedience in your life, and ask that He give you the grace to be obedient to His word.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12 NKJV)
Forgiveness isn’t easy… at least for me it isn’t. When we don’t forgive, or can’t forgive, or refuse to forgive it’s generally because we are angry with someone. It’s these people that Jesus refers to as “our debtors,” and for one reason or another we tend to think that these people owe us big time.
Read Psalm 51. Focus on verse four and keep in mind that King David wrote this Psalm after he had had an affair with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. Who did David say he sinned against?
David committed adultery and murder, but notice that he didn’t say that he had sinned against his wife or Bathsheba’s husband. He didn’t say that he sinned against the family of the murdered man or his own family. No, he acknowledges that he sinned but only against God and no one else.
Think about that for a minute.
When we sin it is easy to acknowledge that we have sinned against God alone. But on the other hand, it’s not so easy to acknowledge that the sins of others’ are committed against God alone. This is especially so when someone else’s sins affect us. We need to remember that while we may fill the consequences of another’s sin, ultimately they are not sinning against us. They are sinning against God.
Read Isaiah 53. This is a prophetic passage declaring that Jesus would come and bear the sins of all. Not just my sins, not just your sins, but the sins of everyone.
Who came to be wounded for your transgressions and be bruised for your iniquities? Who did the same for your debtor? (v. 5)
Whose soul was made an offering for your sin? Whose soul was made an offering for the sin of the person you can’t forgive? (v. 10)
Who bore your iniquities and justified you? Did He not do the same for the individual you remain angry with? (v. 11)
Who poured out His soul unto death, bore your sins, and makes intercession for you now at the right hand of God? Does He not do that for all sinners, including the one who wronged you? (v. 12)
I know forgiveness is hard. I struggle to forgive people. Many times, even when I’ve made up my mind to forgive and believe I have forgiven, I have to do it again. Over and over I must choose to forgive because old memories can be awaked and old wounds can be reopened. Can you relate?
No matter how hard it is forgiveness or how many times we have to do it, we must remember that forgiveness isn’t optional for a Christian (Colossians 3:13).
Yes, we may feel wronged but Jesus already paid for the debt we think we are owed. He loves our debtors as much as He loves us. Are we really prepared to tell the Father that the death of His Son on the cross was not enough, that more needs to be given to make things right?
Read Matthew 19:26, Mark 9:23-24. Even if it is not humanly possible to forgive an offense, can it still be done? How?
Lord, forgive me my debts as I forgive those who I feel are in debt to me. Lord, it is so hard to forgive (your offender’s name). He/she has caused so much pain in my life. He/she has (speak the offense) and it hurts because (speak aloud why it is offensive). But the truth of the matter is that he/she has not sin against me, he/she has sinned against You and You alone. Help me to always remember that You have forgiven him/her because Jesus has paid his/her debt. Even though at times I feel I cannot forgive (offender’s name), I know I am able if I believe that through You all things are possible. Please, Lord, give me the grace to forgive him/her. In Your name I pray, amen.
If you are like me this study probably hit a tender spot somewhere. We all probably have pockets of resentment hiding in our hearts. If you’d like prayer please feel free to contact me. I’d be honored to pray with you.
Only by grace,
Did you miss a day or two in this prayer challenge? Find all the posts in this series here.