Forgiveness

Matthew 18:21-35 is all about forgiveness.

It is the parable of ‘The Unforgiving Servant’.

I’m not sure if you know it.

A servant can’t pay his debt to his master. However, he is shown mercy and released from his debt. The servant then goes outside and sees someone who owes him money. This person can’t pay the debt so instead of showing the same kindness given him, the servant puts his debtor in prison. Upon hearing this the servant’s master¬†is furious and throws the servant into prison until he has repaid the whole debt owed.

However, it is the final verse that struck me this morning.

So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

What an amazing statement!

If we do not forgive our friend, partner, husband, wife, work mate, family, acquaintance…anyone we come across, then we ourselves will be in the same peril as the servant was.

And no wonder, for Christ has shown immeasurable grace toward us, depraved and sinful beings. Surely we can forgive sin against us here on earth when Christ has forgiven all sin for those who have faith in Him.

I know I need to practice forgiveness. How about you?

I know that it is my pride that gets in the way of saying “sorry” to those I know.

How about you?

I know its my pride that also gets in the way when I hold a grudge against someone for the way they have behaved.

What about you? 

Lets look to the cross and find full forgiveness from God, which will remind us of our lack of forgiveness toward others. Through our forgiveness of others may we show the glory of God.

Humility and Politics

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http://www.barackobama.net/

There is no doubt that the biggest news story today is the inauguration of Barack Obama to the President of the United States.

It’s strange, looking on from the other side of the world, to watch such a whoo-ha about the appointment of one man to one position.

This morning in my devotions Mark 9:35 struck me as particularly relevant as this new President takes up his post. Jesus says to his disciples, as they debate between each other who is the greatest, If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

Mr Obama has been offering great hope and a great future to the US, and to the rest of the world. He is in the most powerful position in the world, and one could well think that he is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Here we are reminded of what makes someone great — humility — someone willing to serve and put others before themselves.

Those in elected office, whether here in Australia or in the US, are deemed to be public servants — serving their constituents and the needs of the community. When we look to Jesus we see that he was the true servant. His death and resurrection served us, by pardoning our sin. Jesus showed true humility and the true meaning of this verse by taking our punishment for sin on Himself and fulfilling our true needs — forgiveness and reconciliation and hope.

So, while I admire the way Mr Obama conducts himself and pray that he acts with integrity and wisdom I am also conscious that true greatness and true servanthood starts at the cross.

I pray that I’ll be able to apply the cross to my life today, looking to be humble and willing to serve those around me.