18 4 / 2014
16 4 / 2014
We’re going to recite the Lord’s Prayer together. Ready?
Wait, hold on. Let’s address one thing first, because I want to make sure that when we pray this prayer, we really mean it.
Think about it. Have you ever noticed that this prayer says, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”? How comfortable are you really in asking God to only forgive you in the way that you forgive others?
I bet you’re glad that we stopped before we prayed those words now, aren’t you? But here’s the hijacked crunch of the entire matter, gang—we’re stuck with this deal with God whether we pray that prayer or not, whether we like it or not.
Look at our verses today, because Jesus makes it very clear for us. If you forgive men their trespasses then God will forgive you. And if you do not forgive men their trespasses, then neither will God forgive yours.
You can’t have one without the other. I mean, I know we try. We try to separate these two. We try to justify our unforgiveness. “Well, you know what? What happened to me was so horrible.”
I’m sorry for what happened to you, but you know what? What happened to Jesus was horrible, too, and it was you and me who did that to Him. So our forgiveness is forever tied to our forgiving those who have hurt us, whether they deserve it or not, whether they are repentant or not.
You probably won’t hear this anywhere else, but I’m just going to say it—if you can’t forgive, you can’t go to Heaven.
If you can’t forgive, if you can’t get over this thing, if you can’t give it to God, if you can’t believe beyond the blunder, if you can’t allow for a second chance, if you can’t surrender this, if you can’t replace the wanting to get even with the wanting for God’s best, if you can’t forgive, then you can’t get to Heaven.
But God so much desires for us to get to Heaven that not only does He give to us this difficult thing to do, but by His Spirit, He also gives us the strength and ability to accomplish it.
Will you let Him give you strength to forgive today?
You really are Lord of my life, no matter what. Thanks for giving me clear instructions on forgiveness. I choose today to forgive everyone who has hurt me, and I choose to forgive myself for the hurtful things I’ve done, too. Please come and set me free today!
15 4 / 2014
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