Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19, 2016


Matthew 6:14-15

"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Personal Challenge

So reading this passage brings to my mind the question, "ls God's love conditional?" Clearly, the answer to this question is a resounding, "No!". God's love is not conditional. Throughout the scriptures and the teachings of our church fathers, it is very clear that God loves us unconditionally, without a doubt and without any limitations. However, what this passage teaches, as well as others, is that God's forgiveness of my sins is conditional. What? ls this heresy? It is not. Jesus teaches us that forgiveness is cooperative. I must go to God, confess my sin, seek forgiveness, and repent in order to receive His forgiveness. And, as this passage teaches, if I am unwilling to give my neighbor forgiveness when they have offended me, then the forgiveness that I am seeking from God will be hindered. How can this be? God is all powerful, isn't we? He can overrule my unforgiveness, can't He? Yes, in both cases, but if I am holding out on forgiving another, most likely my heart has become hardened and I am not really going to God to seek forgiveness of my own sins. Here is where that cooperative part kicks in. I must be willing to love my neighbor enough to forgive them, otherwise, I am not loving God enough to seek His forgiveness. If I cannot humble myself before another enough to forgive them, then I will not be willing to humble myself before God to seek, and receive, His forgiveness, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner!

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