+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening – A Collect for the Renewal of Life (Monday)
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Morning Reading – Matthew 18:21-35 (NLT)
Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
“Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.
“But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.
“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.
“His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
“When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
on heartfelt forgiveness
“Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?”
– Matthew 18:33 –
As children of God, sometimes we forget that we are also His servants. The story Jesus told about the unforgiving servant clarifies our position as debtors in the household of God. So great was our debt that God sent His one and only Son to redeem us. Sins, trespasses and debts owed to us are minuscule in comparison.
Heartfelt forgiveness of those who have sinned against us is an extension of the mercy, and grace we have received from God. It’s the act of a servant, an act of of humility. It requires a moment of clarity regarding the ways we have broken God’s heart, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude for His mercy and grace.
Questions for consideration:
- Are you having trouble forgiving someone who has hurt you? Please explain.
- Do you rehearse the event, or do you release it to God? Please explain.
- Do you find yourself becoming resentful or bitter? Please explain.
- Does negativity affect other areas of your life? Please explain.
- Does discouragement or discontent rob you of joy and peace? Please explain.
- Is there another believer that you can talk with who will pray with you and help you extend to another, the grace God has extended to you. Please explain.
Morning Prayer: For Forgiveness –
Heavenly Father: I have sinned against you, through my own fault, in thought, and word, and deed, and in what I have left undone. For the sake of your Son my Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me all my offenses;
and grant that I may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your Name.
Father, bless me with the wonderful power of forgiveness, give me the grace to unconditionally forgive those who have done me wrong. Give me the strength to let go of ill-will, the strength to forgive myself of my own failings and sins, knowing that you have already forgiven me. Free me of all anger, bitterness, hate, and unforgiveness. In the Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Forgiveness” – Matthew West
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen