Today’s Reading: Matthew 6:12 (HCSB)
Therefore, you should pray like this… And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Today’s Question: What emotions come to your mind when you see the word freedom?
There is a great feeling when one is completely debt-free. This has happened for a brief moment in my adult life. We were renting a home, drove two paid-for cars, and our student loans were gone. We owed no one anything (financially) and we were able to save a pile of money for a down payment on the purchase of our current home.
There is a greater debt that all people owe than mortgage or credit card balances. This is the debt of sin. We need forgiveness of this debt (sin) to establish a relationship with Christ. But the amount of the debt is the size of a mountain that is too large to climb. This is the purpose for which Jesus came and died on the cross—so that the debt of sin would be paid for those who trust in Him.
We also need forgiveness to continue in close fellowship with Christ. When Christ forgives our sins at salvation, these iniquities include all sins of the past, present, and future. But Christians still sin. This breaks our fellowship with God (but not the relationship). For example, I may be upset with one of my sons for a defiant act. But a sincerely apology with a repentant attitude will result in grace and the restoration of our fellowship.
Because Christ has forgiven me of a mountain of sin, I am called by God to extend grace to others. People will sin against me as I have sinned against others. But we are called to forgive. In fact, it is a sin to hold bitterness and hatred toward another. Our fellowship with God is dependent on our willingness to forgive others as we have been forgiven.
“Follow One, Lead Others” Principle #34: The life of grace and forgiveness toward others is the mark of a true follower of Christ.
Today’s Prayer Point: Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you anyone who needs to receive forgiveness from you.